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8 Essential Email Security Tips You Should Know by Now

Online security is something you probably know is important, but might not give it the proper attention. Unfortunately, negligence in this area can result in huge problems, and your email is one of the most sensitive areas.

Having your email account compromised will allow an intruder to break into any account you’ve used it to sign into. That’s why you need to keep your email as secure as possible. Here are some simple yet important email security tips you should put in practice.

1. Use Separate Email Accounts

Most people have one central email account for all their personal activity. This means that all of your social media notifications, website registrations, newsletters, receipts, messages, password resets, and more get sent to the same email box.

Having everything in one place means that if that place fails, you’ll lose everything associated with it. If someone breaks into it, they’d be able to access all of the above kinds of media. And remember that when you reset a password on most sites, the link to reset it goes to your email. This could allow someone to lock you out of all your own accounts.

To combat this, it’s a smart idea to use separate email accounts for different purposes. This will help boost your security by limiting the damage someone could do by breaking into one account. It’s even better if you use secure email services for your most important accounts.

Plus, doing so can also boost your productivity. You could consolidate all your work emails into a single work account, friends and family communication with your personal account, have a recreational account for various websites, then a throwaway account for potential spam links.

This way, if someone hacks your work account, all of your personal emails are still safe.

2. Set a Unique, Strong Password

A login screen representing what information a cookie stores
Image Credit: mishoo/Depositphotos

No matter if you stick with one email account or use multiple as above, it’s vital to protect each one with a strong password. Reusing the same password on multiple accounts is a major vulnerability. If an attacker breaks a password, they’ll certainly try it on other accounts using your email address.

While it seems simple, many people don’t follow this basic advice. The best way to improve your security in this area is to start using a password manager. These let you create strong and unique passwords for every account that you don’t have to remember.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Gmail Two Step Authentication

Along with a strong password, you’ve probably heard the advice about using two-factor authentication (2FA) before. And while using it is a little inconvenient, it drastically increases the security of your account. In addition to your password, 2FA requires a secondary code (usually from your phone) to log in.

As mentioned above, because your email is the key to every other account, you should at least use 2FA there even if you don’t enable it anywhere else.

Follow our guide to setting up 2FA on major accounts for information on how to do it. For best results, we recommend using an authenticator app like Authy. This generates offline codes that you use to approve new account logins after entering your password.

4. Beware of Phishing Scams

Legitimate companies will not ask you for your password or other sensitive information over email. While you might be able to spot blatant attempts to steal your information, scammers have gotten better at creating convincing phishing messages.

Typically, phishing emails claim to come from a legitimate entity (like Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or similar) and tell you that something is wrong with your account. They prompt you to click a link that leads to a fake website. If you enter your credentials there to “confirm” the information, you’re actually handing the data over to thieves.

You should know how to spot a phishing email to avoid falling for these common schemes.

5. Never Click Links In Emails

The widespread nature of phishing means that it’s wise to follow a general rule: when in doubt, never click links inside emails. While you can hover your mouse over a link to preview the destination URL, this isn’t foolproof. Most email fraud relies on you clicking a link that takes you to a phony website, so clicking links is always a risk.

At best, clicking a link will let the scammer know that your email is active and that you’re willing to click on links. At worst, it could bring you to a site that tries to install malware on your computer or wants to steal your information.

If you get an email claiming to come from your bank or any other service that asks you to sign in, always visit the website manually to see what’s going on. The only exceptions are when you’re explicitly expecting a particular email, such as a forum registration link or game account activation email.

6. Don’t Open Unsolicited Attachments

Phishing Fake Ad

Most of the time, you should treat attachments in emails like links. If you’re expecting something from a friend, then you’re probably fine to open the attachment. However, if the email is unsolicited, you shouldn’t open any of its attachments.

Even if the file looks innocent, it could be a hidden danger. It’s trivial to spoof filenames and extensions to make a nasty EXE look like a JPG, for example. A lot of ransomware distributes through email attachments, so opening one could begin the encryption process on your system.

Follow our guide to spotting unsafe email attachments so you don’t make a costly mistake.

7. Scan for Infections Regularly

If you read an email, open an attachment, or visit a linked website that seems suspicious in any way, it’s not a bad idea to run a malware scan. Of course, not every spam email will infect your machine, and it’s probably overkill to run a scan every time you open a fishy message.

It’s better to be safe, though. Make sure you have a reliable antivirus suite installed (Windows Defender is fine for Windows 10) and consider installing Malwarebytes for a second opinion. If you unknowingly enabled a keylogger, you’d rather know sooner than later.

8. Be Careful on Public Networks and Computers

You probably know that public Wi-Fi isn’t as secure a connection as your home network. And while you’ll probably be OK checking your email on airport or cafe Wi-Fi, you should still take caution when using such networks.

Thanks to widespread use of HTTPS, your activity on most websites will be safe from prying eyes elsewhere on the network. However, if you don’t own the network, you can’t be certain of how it’s set up. The network could be a spoofed point, or have malicious software installed to allow for man-in-the-middle attacks.

The same goes for logging into your email on public computers, like those in libraries and hotels. Someone could install a keylogger on those machines to steal your credentials, so it’s best to stick with trusted devices like your phone when at all possible.

Safe Use of Email Is Essential

While the web has become more secure over time thanks to widespread use of HTTPS, stronger encryption protocols, and better automated detection from email providers, a lot of your personal security still lies with your decisions. Take some time to lock down your email accounts and your online safety will become a lot stronger because of it.

In short, don’t click anything from an email that you weren’t expecting, and make use of the various account security options email providers offer. Doing so will make your account much safer to use. If you’re not convinced, find out what scammers could do with access to your email account.

Read the full article: 8 Essential Email Security Tips You Should Know by Now

Source: MakeUseOf | 7 Jul 2020 | 3:00 am(NZT)

MATE vs. GNOME Shell vs. Unity vs. Cinnamon Desktop Environments Explained

When GNOME 3.0 launched with a new interface, parts of the Linux community scrambled to find a new desktop environment that was right for them.

Some forked GNOME 2 into MATE or modified it into Cinnamon and Unity. Others flocked completely away from anything GNOME-related to other desktop environments entirely.

But there was more to GNOME than the interface, which left many hesitant to leave the ecosystem behind. That’s why many of the most popular alternatives are, ultimately, still based on GNOME. Here’s what sets them apart.


GNOME is a desktop environment that has been around since 1998. The name originally stood for GNU Network Object Model Environment and is commonly pronounced with a hard G, the same as gnu (Guh-nome).

GNOME utilizes the GTK toolkit. These days the GNOME Project maintains GTK, but the coding language began as the toolkit for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, better known as GIMP. Many desktop Linux apps utilize GTK.

A desktop environment is more than an interface. GNOME also includes a suite of apps, a set of technologies, and the community of people that has grown around this software.


GNOME desktop environment on Linux

The early versions of GNOME had a traditional desktop paradigm similar to older versions of Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS. With version 3.0, the GNOME team decided to go a different way and introduced a new design known as the GNOME Shell.

GNOME Shell contains an Activities Overview that shows your open windows, contains an app launcher, and makes virtual desktops a core part of the experience. Virtual desktops became so essential that the GNOME team did away with the minimize button, instead encouraging people to organize windows across their virtual desktops.

