|One of the most common issues with PC's or laptops I come across is slowness. Quite often though when someone says their machine is slow it's actually their internet thats slow to load or use.
Toolbars in Internet Explorer are great but sometimes you can end up with loads of them. Quite often they get installed along with some free software you've downloaded or installed. These all take time to load when you open your browser and can also impact on your browsing too.
So, if you don't use a toolbar, hit the x on it's left side and disable it. There are loads of add-ons too installed. In the tools menu go to manage add-on's and disable the ones you don't use.
Hopefully, your browser will load quicker and be quicker.
Simon, The PC Guy
|Internet users are being warned about cold callers who offer to fix viruses but then install software to steal personal information.
Campaign group Get Safe Online said a quarter of people it had questioned had received such calls, many suspected to have been from organised crime gangs.
Some gangs, employing up to 400 people, are known to set up their own call centres to target people en masse.
Internet users are also urged to be wary of pop-ups offering virus checks.
Earlier this year, search engine giant Google warned it had discovered massive amounts of malicious fake anti-virus software.
The UK warning on such software comes from Get Safe Online, which is backed by the government, police forces and major businesses with a stake in internet security.
It says it has charted a growth in two related scams designed to trick people into installing fake anti-virus software as a means of harvesting personal information such as credit card details.
Some of the scams involve pop-up windows claiming that the computer has been infected.
These "scareware" approaches encourage users to click through to a site hosting malicious or useless software that acts as a front for gathering personal information. Most of the time, the software appears almost identical to professional anti-virus products.
In other cases, gangs have set up call centres in eastern Europe or Asia and cold-call UK phone numbers attempting to find people to con.
In both cases, information gathered from the identity thefts can be used by gangs or sold on to other criminals through online market places.
|Consumer rights group Which? Computing has made note that paid for anti-virus is an unnecessary purchase and that free software does a good enough job for most of us.
The message comes with a warning, however, users adopting free anti-virus must use common sense to avoid disaster.
Which? Computing carried out a test on 5 computers, some with paid for anti-virus and some with free. Visiting various sites known to contain threats and none of the systems were infected.
So the motto is, you really don't have to pay to stay safe on line backed up by a high profile trusted consumer rights group. Three well known free ones are AVG Free, Avast and Microsoft's Security Essentials.
|Millions of Britons who receive scam letters and e-mails are now being urged to forward them on just the once - to the National Fraud Authority.
The agency has launched a new operation to track down the fraudsters behind the multi-million pound industry in scam mail, but needs public input.
Details of how to forward e-mails are on the Action Fraud website.
Chief executive Dr Bernard Herdan said doing so would give "unprecedented" information about criminal activity.
"Both in terms of collecting lots of fraudulent e-mails and letters, and getting those e-mails sent to our website that we can send on to the police, that has not been possible before.
Fraud victim, Peggy: "I get around 100 letters a week"
"It's really important that we do that in order to collect that data, deter the criminals and educate the public," he said.
The e-mails received by Action Fraud will be forwarded to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau run by the City of London Police for collation and analysis.
Last year, more than 3,000 people reported being scammed but police believe many more are too embarrassed to admit they fell for them.
Mass marketing scams makes up a quarter of all reported fraud but accounts for 90% of losses, with the average victim who reports a fraud losing £27,000.
One victim, named only as Peggy, said she lost thousands of pounds after responding to requests for small amounts of money.
Received an e-mail scam?
Do not click on any links
Do not reply to the e-mail or contact the senders
If you have clicked on a link in the e-mail, do not supply any information on the website that may open
Do not open any attachments
Visit the Action Fraud website
"They are so cleverly written, that you think, 'Oh this is my salvation'. I just sent my money off and fingers crossed and I hoped that something would materialise but of course it never does," she said.
She said she now receives about 100 letters every week - telling her she might have won anything from a car to £2m.
Rosalind Wright, from the Fraud Advisory Panel, said the fraudsters were "very experienced" and "very good psychologists".
"They know exactly how to get into your confidence. That's exactly what they are - confidence tricksters - and they can fool anybody," she said.