Beware this BT email scam and similar tricks

I don’t normally single out email scams but using this one to show how the quality of the scams have improved.

To all intents and purposes this looks like a regular billing email from BT, albeit with an inflated figure, designed to ‘alarm’ you into clicking on it.

But let’s pause and have a closer look.


Put your mouse on that See your bill link in the email and you will see something like this…


Not what you’d expect. This link doesn’t take you to BT but to an unknown server in Slovakia (indicated by the .sk in the part of the address).

What makes this one even more convincing is that the other links in the email will take you to BT pages.

Be careful out there folks!


Taff Lovesey

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Scan Your Home Network for Security Issues



Bitdefender Home Scanner is a new free program that will allow you to scan your network at home, or in the office, and identify potential security issues. Although some of the results may sound a bit techy it may well provide fixes and actions for issues that you are able to implement to make your devices more secure and less prone to hacking.


The application can be downloaded from

Download and run the installer

Once installed run the program and create an account (mandatory to use the tool)


You will be prompted to confirm your network – click Yes

Your entire network will now be scanned and a report produced on the status of the devices connected to your home/office network.

What you are aiming for is a complete set of green No Risks Found.


Most devices will be scanned and results shown. In the example shown all devices are showing secure except for one, a printer showing as Potentially At Risk.

In this case it is a Canon printer that is vulnerable. By clicking the data provided for this device the final recommendation is to go to the manufacturers website to get the latest software for the device. In this case it can be fixed by going to the Canon Support site and downloading the latest drivers.




Taff Lovesey

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Scanning Quick Guide

With many people now having multifunction printers at home scanning and copying has become available to many of us. As a result, questions on scanning are very common; in particular ‘Where have my scans gone?’.

What’s the difference between a copying and scanning?

Copying refers to the act of ‘photocopying’. In other words inserting/laying a document in your printer and making another paper copy of it at the printer. No PC involved.Scanning is to insert/lay a document or image in your printer and to use the in-built scanner to send a digital copy to your PC. No print out.

Setting up and using the scanner

Every multifunction printer manufacturer has their own version of scanning software, but they all use the same principles. To illustrate this I will refer to Microsoft’s Windows Fax and Scan as it is built into Windows and available to all. This is a basic tool with very little by way of features but the principles are the same for more complex scanning solutions.

If you cannot find Fax and Scan on your system type the title into your search bar at the bottom left. Windows will search and identify the program as Windows Fax and Scan.


Click on it to open the program.

You can now insert the document that you wish to scan onto the scanner/printer glass bed.

Now click New Scan


You will next be asked to choose a scanner. If you only have one then it will be automatically selected.


The scanning window will now open and you will be given a choice of ‘Preview’ or ‘Scan’. In most cases you can go straight to Scan but the preview option can be useful to see what your scanned image will look like.


Before making that scan though it is important to change the settings to meet the required use of the document that you are scanning.

Profile: Two choices here – are you trying to create a text document or just an image of a text document or photograph? In most of cases it will be Photo.

Source: Almost always Flatbed unless you have a sheet feeder that supports scanning

File Type: For photos use JPG as they are compact but still offer good quality. A good choice for documents is PDF but options vary by product.

Resolution: Generally modern scanners support up to 1200dpi but 300dpi is the most common default resolution and will suit the needs of most.

Once all that is set you can click on Scan (note the software will remember your settings for next use)

Your scanner should now be whirring away and creating the new scan file. When complete you will see the scanned file list in the scan window. In this example the new scan is called Image


But where are my scanned images stored?

In the case of Windows Fax and Scan the scanned images are stored in your Documents folder under a subfolder called Scanned Documents.
If you do a lot of scanning and want a quick way of getting to this folder; find it in your Documents then Right Click on it and left click Send to… then click on Desktop. You will now have a shortcut to this folder on your desktop.

Other scanning programs with more features than Windows Fax and Scan will allow you to set the destination folder in the settings for that application. It is important to check this as it can be frustrating trying to find a scanned image if you don’t know where the software has stored it.

What is OCR?

Most multifunction printers now support OCR; Optical Character Recognition.
When creating a scan most are created as PDF or JPG files, document and image files that are viewable but not immediately editable.
If you wish to create a document that you can edit, such as a text document in Word, then this process is called OCR. The scan is taken as normal but an extra step is added whereby the software processes the scanned image to identify any text on the page. It will then create a word processing document (such as a .docx for Word) that will allow you to edit the content.

All the best – hope this is of some help

Taff Lovesey

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What is Kodi? – The Controversial and Powerful Media Player


clip_image002Kodi is a superb media player that allows you to play or stream video, music and pictures. It is extremely customisable and allows the addition of ‘modules’ that provide additional content and services.

Why have I heard that Kodi is illegal?

Kodi itself is just a piece of software and is 100% legal. It is powerful, well written and one of the best media players available. However, because the Kodi software is so customisable, there have been many illegal add-ons written to ‘bolt-on’ to it. Some of these add-ons allow the illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material (things like the latest movies, TV shows, sport events etc.)

Taking this a stage further, those less concerned with the legality of the content, have built small desktop boxes that connect direct to your TV. These boxes have the Kodi software and the illegal bolt-ons pre-installed and allow easy play back of the latest TV, films and music, in contravention of copyright laws. These boxes are known as ‘Kodi boxes’ and it is these that are now banned. It is illegal to sell, buy and use these devices. This is a little unfortunate for Kodi as it mistakenly brands the Kodi software as being part of that illegal activity.