GNOME Shell also places a heavy emphasis on search. You can open or install apps, locate files, look up the weather, see the time, and perform many other tasks by typing directly in Activities Overview.

With this change, GNOME 3.0 introduced or adopted ways of using a computer that have since also become prominent in commercial desktop operating systems as well. But many people did not want to change the way they used their computer so drastically or simply have a preference for the traditional desktop workflow.

Despite this, GNOME remains the most widely-embraced Linux desktop environment. Ubuntu, the most popular desktop Linux distro, uses a modified version of GNOME by default. Fedora, the community-run companion to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, provides perhaps the purist GNOME experience.

Linux manufacturers such as System76 and Purism ship their own Linux distros that come with GNOME. Linux Laptops from Dell and Lenovo also run GNOME out of the box.

GNOME Classic

GNOME Classic desktop environment

If you like the classic GNOME experience but want to keep much of the modern look and feel, you don’t have to switch to a separate desktop environment. Simply log out and, at the login screen, select the gear icon to change from GNOME to GNOME Classic.

This is not an exact copy of GNOME 2, and it doesn’t have lower system requirements than GNOME Shell, but it may be just what you’re looking for.


Ubuntu Unity 20.04 desktop
Image Credit: Ubuntu Unity

With Ubuntu’s popularity, it was a big deal when Canonical chose not to throw its weight behind GNOME 3.0. Instead, the company continued to develop its own Unity interface that utilized a dock on the left-hand side of the screen and featured an even heavier emphasis on searching than GNOME. Not only could you launch apps that way, but a feature known as HUD (Heads Up Display) also allowed you to navigate menu bars by typing. If you wanted to navigate an app menu with your mouse, you would find it at the top of the screen.

While Unity was free software, the broader community shied away from Canonical’s efforts. Part of this stemmed from Ubuntu’s use of patched versions of GTK to deliver Unity, which increased the work needed to port the interface to other distros.

In 2017, Canonical discontinued Unity and made GNOME Ubuntu’s default desktop again. The community picked up from where Canonical left off. The UBPorts developers have continued work on Unity8, which never appeared in Ubuntu as anything more than a demo. As for Unity7, the software many people had grown to love, that interface made a resurgence in the new Ubuntu Unity distro that launched alongside Ubuntu 20.04.


Ubuntu MATE desktop

MATE is a continuation of the GNOME 2 series. Most MATE desktops default to a layout with two panels, one at the top and one at the bottom. You can launch apps, open the file manager, and navigate system settings via the options in the top left. System tray icons and the cloud sit in the top right.

Across the bottom you find a list of your open windows, as you would find in older versions of Windows. Your virtual desktops appear in the bottom right.

While MATE developers have been hard at work, the desktop looks largely the same as the GNOME 2 did over a decade ago. That’s because MATE is primarily a conservation project, with work going toward making sure the existing interface can continue to work with modern technologies and apps. New features appear, but they expand rather than change the established way of doing things.

MATE has lower system requirements than modern versions of GNOME, so it feels snappier on older or underpowered machines.

You can install MATE on most Linux distros. Ubuntu MATE is an Ubuntu flavor that comes with MATE as the default interface. Fedora has a MATE spin. There’s also nothing stopping you from using MATE on Debian, openSUSE, or Arch Linux.


Cinnamon Linux desktop environment

When GNOME 3.0 launched, the transition wasn’t solely about a new interface. GTK 2 also gave way to GTK 3. While MATE kept GNOME 2 alive and well, that initially meant sticking with GTK 2. Cinnamon came about as a way to keep a traditional interface while still adopting GTK 3. Before becoming a separate desktop environment, Cinnamon was a set of GNOME extensions.

Cinnamon was not an effort to emulate GNOME 2. Instead, Cinnamon embraced a design language more akin to Windows. There’s an app menu in the bottom left, a system tray in the bottom right, and a window list in between.

While the design is by no means a pixel-by-pixel copy of Windows, the experience is often familiar enough for people switching to Linux for the first time.

Many consider Cinnamon as perhaps the simplest version of Linux. The Linux Mint team created Cinnamon, and they remain the primary developers. That said, you can run Cinnamon on Ubuntu or Fedora or Arch Linux, and the list goes on.


elementary OS comes with a suite of default apps

Pantheon is the desktop environment found in elementary OS, which first launched in 2011. The design is deliberately minimalist. There’s an app menu for opening software, a dock for managing open apps, and system icons in the top right. Like GNOME, there isn’t a minimize button, though a maximize one is still present. In elementary OS, the focus is on the apps.

Pantheon does not contain many customization options and is even less configurable than GNOME, due to its lack of extensions. But thanks to the elementary team’s commitment to design, Pantheon is one of the more polished and accessible free desktops around.

You can find Pantheon in other distros, such as Fedora or Arch Linux, but the desktop environment is designed with elementary OS in mind.


Budgie system settings

Unlike the other GNOME-based desktops, Budgie did not come about during the GNOME 3.0 transition. Instead, the project began in 2013 as an effort to create a simple interface not unlike that of a Chromebook.

But Budgie is not a ChromeOS clone. This is a fully-featured Linux desktop environment.

While MATE and Cinnamon are both GTK-based desktops, they both exercise some distance from GNOME’s current direction. That’s less so with Budgie, which is actively dependent on core parts of GNOME and utilizes some of the same tools, like GNOME’s tool for managing system settings. The app design is also similar, doing away with traditional title bars (where app names and tool bars are separate) for many apps.

Budgie is closely affiliated with Solus, a distro formerly known as EvolveOS. Solus continues to steer Budgie’s development, but it’s not the only one invested. Ubuntu Budgie is the most well-known alternative, but as with MATE and Cinnamon, you can download Budgie on most Linux distros.

GNOME Desktop Environments, Summarized

GNOME 3.0 came with a controversial design that many people have since come to love, despite discarding some user interface elements that have become standard. Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Google’s Chrome OS all have minimize and maximize buttons. They all have a taskbar or dock. It’s no surprise that many people want to keep those things around.

But if you don’t want to swap out GNOME for another desktop environment, you can still get many of these features using GNOME extensions.

Read the full article: MATE vs. GNOME Shell vs. Unity vs. Cinnamon Desktop Environments Explained

Source: MakeUseOf | 7 Jul 2020 | 2:00 am(NZT)

How to Add, Remove, and Delay Startup Items on Your Mac

Every time you turn on your Mac, various apps and services launch automatically in the background. These macOS startup apps, often referred to as login items, can be quite useful.

But having too many of them can increase your device’s boot time and decrease its performance. That’s why it’s necessary to manage the startup applications on your Mac. Let’s explore how to do that below.

How to Add Startup Apps on Your Mac

List of login items in System Preferences on macOS

If you deal with specific apps on a daily basis, setting such apps to launch automatically can help you save some time. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open System Preferencesand click on Users & Groups.
  2. Click on the Login Items tab in the right pane.
  3. Click on the + (Plus) button below this pane, and in the Finder dialog box that shows up, select the app that you want to start automatically when you log in.
  4. Repeat the above to add more apps as necessary.

