Category Archives: Internet

Another PayPal scam

Scammers are aware that people are getting wary of clicking links in emails. So the latest variation doesn’t do this. An email going round tells you that you have bought $500 of a cryptocurrency via Cleverbridge (a legitimate payment system). If you want to cancel this, then rather than clicking a link they invite you to call a US number. It’s so much more comforting to give your card details to a real person!

Beware of a Chrome hacking extension

Chromeloader changes Chrome’s settings to display adverts, fake surveys and disreputable web sites.

To see if you have got it, type Chrome://extensions into the browser bar. If Chromeloader is present, it will redirect you to Chrome://settings, so make sure you are on extensions. You may be able to uninstall the Chromeloader extension. If the worst comes to the worst, sign in to synchronise passwords and bookmarks or export them, uninstall Chrome and reinstall. Then sync again or import your bookmarks and passwords.

Backing up WhatsApp

This is really helpful if you delete a message that you didn’t mean to.

First go to settings or the three-dot menu then settings. Now tap ‘chats’ and ‘chat backup’. Now you can set how often you want to backup. Think carefully about this when you read the below.

If you need to get a message back, then you need to uninstall WhatsApp and download it again from your app store. This will then enable you to restore from a backup. What this means is that you will lose anything that’s come in since the last backup and you will only be able to restore the message you deleted if it is the backup. So it’s a bit nuclear.

Improving the quality of web images

Microsoft is adding Image Super Resolution to the Edge browser. It aims to make low resolution or highly-compressed images into better pictures through using Artificial Intelligence to remove noise and ‘upscale’ them (like some TV’s do with lower resolution TV or DVDs).

It is in the Canary preview build of Edge, which will turn into a general release later, but is already being used on Bing Maps (www.bing.com).

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be available to improve our own photos. Shame!

Hiding ads on YouTube

YouTube is great for finding videos on nearly anything – I put stuff up there myself at https://www.youtube.com/user/flyingdoctorUK

However, there are more and more adverts and sponsor messages interrupting the video you want to watch.

You can use the extension ‘Adblock for YouTube’ that blocks the ads. You can unblock any channel if you want to support the creators. In the same way ‘SponsorBlock for YouTube’ that skips sponsor messages and “other annoying parts of YouTube videos”. The developer of SponsorBlock claims that 3 million or so users have saved a total of 585 years between them.

Shopping for less

We are all feeling the squeeze at the moment, but what can we do?

I’ve been working with a number of internet tools that may help.

Firstly we can get cashback with a number of sites like topcashback. You download their browser addon and create an account which give you – cash back – when you shop online across thousands of sites like Currys and Argos.

Second is voucher collectors like pouch, which is another extension. When you are at the checkout, this looks for vouchers across the web to get your price down.

Thirdly is camelcamelcamel, a price tracker for Amazon. This has a number of features.

One shows you the price history of the item you are looking at (either by their website or the Camelizer extension) so you can see whether you are getting the bargain you hoped for.

What I find more interesting is that I can set price drop alerts. Select the product in question and set as target price. When the item goes below that, then I get an email.

Passwords – again

To mark World Password Day, I thought I’d run through some statistics and hints:

  • 76% of people use the same password up to 14 times;
  • The average password has 8 characters or less;
  • 68% of people are worried that they will forget their login information;
  • 92% of passwords include readily available information.

Which means if a hacker gets hold of your simple password they could get into every on-line account you have!

So use a combination of UPPER and lower case, numbers and symbols, like 0C^7G0xSaqoqB9st. OK, quite hard to create or remember yourself but password managers generate and remember them for you.

So use a password manager like bitwarden (free) or lastpass (mostly paid for).

And if you can, turn on 2FA (two-factor authentication) where after login you are, for example, sent a code by SMS that you enter to prove it is you. Some people say 2FA by SMS is insecure but it is better than nothing.

Feeding the birds

I’ve got some bird feeders in my garden and I’ve seen an early announcement of the Bird Buddy, which is a bird feeder with a video camera. But that’s not all, oh no. It has a microphone, sends an alert to your phone over wifi when a bird lands on it, identifies the breed of the bird and allows you to rewind the video in case you miss the feathered visitor.

All this for a projected $199 and they seem to have enough kickstarter funding to start work.

Find Amazon brands

Amazon sells a lot of its own brands and it can be a reassurance if you don’t know much about the stuff you are shopping for. There is an extension for most browsers called Amazon Brand Detector that identifies and highlights Amazon stuff on the search page. It also shows Amazon Recommended products.

On the other hand,, you may be dead set against buying Amazon products. Now you can see which is which.