How Do I Get Kodi?

The Kodi player is available to download from your phone or tablet app store or via the website

What Can I Do With Kodi?

In its simplest form Kodi is a media player and can identify the difference between video, audio and photo files. It is a powerful and easy to use media centre for playing this type of media, whether watching video, listening to music or watching a slideshow of your holiday snaps.

However, when linked to the Internet, Kodi also allows easy ‘streaming’ of video and audio which is what makes it so powerful. For the uninitiated, play-back refers to playing a complete file that you have stored on your device, whereas ‘streaming’ sends a constant stream of data that is played back as it is received. So using old technology ; a broadcasted TV channel, such as BBC 1 is the equivalent of a stream as you watched it ‘live’ as it was broadcast. Whereas a VHS video recorded and stored a copy of the program on the tape and you watched this via ‘play-back’.

To watch streaming content on Kodi you can install add-ons, most completely legal, that let you stream various contents and channels to your device (PC, desktop box, tablet or phone).

What Add-Ons are available?

You can choose from an ever-growing list of add-ons. On the Kodi web site there are currently 11 pages of video add-ons listed, all legal to use. The image shown is a good example of the diversity of the ‘channels’ available and shows just the last two rows of the video channel add-ons.

If you want to learn more about Kodi then refer to their website at or do a web search for Kodi TV.



Taff Lovesey

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Windows 10 Creative Update (1703) breaks Outlook / iCalendar synchronisation (again!)

Here we go again! As it did with the last Windows 10 major update, the latest version recently released (1703) breaks the synchronisation between the iCloud calendar and Outlook.

If, like me, you use iCloud as your main calendar then after this update you’ll need to…

  • Logout of iCloud on your PC (from the icon in the status bar)
  • Uninstall iCloud
  • Reboot
  • Reinstall iCloud making sure you click to apply it with Outlook functionality.

As I mentioned both of the last two major Windows 10 updates have suffered this problem. It’s not like the combination of Outlook and iCloud is unusual so it is just ‘bloody mindedness’ on Microsoft’s part that they don’t address this.

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Geocaching – where IT meets a good walk

Take your phone for a walk in the country

If you’d like to try a very positive and enjoyable use of modern IT and benefit from a healthy walk in the countryside, then download the app for your smartphone and try out Geocaching.

What is Geocaching?

Think of it as a type of treasure hunt. All over the world geocachers, like my wife and I, have placed small containers hidden in various locations for people to find. Mostly you will pass these by and have no idea they are there, but with the use of a smartphone and the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) you can hunt out these ‘treasure’ boxes.


How does it work?

All you need is your mobile smartphone, a geocaching app and a free account at

Once you have those you can open the app (or go to the webpage) and search any location for hidden geocaches.

The illustration here shows the result for searching for Bourne. If you are unfamiliar with geocaching then you may well be surprised at how many are out there and it is the same around the globe.

If you search on a web browser you can click each geocache and get its reference, latitude and longtitude but today’s smartphone apps make life even easier.


Carry out the search on your phone app, select the geocache that you want to hunt down and click navigate to the geocache. The screen will now change on your phone and it will use GPS to lead you to within a couple of meters of the geocache location. After that it is up to you to find it, usually in the vegetation.


What do you do when you’ve found it?

The geocache could be anything from a small magnetic box on the back of a sign, to a large Tupperware container, from a fake branch to a dummy snail shell. Regardless of size, inside you will find a sheet of paper that you can sign to log your visit.

In some of the larger containers you will find swaps, small toys and souvenirs. The principle here is if you take something out then put something in. The kids love this element.

Logging your finds.

As well as signing the small sheet at the cache you can also log your find on the app, or on the geocaching website. This way you can track which caches you have visited, locally or overseas.

What are trackables?

Occasionally, when searching out caches you will find a trackable item in the box. These trackable items are tokens that carry a unique identifier. Your task with these is to remove the trackable from the cache, log that you have it on the website (using the unique id) and move it to another cache.


As the trackable has a unique identifier you can look up its ‘journey’ and see how many miles it has travelled around the world.

Where do I get more information?

You can download the geocaching app from your App Store on your smart phone and there is a stack of information available on the geocaching website at

Enjoy your caching adventures!

Taff Lovesey

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Wireless Mesh Network for improved wi-fi coverage at home

Mesh Wi-Fi is beginning to take off with many of the networking companies releasing new mesh networks (802.11s). This method of networking relies on multiple wireless devices being used together in a grid, or mesh, coverage pattern to provide reliable and high performance wireless networks. This can be of benefit where the home, or office, suffers from poor wireless zones due to distance or environment. By linking the matched devices in a mesh network wireless signals can reach to those dim and dark wireless corners of the home.


Most of the main network device manufacturers have released their own versions including this new one from BT called BT Whole Home Wi-Fi retailing at around £300. For many homes this level of coverage will be unnecessary but for those living in larger homes, or older homes with thick, solid walls, mesh technology could be a good direction to take to  address Wi-Fi coverage around the house (or office).


The ‘first’ device connects to the main router and then an app (Android or iOS) is used to help set up the two ‘sister’ devices to map out your mesh network. All handled in a user friendly manner.

Current tests show that these networks are easier to configure than a home plug adapter network, more reliable and offer better across device performance. Apart from providing a reliable Wi-Fi network many of the devices also provide a wired connection (handy for connecting static PCs, TVs, set top boxes and such like.

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