In some cases, you might want to ensure that an app’s window stays hidden when the app launches—meaning the window does not appear in the foreground right away. To make this happen, click on the Hide checkbox next to the app in the Login Items list.

Note: A quick look at the left-side pane reveals that you’re editing the startup items for the current user account by default. If you have admin privileges, you can control startup items for a different user by clicking on the relevant username in the list. If the settings are grayed out, you’ll need to enter an admin’s credentials first by clicking on the padlock icon at the bottom of the settings pane.

How to Disable Startup Apps on Your Mac Temporarily

It’s possible to prevent startup apps on your Mac from running automatically on a temporary per-login basis. This can be quite helpful when you need to login quickly—say, when you’re troubleshooting your Mac to fix startup problems.

To disable app launches when you’re logging in, after you enter your credentials on the login screen, hold down the Shift key before you click on the login (right-facing arrow) button. Release the key when the Dock appears. macOS will now start without launching any startup programs.

If you don’t see the login screen, restart your Mac and hold down the Shift key when you see the progress bar.

How to Delete Startup Apps on Your Mac

If your Mac boots up slowly, it’s a possible indicator that you need to optimize your Mac’s startup programs. This is easy to do. Here’s how:

  1. Visit System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  2. Switch to the Login Items tab to reveal the list of items that are set to launch automatically when your Mac starts. (Apps that were set to open at startup before you uninstalled them have a yellow warning icon displayed next to the Hide checkbox.)
  3. To remove an app from this list, select the app and click on the (Minus) button below the list.

When installed, certain apps set themselves up to launch at login without your explicit permission. That’s why it’s necessary to review startup apps on a regular basis to optimize the performance of your Mac.

How to Delay the Launch of Mac Startup Apps

Delay Start Mac app screen

Does your Mac have several indispensable startup items left over even after you’ve cleaned up everything? You could disable them, but then it’d be tiresome to launch each app manually. Here’s a better workaround: Delay Start.

This simple macOS utility lets you spread out the timing of your launch items in order to reduce the load on your Mac. To use Delay Start:

  1. Remove existing launch items from System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. To do so, select all the apps in the list and click on the (Minus) button.
  2. Click on the + (Plus) button and add the Delay Start app to the list.
  3. Now launch Delay Start. In the app, click on the + (Plus) button to add the apps that you want to open automatically at login.
  4. Enter the time (in seconds) in the Time Setting box. macOS will delay the launch of that particular app by the time set above.

Repeat the last two steps to configure the delay time for as many apps as you like.

How to Detect Malicious Startup Items on Your Mac

Scan results for login items in KnockKnock Mac app

Contrary to popular belief, Macs can get infected with malware, too. To counter that threat, we recommend installing KnockKnock. It’s a free Mac app that gives you an overview of all startup items on your Mac and also scans those items for potential malware using VirusTotal.

To see KnockKnock in action, launch the app and click on the Start Scan button at the top. The scan should complete in a minute or two, after which the results appear on the screen.

The scan results are categorized into various sections. For instance, the Launch Items category displays all the apps that auto-start with your Mac. Kernel Extensions show installed modules that are possibly kernel loaded, and so on.

Once you select a category, you’ll see its information from VirusTotal on the right side. If it finds that a launch item is infected, you can click on the Show button at the far right to locate the file in Finder and delete it.

KnockKnock can also help you determine whether a particular launch item belongs to Apple or is from a third-party software vendor. A green padlock next to an item indicates an item signed by Apple, while a closed black padlock denotes an item signed by third parties. Unsigned items show up with an open orange padlock.

An open padlock doesn’t necessarily mean that the item is malicious, but you should still be wary of it.

Keep in mind that there are native methods to remove hidden launch components from your Mac. KnockKnock just makes the process easier.

Take Complete Charge of Your Mac’s Startup Programs

Use KnockKnock to detect any malicious startup items your Mac might have. Delete any infected apps immediately. Then, you can set useful apps to autorun and remove pesky programs that add themselves automatically. Better yet, you can delay the launch of apps to reduce the strain on your Mac’s resources.

With a combination of the tips we’ve outlined above, you can make your Mac start up faster. And if you want the boot process to feel snappier than ever, familiarize yourself with these macOS boot modes and startup key combinations.

Read the full article: How to Add, Remove, and Delay Startup Items on Your Mac

Source: MakeUseOf | 7 Jul 2020 | 1:00 am(NZT)

7 Fixes for an iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode

If you’re lucky enough to still have a headphone port on your iPhone, you might find that problems with it cause your iPhone to get stuck in headphone mode. When this happens, no sound plays from your iPhone speakers, even though you don’t have headphones plugged in anymore.

This also happens with newer iPhones after using headphones that connect to the Lightning port or via Bluetooth. Whether you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 11, if it’s stuck in headphone mode, you can use the steps below to fix it.

Find Out If Your iPhone Is Stuck in Headphone Mode First

You might think your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because it stopped playing sound from the speakers, but lots of other issues cause this problem as well. For instance, a fault with your speakers can make the sound stop working, without having anything to do with your headphones.

Make sure your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode by opening Control Center. To do so, swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone (or swipe up from the bottom if you have an iPhone with a Home button).

The volume slider in Control Center shows a headphone icon when your iPhone thinks your headphones are plugged in. If connected to AirPods, you should see an AirPods icon instead.

If the Control Center shows a normal volume speaker icon, your iPhone is not stuck in headphone mode. The steps below won’t fix your issue in that case; use our guide for troubleshooting iPhone speaker problems to find a solution instead.

However, if your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode, the tips below can help fix it.

1. Restart Your iPhone

Your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because of either a hardware problem or a software problem. If it’s a software problem, your iPhone should switch back to speaker mode after you restart it.

To do this, press and hold the Side button with either Volume button (or just hold the Side button if your iPhone has a Home button). When prompted, slide to power off and wait 30 seconds for your iPhone to fully power off. Then press the Side button again to restart it.

Slide to power off prompt on iphone

After restarting, open Control Center to find out if your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode or not. If it is, there must be a physical problem with your device. Skip the next two steps, which are software-based, to find out how to fix it.

If your iPhone switched back to speaker mode, then you’re dealing with a software problem. You can keep restarting your iPhone every time it gets stuck, or use the next two steps to eliminate the problem for good.

2. Update iOS

If your iPhone got stuck in headphone mode because of a software problem, you should make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS. Apple frequently updates iOS to introduce new features and to fix software bugs.

Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for new updates. If any are available, download and install them as soon as possible.

Checking for iOS Software Updates in iPhone Settings

3. Erase and Reinstall iOS

Corrupt system files on your iPhone might cause it to keep getting stuck in headphone mode even after you update to the latest version of iOS. If you’ve already ruled out physical problems by restarting your device, you might be able to find a permanent solution by reinstalling iOS.

If you use a computer to do this, it erases and rewrites every line of code on your iPhone, eliminating any software bugs that crept into the system. When you do this, it also deletes all the data on your iPhone, so be sure to make a backup of your iPhone first.

Follow the instructions in our guide to factory resetting your iPhone. Make sure you choose to restore using a computer to reinstall iOS completely. Since this is such an extreme step to take, we only suggest you reset your iPhone if a software update didn’t fix your issue.

