Windows updates and covid scams

By | July 6, 2020

I’ve got a few different bits and pieces to tell you about this week.  First, a couple of bits about Windows 10…

If you’ve got a Windows 10 PC, you might have noticed a few changes or issues recently.  The biggest and most obvious change is to the web browser, Edge.

What’s changed about Edge?

The biggest difference you’re likely to notice with the new Edge is that the logo’s changed! So rather than a white “e” on a blue background, it’s now a green and blue swirl.  Very pretty.

When it changes over, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to move your bookmarks and whatnot across to your new browser.  As long as you say “yes”, you shouldn’t find the switch too painful.

Some of the features like “History”, “Reading list” and “Settings” have changed or moved around, but if you’ve ever used the Chrome web browser, you’ll find it eerily familiar.  And that’s because the new version of Edge is actually based on Chrome.  

Microsoft have been fighting a losing battle against Chrome-based browsers for years, so now they’ve decided to join them instead.  The result is probably a better browser, but it means there’s now much less difference between Chrome and Edge.  And the change isn’t optional – once your computer has switched over to the new Edge, you can’t go back to the old one.

What about other Windows updates?

Microsoft have generally been sticking to security and bug fixes with their main Windows updates lately.  They didn’t want to roll out anything that could mess up people’s computers in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

Unfortunately – the latest update (that was supposed to just be security and bug fixes) has managed to mess up many people’s computers in the middle of the coronavirus crisis!  D’oh!  The main issues seem to be with connecting to printers – particularly older ones.  So if you’re having trouble printing, you’re not alone.

If you can’t print at the moment, it’s worth trying this tip from Microsoft: Turn your printer on, then turn on your PC (rather than the other way round).  If that doesn’t work, try waiting a few weeks – either Microsoft or your printer manufacturer might come up with a fix.  We can but hope!

Covid track-and-trace scams

I suppose this one isn’t quite a “tech” tip – but it ties in with what I’ve been talking about lately.

I’ve been reading about some pretty nasty scams where people ring you up claiming to be from the NHS Covid-19 tracing team.  They ask for your address to send a test to, and then ask you to pay a small fee for the test using your credit card – just like a prescription charge.

Once they’ve got your credit card details, they’ll either charge a much higher amount to the card themselves, or sell your details on to someone else.  Ouch.

So how can you tell whether a call from a Covid-19 tracer is genuine or not?  There are a few dead giveaways:

  1. A genuine contact tracer will know your name – or at least, they’ll know the name given to them by whoever has tested positive for coronavirus.  A scammer may well not.  If they don’t know your name, be on your guard.
  2. A genuine contact tracer will ask you to self-isolate for 14 days, and will probably ask you about any symptoms you have.  If they start asking for any other information, be on your guard.
  3. If you do need a test because you’re showing symptoms, it’s completely free – if they ask you for money, it’s a scam.  Hang up.

All the best and stay well

One thought on “Windows updates and covid scams

  1. Elizabeth Coates

    Appreciating your weekly emails – really helpful. Never had time to read your info before – always too busy, but now in 2 weeks complete lockdown as husband waiting for an operation.
    Many thanks.
    Liz Coate

    Reply

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