Which Internet Browser to use?

Internet Explorer:

This is due to be retired by Microsoft next summer. However, it is very much a dead duck already, with many websites not accessible while using it. Time to stop using it.

Microsoft Edge:

The replacement for Internet Explorer. Works well, but the home page puts people off, as who wants all those images? Plus, it uses Microsoft Bing as the search engine, while many people prefer Google search. Quite like the “Collections” feature in this. If you can get the home page changed to Google, it’s worth giving it a go.

Google Chrome:

A favourite with so many for so long. It works. It has Google Search. Need I say more?

Mozilla Firefox:

For the adventurous. It’s always been a poor relation to the other browsers, but if you can get your head around it, then it is actually has some clever features, provided you sign up to be part of their family!

AVG Secure Browser:

No, no, no. Stop using it. You do not want your activity monitored and influenced by a company in the Czech Republic.

Safari:

You are on a Mac user and, in their world, Safari is king.

Which one do I use?

I switch between Google Chrome and Edge, mostly as these are the two most popular with my customers and I need to know each of them. By choice I would probably use Edge, with the home page set to Google. I do occasionally use Firefox, just to see how it behaves on certain web pages.

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Windows 11 – What you need to know

Windows 11

Microsoft made a big thing about Windows 10 being their last version of Windows. The truth is the Windows 10 we use now looks markedly different to what was first released in 2015. Nevertheless, it is confusing that they have announced the launch of Windows 11 and an end of support for Windows 10 in October 2025. What does it mean for us, the end user?

Windows 11 will launch later this year, on a yet to be specified date. There will be the option to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 next year, BUT this will be based on the specification of the laptop or computer, which will allow only new equipment bought since 2019 to be upgraded (as a rough rule of thumb).

Windows 11 will look different to Windows 10, but still holds true to what we’ve seen before, with a Taskbar and Desktop icons. The ‘feel’ will be different, to set it apart from previous Windows versions, but the functionality should be pretty much the same.

A word of warning would be not to expect older pieces of equipment to work with Windows 11. Microsoft will not want to have to support too old a back catalogue of drivers, while the manufactures of things like printers and scanners will see it as an opportunity to have people buy new equipment.

To upgrade or not to upgrade will be the question. For many there will be no choice but to carry on with Windows 10. For others it will probably be a matter of timing in order that they get the full life expectancy out of their laptop or computer.

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Phishing and Scam Emails on the increase

Generally speaking most people I talk to are VERY good at spotting the nonsense emails which appear in their Inboxes. However, the criminals are getting more sophisticated and we all need to be increasingly aware; yes, even me!

What the criminals are usually after are some sort of account details. As most websites rely on a simple email address and password combination, these emails will lead you to a fake website where this information can be gathered. So, how can you combat this?

Assuming the email is actually of interest to you i.e. you haven’t already deleted it, then the first thing to check is the email address of the sender: does it look like a proper business email address from that company? Really bad phishing emails will use an ordinary email address, which looks like a friend has sent the email, even though it purports to be from PayPal, Barclays, Sainsburys, Amazon, etc.

If the email passes that check, then there will undoubtedly be something they want you to click on, but where is it going? Now, this is where it gets more difficult to check. On a computer or laptop it is easy to drift your mouse pointer over the link (no clicking, just DRIFT!) and a link of where it is going to take you will appear, either where the mouse pointer is or in the bottom left corner of the window you are in. The start of the website address is the bit you want and will correspond to the company who allegedly sent you the email. If it doesn’t then that is the give away. Unfortunately, on a tablet or smart phone you have no such ability to check in this way. All you can do here is leave the email and check it when you are next on your laptop or computer.

Internet Security is useless in these situations, as it is designed to deal with physical attacks on your device and it cannot work out when you are being conned. Your best defence has always been, and still is, common sense! If you work on the basis that if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t, then you should stay safe and sound.

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