4. Reconnect and Disconnect Your Headphones

If your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode after restarting, there must be a physical problem with the device. Usually, it’s as simple as dirt buildup in the headphone port, which tricks the sensors into thinking something is still plugged in.

Reconnect your headphones then disconnect them again. Repeat this three or four times to loosen any dirt within the port. Then gently shake your iPhone to let loose debris fall out.

remove broken headphone jack

If you have Bluetooth headphones, connect and disconnect your headphones by going to Settings > Bluetooth. When you disconnect your headphones, your iPhone should automatically switch back to using the normal speakers.

5. Clear Out the Headphone Port

It’s possible there’s more dirt packed into your headphone port causing this problem. You need to be careful when clearing it out, because it’s possible to damage your iPhone while doing this.

It’s best to turn off your iPhone before inserting anything into the headphone or Lightning port, to avoid causing a short circuit or introducing a static charge to the electronics.

Don’t insert any metal objects—like a straightened paperclip—into your ports. Instead, use the following tools to safely clear out dirt and debris safely:

Compressed air, cotton bud, and intradental brush

If none of that works, you might be able to remove obstructions from the headphone port on an iPhone 6S or earlier using the inner tube of a pen. The open end of these tubes is often the same diameter as your headphone port, allowing you to carefully insert it and twist to loosen any dirt inside.

Be careful you don’t let any ink leak into your iPhone.

Inner tube of a pen

For a Lightning port, squash the end of a plastic straw to make it oblong, then insert it into the Lightning port to loosen dirt stuck at the bottom. Follow our guide to cleaning your iPhone if you need further help.

6. Check for Water Damage

If you can’t find any debris in the ports but your iPhone is still stuck in headphone mode, it might be an indication of water damage inside your device. This could happen from something as obvious as dropping your iPhone in the toilet or something as subtle as sweat dripping down your headphone cable.

Unfortunately, if your iPhone is water damaged, there’s little you can do to repair it except replace the device entirely.

You can use the liquid indicators on your iPhone to get a better idea of whether it has suffered water damage or not. Open the SIM card tray and look for a small white tab inside; this turns red, pink, or orange when it comes into contact with liquid.

On the iPhone 4S and earlier, you’ll find the liquid indicator tab inside the headphone port itself.

Liquid indicators on iPhone 4S and iPhone 6

Don’t use rice to dry your iPhone if it’s liquid damaged. This runs the risk of making matters worse by leaving harmful residue behind or further blocking the ports. Instead, take a look at our guide on how to fix a water-damaged iPhone.

7. Temporary Software Workarounds

Even if your iPhone needs a repair to fix a hardware problem with your headphone port, you can still use the workarounds below to trick it out of headphone mode whenever it gets stuck.

None of these tips offers a permanent solution, but they could be the quick fix you need if you can’t afford a repair.

Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off

Open Control Center and tap the airplane icon to turn Airplane Mode on and off. This disconnects any Bluetooth headphones or speakers your iPhone thought it was still connected to.

Change the Audio Output

When listening to music or watching videos, your iPhone lets you choose between different audio outputs. Open Control Center, then tap and hold the playback controls in the top-right corner. Select the AirPlay icon to reveal all your output options and select iPhone from the list.

Change Your Ringer Volume

Open the Settings and go to Sounds & Haptics. Tap the Ringtone option, then tap any ringtone to make it play through your iPhone speakers even if it’s stuck in headphone mode. Use the Volume buttons while the ringtone is playing to make your iPhone switch back to speaker mode.

Find Out How to Fix Your Headphone Port

When your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because of a hardware problem, you should speak to Apple’s support team to find out if it’s fixable under warranty. Unfortunately, Apple won’t just fix your headphone port; support will replace the entire device. This makes it an expensive “repair” if you aren’t covered by warranty.

If that’s the case, look into finding a replacement headphone port and repairing the iPhone yourself. This isn’t easy to do, but it might be the best option if you can’t afford a new phone.

There are plenty of websites that show you how to fix your own gadgets, many of which sell all the tools you need to repair your iPhone’s headphone port. If you think something snapped off inside, look into removing a broken headphone plug from your phone.

Read the full article: 7 Fixes for an iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode

Source: MakeUseOf | 7 Jul 2020 | 12:00 am(NZT)

How to Send Audio in Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is packed with functionality. You can send images, GIFs, files, and even money through Messenger. But did you know that you can also send audio in Messenger? Allowing you to record voice messages for your family and friends.

Sending audio in Facebook Messenger is very simple. So, in this article we’ll explain how to send audio in Messenger, allowing you to save your fingers a few extra taps on the keyboard.

How to Send Audio in Messenger

For a long time, sending an audio recording through Messenger meant recording in a separate app, copying the audio into a file, and sending the file. That was quite some time ago. It is now easier than ever to send a voice message in Messenger.

There is one thing to remember before recording an audio message. If you’re using Facebook Messenger on your desktop, you’ll need a separate microphone to record your audio. Many laptops have an integrated microphone that you can use, although the audio quality can vary via this method.

Of course, if you’re using the Facebook Messenger app on your smartphone, you can record audio directly.

Recording a Facebook Messenger Audio Message in a Web Browser

First up, you need to open Facebook Messenger and locate the person you wish to send an audio message.

Alongside the text input box at the bottom of the page, select the blue plus icon to reveal the additional options. From here, you can send pictures, files, GIFs, and audio, or launch a game in Messenger.

facebook messenger record audio in browser

Select the Microphone icon. A new box will appear with a red Record button. When you’re ready to record your message, hit the Record icon, and begin speaking. Select the same button to finish your recording, or Cancel to delete the message.

Recording a Facebook Messenger Audio Message in the App

Facebook Messenger is available for Android and iOS:

Download: Facebook Messenger for Android | iOS (Free)

The process for recording an audio message with the Facebook Messenger app is very similar to doing so on the web.

First up, open the Facebook Messenger app, then browse to the person you want to send an audio message.

Alongside the text input box at the bottom of your screen, select and hold the Microphone icon. With the Microphone icon held down, you can record your audio message. Once you let go of the Microphone icon, the audio recording will send. If you want to cancel the audio recording before sending, swipe the icon up before releasing it and sending the recording.

Sending a Pre-Recorded Audio Message in Messenger

The previous section deals with sending a live audio recording on Facebook Messenger. How about if you want to pre-record your audio message, then send the audio recording in Messenger at a different time?

Facebook Messenger makes that process easy, too.

How to Send a Pre-Recorded Audio Message via Messenger on the Web

This part of the article assumes you have an audio recording ready to use. Open Facebook Messenger and browse to the person you want to send your audio recording. Alongside the text input box at the bottom of the page, select the blue plus icon to reveal the additional options.

Select the Add Files icon, then browse to the location of your audio recording. Add a message explaining what the audio file is (if you want), then send the message. The file will upload to Facebook Messenger, where the recipient can download to listen.

How to Send a Pre-Recorded Audio Message via Messenger in the App

Open the Facebook Messenger app, then browse to the person you want to send your audio message. Alongside the text input box at the bottom of your screen, select the Add Files icon. The Files options will appear below the text input box. From here, you can scroll through your files until you find your audio recording.

