Tech Talk #76 – Apr. 28, 2018
Don’t forget your phones, tablets and computers while you’re doing your spring cleaning.
Clean your phone and tablet
Spring cleaning your phone or tablet is all about getting rid of the stuff you don’t need and getting your organization on.
Delete the apps you don’t use regularly – What do I mean by ‘regularly?’ If you don’t know the last time you used an app or don’t even know what the app does, delete it. Note: there will be some apps ‘baked’ into your device by either the carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) or the manufacturer (Apple, Samsung, etc.) If an app won’t let you delete it, that’s probably why.
Deleting apps from Apple devices –
- Lightly touch and hold an app’s icon until it dances
- Touch the X in the upper-left corner of the app
- Touch Delete
Deleting apps from Android devices –
- Select the Settings app from your app drawer or home screen
- Touch Apps or Applications
- Scroll the list until you find the app you want to remove, then touch it
- Select Uninstall
After you delete the apps you don’t use, organize your home screen.
Put the apps you use all the time on your home screen. If you have too many apps for one screen, you can create folders; like a media folder for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, for example. To create a folder on most devices, just drag an app on top of another app and they’ll both be in a new folder.
Keeping most of your apps on your home screen reduces visual clutter and makes your phone or tablet easier to use.
Clean your computer
The outside – Turn off your computer, unplug everything, and move it out where you can get to it. Clean up the area where your computer used to be by sweeping, dusting, and straightening up your computer’s environment. Next, take a microfiber cloth to the case and screen of your computer and wipe away the dust and finger-pokies on your screen or case. For stubborn grime and finger pokies, spray some Windex on the cloth and wipe the spot again.
Optimize your disk – Now that the outside of your computer is clean, give your hard drive a quick check-up and fix any errors. Windows users should run ScanDisk and Mac users should run Verify Disk.
Once your disk check is complete, download and install CCleaner for PC or Mac (it’s FREE) and run the Cleaner tool to remove log files, temporary files and other junk on your hard drive. Don’t run the Registry cleaner, though.
Do your updates – Secure your computer’s borders by getting the latest updates for your machine using Windows Update for PC or Software Update for Mac. Security updates and system patches are good and good for you, people.
Uninstall unnecessary apps and programs – Just like your phone and tablet, take a look at the programs on your computer and uninstall those you don’t need or want. For Windows, use Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs or Settings>Apps. For Macs, go to the Applications folder and drag programs to the trash. If you don’t know what a particular program is or what it does, it’s probably best to leave it alone.
Tech support scams
No, tech support scams haven’t gone away, but they have changed.
The scammers used to use phone calls to make the first contact of the scam. Now it’s mostly through the internet, usually via a that page pops up on your screen with bunch of scary stuff about what’s ‘wrong’ with your computer and a phone number to call to get it ‘fixed.’
Your computer is NOT broken and there’s nothing to ‘fix.’
Remember, no one from Microsoft, Apple, or anyone else will EVER call you or put up a page on your computer telling you to call for support.
It’s a scam, it’s always a scam.
If (when?) it happens to you, here’s what you should do.
- If it’s a phone call, just hang up.
- If it’s a page that pops up on your computer, turn the computer off. If you can’t turn off the computer the normal way, hold down the power button and count to ten. When you turn the computer back on, it’ll be fine.
Here are the things you should never do:
- Talk to them
- Let them connect to your computer
That would work
Q: What was Forrest Gump’s email password?
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.