The audio file will upload to Facebook Messenger, where the recipient can download the file to listen later.

The Pros and Cons of Using Facebook for Audio Messages

In August 2019, Facebook admitted that a team of contractors was transcribing audio messages. The goal was to check the working of its AI listening and transcribing system, which it uses to check the content of audio messages, and transcribe them for users if required.

However, there was never any indication that human review was part of the process and, even though Facebook took steps to anonymize the data, it was a breach of privacy.

In that, the issue is a wider representation of what can happen if you send audio messages through Facebook. A Facebook representative might not listen to your audio recording. But that recording is recorded and therefore becomes part of your Facebook identity.

There are many reasons why Facebook is a security nightmare. Including the way the social network hoovers up any data that comes its way. So, if you do use Facebook to send an audio message, stick to basic topics, and avoid discussing anything particularly sensitive.

On the plus side, Facebook Messenger offers an easy option for sending quick audio messages. You can send a short shopping list or a friendly reminder to your other half, or voice record an amazing idea and send it straight away without fiddling around with a voice recording app.

For many people, Facebook Messenger’s basic audio recording option is more than enough, especially if you share the privacy concerns outlined above.

What’s the Best Way to Send Audio Recordings?

Facebook Messenger makes it extremely easy to send an audio recording to a friend, family member, colleague, or anyone else you know. And it’s one of the easiest methods to use, period.

You can also send voice messages on Instagram and WhatsApp, two other messaging services owned and operated by Facebook.

However, Twitter is a different kettle of fish altogether, as you cannot record audio to the platform directly. However, there are various ways to upload and post audio to Twitter.

Read the full article: How to Send Audio in Facebook Messenger

Source: MakeUseOf | 6 Jul 2020 | 11:00 pm(NZT)

9 Fixes for When a Movie Has No Sound

You sit down to watch a movie, press play, but there’s no sound. How frustrating! If you ever find that a movie has no sound, here are the steps you need to take to fix it.

Whether you’ve downloaded the movie for playback on Windows or Mac, or are streaming through a platform like Netflix or Amazon Prime, this is how you fix a movie with no sound.

1. Restart Your Device

This is the oldest trick in the book, but you’d be surprised at how often it works. Simply turn your system off and on again. For a TV, don’t just put it into standby. Turn it off at the plug, wait 10 seconds, then turn it back on.

On TVs, you can often restart specific apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime individually. Look within the app settings or help section for a button that lets you restart.

2. Update Your Device

While most systems will keep themselves updated automatically, it’s good to perform a manual check for updates when experiencing any issue.

It’s easy to update your Mac or update Windows. TVs will vary by manufacturer, but look in the settings for a firmware update. Remember that platforms like Kodi on the Amazon Fire Stick need updating too.

3. Check Your Audio Connection

HDMI cable

Try playing something else to determine whether the problem is with your playback device or the movie itself. If other things don’t have sound either, it’s probably a problem with your sound connection.

First, make sure you don’t have the device muted—who knows, perhaps you accidentally sat on the remote. Second, check your audio cables to ensure they haven’t come loose. If you’re unsure which is which, unplug all of the cables and then plug them back in firmly.

If you’re using HDMI, this transmits both video and audio. HDMI cables can be bought cheaply, and can be prone to failure, so switch yours out for a new one to see if it fixes the problem.

4. Download the Movie Again

If you downloaded the movie then you can try downloading it again. While it’s unlikely, especially if the entire movie plays fine visually, it’s possible that the file got corrupted somehow, which can happen if your connection to the server was interrupted.

If you are having internet issues, here’s how to fix a slow or unstable Wi-Fi connection.

5. Watch the Movie on Another Platform

Let’s say your Amazon Prime movie has no sound. You could try finding that movie on one of the many free movie streaming sites.

That won’t be possible if it’s a Netflix original or similar, since those are exclusive to that service, but most movies are available on multiple platforms. You might find this fixes your problem if the audio issue is with the original platform or their upload of the movie.

6. Use a Different Playback Program

vlc player

There are a million and one different media playback programs available. They don’t all work the same way. Some only support certain video files or don’t run on every platform.

The best video player is VLC. This is because it’s free, open-source, cross-platform, and most importantly supports a huge number of video formats out of the box.

The chances are if a video has no sound on another video player, it will work just fine on VLC.

If you can’t download another media player to your TV, you can stream from your computer to Chromecast.

7. Download Audio Codecs

To quote our article detailing everything you need to know about codecs, a codec “is an encoding tool that processes video [and audio] and stores it in a stream of bytes”.

Codecs help reduce the size of files and then decompress them when needed. There are many types of codecs, each using different technologies for various applications. Some examples include WMA, MP3, and XviD.

Since there are so many variables when it comes to codecs, it could be that your device or media program doesn’t have the necessary information to correctly play the movie. This can result in there being no audio.

Ideally, you should follow our advice above of using VLC because it supports lots of popular codecs out of the box.

If that still doesn’t work, download the necessary codec. If you don’t know what that is, view the movie file’s properties on a computer to find out. Still uncertain? Download a decent codec pack like K-Lite and the chances are you’ll find what you need.

8. Change the Speaker Configuration

The movie might be encoded to play on different channels that your device cannot support. For example, it’s not uncommon for downloaded movies to be in 5.1 surround sound, which is designed to play different parts of the audio from different speakers.

If you don’t have a surround sound setup, you might end up hearing only one of those tracks (like just the background noise and no dialog) or even nothing at all.

As such, you should adjust your device’s speaker configuration to be set to stereo. This will play all of the audio tracks through the same channel.

The exact method to change this will depend on your device and playback program. You might need to do it for both the device and the program.

For example, on Windows 10, press Windows key + R to open Run. Input mmsys.cpl and click OK. On the Playback tab, find your speakers, click them, then click Configure. Select Stereo and click Next until the wizard is finished.

Instructions will be different for other operating systems or TVs, so check your manufacturer’s help pages for information.

The steps will also change for each media program, but if you’re using VLC then you should use the top menu to go to Audio > Stereo Mode > Stereo.

9. Watch With Closed Captions

YouTube captions

This is a last resort, but if you can’t fix the audio and are desperate to watch the movie, then you could view it with subtitles or closed captions.

While subtitles only provide the dialog in text form, closed captions also give a description of music and sound effects. Closed captions are designed for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services offer subtitles. YouTube even has the ability to automatically generate them. If you’re watching on a platform that doesn’t already have captions, here are the best places to download free subtitles for movies and TV shows. Many of these services also offer closed captions.

Other Things to Try When Your Movie Has No Sound

Hopefully the problem of no sound is now fixed and you can enjoy the movie with glorious audio. However, if you’re still having issues, and are trying to watch the movie on your computer, here’s how to fix your computer speakers.

Read the full article: 9 Fixes for When a Movie Has No Sound

Source: MakeUseOf | 6 Jul 2020 | 10:00 pm(NZT)

Essential Tips for Online Video Conferencing

An online video conference sounds easy. You switch on your laptop and click on the virtual meeting app to start the webcam. But this remoteness and the ease of technology to connect all of us can make you oblivious to the little dos and don’ts behind meeting your colleagues on the screen.

You might struggle with the technology or the ambiance of your home. So, preparation for the meeting is just as important. Then, once you are in the meeting, your manner will be the key to elevate your presence.

In essence, online video conferences are a part of our lives now. Hate them or like them, you have to deal with them. Why not use the cheat sheet below to make the best of these video meetings?

FREE DOWNLOAD: This cheat sheet is available as a downloadable PDF from our distribution partner, TradePub. You will have to complete a short form to access it for the first time only. Download Online Video Conferencing Essentials.

Online Video Conferencing Essentials

Heed the Dress CodeTreat an online meeting like an in-person meeting and follow workplace standards.
Take care of your grooming before you sit down for the meeting.
Project a professional face as it adds a sense of normalcy to a remote conversation.
Avoid distracting colors that are too bright or too dark. It can throw off some webcams that auto-adjust exposure and brightness.
Face the camera with a good posture.
Set Up Your EquipmentChoose a comfortable chair to sit on.
Use a monitor that lets you see slides and spreadsheets easily. (A smartphone screen is good for a casual meeting but not for viewing data.)
Invest in a good noise-canceling headset.
Familiarize yourself with the chat software you have to use. Pay special attention to settings you might need during the meeting.
Avoid backlighting as it can obscure your face. Natural light or overhead lights are ideal.
Nothing is as important as good bandwidth. Anything less than 20MBPS can pixelate your video.
If the meeting is critical, keep an alternate connection ready. For instance, you can set up an independent WiFi hotspot.
Close unnecessary background applications and stop simultaneous streaming programs in your browser.
Place your webcam at eye level so that you can make eye contact with others in your team.
Be your own tech support or test your equipment with a colleague a few minutes before the real meeting.
Switch on your webcam and preview the frame and the effect of light indoors. More light is better.
Disable notifications for the course of the meeting.
If you plan to share your screen, be sure to keep personal data out of the way.
Spruce Up Your EnvironmentMute your mobile phone to avoid interruptions.
Clean up your room and desk.
Scan your background and ensure there’s nothing inappropriate.
Choose a virtual background in apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to hide cluttered backgrounds.
Have water and tea/coffee handy.
Choose an isolated space, preferably with a door, so that you can hold a meeting without distractions.
Inform your family about the meeting schedule beforehand.
Ensure that your children will remain occupied for the duration of your meeting.
Keep your pets away from your meeting area.
Manage Your TimeSchedule online meetings well in advance.
Be on time always. It helps to be online a few minutes before the meeting starts.
If you cannot attend the meeting or will be late for it, inform the person leading the meeting in advance.
Switch on or activate your conferencing equipment beforehand to avoid last minute glitches.
Avoid participating in an online meeting while driving. It is neither safe nor an efficient use of your meeting time.
Consider an audio meeting as a last resort.
Organize Your ThoughtsIf you’ll be leading the meeting, set an agenda with start and end times.
Keep all your data next to you or in an accessible folder on your computer.
Bookmark anything relevant to the meeting.
Declutter your desktop to keep the right information accessible at a glance.
Jot down your queries so you can introduce them at the right time.
Share content and files before the meeting to ensure all participants are prepared for the discussion.
Mind Your MannersIntroduce yourself when all team members are not familiar with each other.
Always use video because facial expressions convey your thoughts in the absence of other gestures.
Use visual cues (like a raised palm) to signal that you want to speak.
Participate by speaking clearly into the microphone. Staying silent or disabling your webcam is just like being a chair filler in a real meeting.
Mute your microphone when you are not speaking as it can pick up a lot of background noise.
If you need to move around in the middle of a meeting for personal tasks, switch off your video to avoid causing a distraction.
Wait for the other person to finish speaking as time lags over the web can often cause team members to speak over each other.
Stay PresentAvoid multitasking or drifting off to Facebook or Twitter when you’re in a meeting.
Don't eat during a meeting. Sipping water or a beverage like tea or coffee is okay.
To make eye contact with a meeting participant, look into the camera and not at the person’s face or their background.
Use the text chat feature if available as a support for queries and for linking to relevant documents.
Say goodbye with a smile at the end of the meeting. A casual chat on non-work topics also helps wrap up meetings on a cheerful note.
If you’ve been leading the meeting, ensure that you log off last.

Online Video Meetings Are Here to Stay

Of course, it’s not all about technology. Some simple social graces can boost your presence in any online meeting. After all, video conferences are more “in your face” as everyone is visible on the screen. The video helps but the small frame isn’t enough to showcase your body language or emotions as you confab with your team.

That’s why all the above nuances are critical regardless of the online meeting tool you choose to collaborate with your team. In short, to get online video meeting etiquette right, don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in an actual meeting.

Image Credit: Visuals on Unsplash

Read the full article: Essential Tips for Online Video Conferencing

Source: MakeUseOf | 5 Jul 2020 | 3:04 am(NZT)

5 Time-Saving Websites & Apps for the Best Shortcuts

Time is the most precious commodity. We can’t create more time, so the best we can do is to save it. Through shortcuts and hacks, these websites and apps will help save time in many activities, and it all adds up.

Technology is all about speed, isn’t it? It helps us do things faster, or enables shortcuts that get the more done in less time. The internet is here to help you gain information faster by summarizing books or YouTube videos, or level-up your computer usage by learning keyboard shortcuts. It’s all about saving time and making the best use of it.

1. Sipreads (Web): Free Book Summaries by Real People

Sipreads offers free book summaries written by real people of personal development and start-up books

Don’t have the time to read a full book, but still want to know its best ideas? Sipreads is a free newsletter by two people who read books and summarize their salient points. Basile Samel and Ali Salah send one new book every week, while you can browse some of the previous summaries on the website.

Sipreads focuses on self-learning books, so you won’t find a summary of the latest Dan Brown novel here. Some of the famous titles already covered include Atomic Habits, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Start-up of You, and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Nuggets of personal development wisdom in short time is the goal here.

The summaries are usually seven to ten minute reads. Both Basile and Ali have a concise writing style that turns the book’s major points into something like a Medium article, full of sub-headers and bullet points. And if you find that it works for you, then you can go read the full book. But you’re never left out of the conversation when people start discussing the book.

2. Summarize the Internet (Web): Linguistic AI Summarizes Any Online Article

Summarize the internet is the smartest way to get a short summary of a long article, removing all the fluff and reducing it to 50% or less of the original

Writers on the internet often drone on and fluff up their writing with unnecessary words to lengthen the material and make it seem more authoritative, like this sentence. Don Patrick wants to cut the fat and give you an instant summary of any article with his AI extension.

Summarize the Internet isn’t the first extension offering this, but it takes a different approach. Patrick, an amateur language programmer with a deep interest in AI, ditched statistical methods and came up with a combination of word choice, sentence weaving, and story flow. As he explains, the target was for the summarizer to extract what the writer found important, minus what the reader finds unimportant (like introductions, examples, speculation, etc.)

After trying a few of these summary-making extensions, I can say Summarize the Internet is better at drawing out important points than others. Typically, a good article reduces to 50%, while a weak article reduces to 30% of its original length. While the extension’s pop-up pane is open, you can skim the main article in the tab too, in case you want to cross-reference.

Download: Summarize the internet for Chrome | Firefox (Free)

3. FizzD (Chrome): Summarize YouTube Videos Into Chapters and Highlights

FizzD uses AI to analyze YouTube videos and turn them into chapters, highlights, and key concepts for easier browsing

Someone links you to a long YouTube video. Is it actually interesting or useful? FizzD uses AI to go through the video and summarize it into chapters, highlights, and key concepts, so you can browse a video like it was an article with sub-headers.

Once you install the extension, you’ll see a “Fizz It” button next to the Share and Save buttons under the video. Click it and wait for a minute for FizzD to work its magic. Soon, the video will have a few yellow dots, marking what FizzD thinks are chapters within the long video. Hover over a dot to see the chapter title, and click to jump to it.

In the top-right corner of the video pane, you’ll see two new overlays: Highlights and Key Concepts.

Highlights is a text summary of the main points of the video, but you can’t use them as timestamps. Key Concepts show up as blue dot timestamps, so you can see where one of the main subjects was discussed in different chapters.

FizzD is a fascinating implementation of AI in videos. It doesn’t work with every YouTube video and seems to be at its best in educational videos like TED talks and webinars.

Download: Fizzd for Chrome (Free)

4. Use the Keyboard (Web): Gorgeous Collection of Best Keyboard Shortcuts

Use The Keyboard is a gorgeous collection of keyboard shortcuts for the most popular online and offline apps in 2020

Stop reaching for your mouse or trackpad to go from one window to another. Just press Alt+Tab (or Command+Tab) to switch windows. The most amount of time you can save on a computer is by learning keyboard shortcuts like this.

Use the Keyboard (UTK) is a gorgeous collection of keyboard shortcuts for the most-used programs, apps, and websites in 2020. It includes guides for software like Zoom, Slack, Gmail, Notion, Chrome, Netflix, Trello, and a bunch of other offline and online apps that you use on a daily basis.

It’s especially nice that the guide includes web apps because often such keyboard shortcut guides ignore them and you have to rely on browser shortcuts alone.

With one switch, UTK can flip between Windows and macOS shortcuts. You can also check the original reference for any sheet of shortcuts, which usually comes from the developer’s official notes. UTK’s neat and tidy interface is fantastic to look at, and you might want to convert it into PDFs to print.

While UTK serves apps, it doesn’t have shortcuts for operating systems. So make sure you check out our master list of all essential Windows keyboard shortcuts, which you can also download for free.

5. The Skullery and Hurry The Food Up (Web): Quick Recipes Without Fluff

The Skullery is a no-nonsense recipe website without long preambles, and essential cooking tools built in

The internet is full of food writers sharing recipes, but there’s always a long preamble, right? The mood they were in, some story about how the recipe was handed down, and all those things you don’t need. These two recipe websites are about cooking quickly without wasting time.

The Skullery simply gives you recipes quickly. No registration, no meandering preambles, it’s all about cooking immediately. Your browser will remember favorites, you can change measures on-the-fly without going to another converter, and you can quickly browse or search for anything. The recipe has step-by-step instructions, which you can cross-off within the browser app too. It just works.

Hurry The Food Up is a vegetarian cooking blog with a time-oriented approach. Speed is key here, with most recipes being under 30 minutes. And yes, that includes both prep time and cook time. Choose your type of diet, time, and meal course to filter the recipes. Hurry The Food Up is also available as an app on Android.

Download: Hurry The Food Up for Android (Free)

Save More Time by Learning to Manage It

These apps are excellent time-saving shortcuts to many of the things you do daily. But technology is only going to go so far in freeing up time for you. If you truly want to squeeze more out of your daily 24 hours, you need to learn time management and set goals.

Read the full article: 5 Time-Saving Websites & Apps for the Best Shortcuts

Source: MakeUseOf | 4 Jul 2020 | 4:30 pm(NZT)

How to Report Email Fraud and Spam to Authorities

Email spam is an unavoidable nuisance of online life. And while your email provider probably does a good job of filtering out junk, you might wonder how to report email fraud if you receive a particularly shady message.

Let’s take a look at how to report email fraud to the proper resources.

Reporting Fraud to Government Authorities

First, we’ll look at what government agencies you should report fraud to, based on where you live.

Where to Report Email Fraud in the US

If you receive a fraudulent email and live in the United States, you can report it to both the FBI and the FTC.

For the FBI, visit the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center). There, you can file a complaint. Click the FAQ link to see some details about what a complaint entails. The page is intended for people who have been victims of online crime, but you can fill out the details even if you haven’t fallen for anything.

Next, you should also consider filing a complaint with the FTC. Select a category from the left side and walk through the steps to put your report into the correct category.

FTC Complaint Form

Finally, you can also report email fraud to your state’s consumer protection office. Visit’s State Consumer Protection Offices page to find the information for your state.

How to Report Email Fraud in Canada

Residents of Canada should head to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s Report fraud page. This will walk you though reporting what happened.

Note that you’ll need to sign in with an approved partner account (such as a bank) or create a new GCKey account.

How to Report Email Fraud in the UK

If you live in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre asks that you forward phishing emails to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service: [email protected].

You also have the option of reporting it to Action Fraud using the online form.

Reporting Email Fraud in Australia

Those in Australia should head to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch form.

Reporting Email Fraud to the Impersonated Company

While it’s a good idea to let the appropriate authorities about email fraud, it’s not the only step you can take. Agencies like the FBI probably won’t respond to what you file using their forms, and they can’t help you recover money if you handed it over to scammers.

If you receive a fraudulent email pretending to be from a certain company, you should report it to the real company. You’ll find contact info for most businesses on their website, and some have a dedicated email address for forwarding fraudulent messages.

For instance, Amazon’s suspicious communication page has instructions for reporting scam messages. It asks you to forward fraud emails to [email protected]. PayPal requests that you forward fake emails to [email protected].

Hopefully, the company in question can have a team look into the specific scam in an attempt to shut it down. If many people report it, they’ll be more likely to start investigating.

Report Email Fraud to the Email Provider

The last step of reporting scam emails is to let the email service know. Companies like Google and Microsoft don’t want malicious users taking advantage of their services to rip people off.

Most email services have an option for reporting phishing messages, as well as options to report accounts that break the rules. Let’s look at a few of the most popular ones.

How to Report Fraud in Gmail

In Gmail, you can click the three-dot menu to the right of any message and choose Report phishing. This will remove the email from your inbox and report the danger to Google.

Gmail Report Phishing

If the fraudulent email came from a Gmail address, you can also use the Gmail abuse reporting form. This helps Google investigate people using the service for illicit means.

How to Report Email Fraud to Yahoo

Unfortunately, Yahoo Mail doesn’t have simple reporting tools like Gmail does. You can mark an email as spam in your Yahoo Mail account, but there’s no option to report fraud or phishing.

Yahoo’s help pages direct you to Yahoo Support to report security issues, but at the time of writing, this wasn’t working properly. Your results with it may vary.

How to Report Email Scams in Outlook

If you use Outlook on the web, open an email and select Junk > Phishing > Report to let Microsoft know about the problem.

Outlook Report Phishing Email

Microsoft has a dedicated email address for reporting phishing. Create a new email message and drag the scam message into it to add it as an attachment. Then send the message to [email protected] so the company can take a look.

Microsoft also has a special page for reporting tech support scams.

The Reality of Email Fraud

If you receive a particularly nasty phishing email, it’s wise to report it using the above channels. Doing so will increase the chance that authorities take action against it.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to be optimistic about this. Due to the nature of email fraud, it’s very difficult to shut down scammers who use this method. The email provider may be able to cut off someone’s access, but that won’t stop them from opening another account and continuing on.

With just an email address to go on, government authorities probably won’t be able to shut down a scam operation. Email addresses are disposable, and the scammers can use VPNs and other methods to hide their location so you can’t trace the email.

This is why gift cards are such a common method of payment for scams. Compared to wiring someone money, gift card codes are essentially impossible to trace. As a result, requesting payment via gift cards is one of the telltale signs of phone scams.

If you or a loved one ever fall victim to email fraud, you can use these methods to explain what happened and hopefully get help. But in most cases, that money is gone. That’s why it’s vital to stay up-to-date on current scams and know how to spot email phishing.

The best defense against email fraud is a healthy caution of everything you receive.

Report Email Fraud When You Can

We’ve seen where you can report email fraud to government agencies, companies, and email service providers. Making more people aware of fraud is important, but it’s also very difficult to shut down scam operations before they pop back up.

If you also get similar messages on your phone, find out how to report spam text messages next.

Read the full article: How to Report Email Fraud and Spam to Authorities

Source: MakeUseOf | 4 Jul 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

The 5 Best Ultrawide Monitors for All Budgets in 2020

If you’re looking for a monitor upgrade, you’ll first need to establish your budget. Once you have that settled, you can narrow down which monitor you’re after, ranging from an entry-level product to splashing out on a luxury purchase.

Whether you’re after an affordable device or want to go all-out, here are the best ultrawide monitors for every budget.

Best Budget Ultrawide Monitor:
VIOTEK GNV34DBE Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

VIOTEK GNV34DBE Ultrawide Gaming Monitor VIOTEK GNV34DBE Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Buy Now On Amazon

First of all, let’s explore a model that won’t break the bank: the VIOTEK GNV34DBE. Despite having a gaming focus, it doesn’t hike up the price to appeal to avid gamers. It’s priced at a highly affordable level that makes it an ideal entry point for those curious about 1440p ultrawide monitors.

Even though it’s a relatively cheap widescreen monitor, it doesn’t skimp on the quality. For the price, you get a 1440p resolution, a 34-inch screen, and a screen curvature for further immersion. You can either place it on the monitor stand or mount it to a wall, depending on which would suit your space best.

Despite the monitor being one of the best in its price bracket, it’s still covered by some great protective plans. VIOTEK offers a three-year warranty plan for this monitor, which also comes with a “no dead pixels” policy. Should a dreaded dead pixel appear, VIOTEK will replace it.

Best Budget Ultrawide Gaming  Monitor:
LG 34GL750-B 34-inch Ultragear

LG 34GL750-B 34-inch Ultragear LG 34GL750-B 34-inch Ultragear Buy Now On Amazon $717.99

While the above monitor is perfectly fine for gaming, you can pay a little more for a few more features while still respecting your bank balance. The LG 34GL750-B 34-inch Ultragear has some nice extras for both Radeon and Nvidia users, so you’re in luck regardless of which you use.

If you use Radeon, this monitor supports FreeSync, which helps remove screen tearing while you game. It also supports Nvidia’s equivalent of this technology, G-SYNC. Aside from this, the monitor has some nice touches that come in handy when gaming.

For instance, its 1ms motion blur reduction keeps the action crystal-clear so you can always see what’s happening. Unfortunately, it’s a little lacking in the resolution department. While other ultrawide monitors use a 1440p resolution, this one only goes up to 1080p. As such, if the resolution is important, consider one of the other monitors on this list.

Best Gaming Ultrawide Monitor:
Alienware Curved 34-inch WQHD Monitor

Alienware Curved 34-inch WQHD Monitor Alienware Curved 34-inch WQHD Monitor Buy Now On Amazon $754.51

If going budget isn’t your style and you want the best that money can buy, look no further than the Alienware Curved 34-inch WQHD Monitor. This is one of the best ultrawide monitors for gaming as it is compatible with G-SYNC, has a 1440p resolution, and is curved for added immersion. On top of this, it has a 120Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, and good color quality.

The monitor also features In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology to ensure the colors are always vibrant. IPS prevents colors from being washed out when viewed from an angle, so you can always ensure a great picture quality regardless of where you look at it from.

Finally, this Alienware monitor is perfect if you want something with a fantastic visual design. It uses the company’s Legend Industrial Design, which gives a sleek and stylish look which keeps your PC looking futuristic.

The Best Office Ultrawide Monitor:
Samsung 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor

Samsung 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor Samsung 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor Buy Now On Amazon $418.45

If you’re constantly changing windows while working, you’ll know the importance of having everything laid out in front of you. The Samsung 34-inch Ultrawide Monitor is impressively sized and is one of the best ultrawide monitors for work.

You may wonder why it’d be better to buy a single ultrawide monitor, rather than several smaller ones. With multiple displays, you can place a window in each one, making multitasking a breeze. This Samsung model emulates this setup using Picture-by-Picture (PBP), which allows two sources to show their inputs on each side of the screen.

You can go even further with Picture-in-Picture (PIP), which reduces the second image to 25 percent of the screen and allows you to move it around. With these two features, you can customize your monitor’s display to highlight what’s important to you.

Additionally, the 34-inch display has a ratio of 21:9, giving each window plenty of space, so your workspace won’t feel cluttered. Whether you’re doing in-depth research or coding multiple applications, this ultra-widescreen monitor is a fantastic addition to your office.

The Best Curved Ultrawide Monitor:
Dell U-Series 38-inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor

Dell U-Series 38-inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor Dell U-Series 38-inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor Buy Now On Amazon $1,097.77

If you’re after the best ultrawide monitor on the market, you’ll be delighted with the Dell U-Series 38-inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor. The impressive 38-inch screen is coupled with an immersive design to really draw you in. That’s not to mention the fact that it comes equipped with a stunning 3840×1600 resolution.

There’s also two HDMI ports, a USB-C connection, two USB upstream powers, and one USB downstream port. As such, you can use this monitor to extend the USB ports on your computer. This is a desirable convenience if, for instance, your PC is on the floor and you have to bend down to plug in devices all the time.

The 5ms response time means that this monitor isn’t as suited to gaming as the the Alienware WQHD. However, for all other graphical or media tasks, it’s a dream. If you’re after an immersive ultrawide screen, then the Dell U-Series 38-inch monitor might be right for you.

The Best Ultrawide Monitor for You

If you’re interested in an ultrawide monitor, there’s a device here to suit your needs. Whether you’re after a performance improvement or a high-value investment, there’s an ultrawide monitor for you.

That said, even casual gamers might find themselves more interested in the best 4K gaming monitors for all budgets instead. We’ve also explained the differences between LCD and LED displays.

Read the full article: The 5 Best Ultrawide Monitors for All Budgets in 2020

Source: MakeUseOf | 4 Jul 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

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