Common Myths about Private Browsing

Private Browsing is a useful feature of Firefox, but only if you understand the protection it offers. It helps you obscure your online activity from other people who use Firefox on your computer, but does not make you invisible online.

Myth 1: Private Browsing makes you anonymous on the Internet.

Reality: Private Browsing does not mask your identity or activity online. Websites and Internet service providers can still gather information about your visit, even if you are not signed in. If you use your device at work, your company may be able to monitor the websites you visit. If you surf the Web at home, your cable company (or their partners) may have access to your browsing information. Only a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, like Mozilla VPN can mask your location and encrypt your online activity, keeping your identity and data safe from prying eyes. If you need to stay anonymous online, try Mozilla VPN.

Myth 2: Private Browsing removes all traces of your browsing activity from your computer.

Reality: Private Browsing works by letting you browse without saving passwords, cookies, and browsing history in a Private Window. If you download a file from a website, it will remain on your computer, but it will not appear in the download manager in Firefox. If you bookmark a website while in a Private Window, it will remain in your bookmark list.

Myth 3: Private Browsing doesn’t display any browsing history.

Reality: Private Browsing will, by default, display visited sites and bookmarks as you type in the address bar. These pages were saved to Firefox during normal browsing. If you don’t want to see these suggestions, you can deselect them in your Firefox Settings Privacy & Security panel under Address Bar. privacy preferences 65

Myth 4: Private Browsing will protect you from keystroke loggers and spyware.

Reality: Private Browsing does not protect you from malware installed on your computer. If you suspect you have malware, take steps to remove it to prevent it from happening again.

To learn more about how Firefox protects your privacy, see Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox for desktop and SmartBlock for Enhanced Tracking Protection.

Private Browsing is a useful feature of Firefox, but only if you understand the protection it offers. It helps you obscure your online activity from other people who use Firefox on your computer, but does not make you invisible online.
Myth 1: Private Browsing makes you anonymous on the Internet.

Reality: Private Browsing does not mask your identity or activity online. Websites and Internet service providers can still gather information about your visit, even if you are not signed in. If you use your device at work, your company may be able to monitor the websites you visit. If you surf the Web at home, your cable company (or their partners) may have access to your browsing information. Only a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, like Mozilla VPN can mask your location and encrypt your online activity, keeping your identity and data safe from prying eyes. If you need to stay anonymous online, try Mozilla VPN.
Myth 2: Private Browsing removes all traces of your browsing activity from your computer.

Reality: Private Browsing works by letting you browse without saving passwords, cookies, and browsing history in a Private Window. If you download a file from a website, it will remain on your computer, but it will not appear in the download manager in Firefox. If you bookmark a website while in a Private Window, it will remain in your bookmark list.
Myth 3: Private Browsing doesn’t display any browsing history.

Reality: Private Browsing will, by default, display visited sites and bookmarks as you type in the address bar. These pages were saved to Firefox during normal browsing. If you don’t want to see these suggestions, you can deselect them in your Firefox Settings Privacy & Security panel under Address Bar.

privacy preferences 65

Myth 4: Private Browsing will protect you from keystroke loggers and spyware.

Reality: Private Browsing does not protect you from malware installed on your computer. If you suspect you have malware, take steps to remove it to prevent it from happening again.

To learn more about how Firefox protects your privacy, see Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox for desktop and SmartBlock for Enhanced Tracking Protection.

Article from https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/common-myths-about-private-browsing

What’s the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernate in Windows?

Windows provides several options for conserving power when you are not using your PC. These options include Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep, and are particularly useful if you have a laptop. Here’s the difference between them.

Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is a power saving state that is similar to pausing a DVD movie. All actions on the computer are stopped, any open documents and applications are put in memory while the computer goes into a low-power state. The computer technically stays on, but only uses a bit of power. You can quickly resume normal, full-power operation within a few seconds. Sleep mode is basically the same thing as “Standby” mode.

Sleep mode is useful if you want to stop working for a short period of time. The computer doesn’t use much power in Sleep mode, but it does use some.

Hibernate

Hibernate mode is very similar to sleep, but instead of saving your open documents and running applications to your RAM, it saves them to your hard disk. This allows your computer to turn off entirely, which means once your computer is in Hibernate mode, it uses zero power. Once the computer is powered back on, it will resume everything where you left off. It just takes a bit longer to resume than sleep mode does (though with an SSD, the difference isn’t as noticeable as it is with traditional hard drives).

Use this mode if you won’t be using your laptop for an extended period of time, and you don’t want to close your documents.

Hybrid Sleep

Hybrid Sleep mode is a combination of the Sleep and Hibernate modes meant for desktop computers. It puts any open documents and applications in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state, allowing you to quickly wake the computer and resume your work. The Hybrid Sleep mode is enabled by default in Windows on desktop computers and disabled on laptops. When enabled, it automatically puts your computer into Hybrid Sleep mode when you put it into Sleep mode.

Hybrid Sleep mode is useful for desktop computers in case of a power outage. When power resumes, Windows can restore your work from the hard disk, if the memory is not accessible.

How to Put Your Computer In Sleep or Hibernation Mode

In Windows 10, the Hibernate and Sleep options are accessed using the Power button on the Start menu.

If you don’t see the Sleep option or the Hibernate option, it may be for one of the following reasons:

  • Your video card may not support Sleep mode. Refer to the documentation for your video card. You can also update the driver.
  • If you don’t have administrative access on the computer, you may have to refer to the administrator to change the option.
  • The power-saving modes in Windows are turned on and off in your computer’s BIOS (basic input/output system). To turn on these modes, restart your computer and then enter the BIOS setup program. The key for accessing BIOS differs for each computer manufacturer. Instructions for accessing BIOS generally displays on the screen as the computer boots. For more information, see your computer’s documentation or check the website for your computer’s manufacturer.
  • If you don’t see the Hibernate option in Windows 7, it’s likely because Hybrid Sleep is enabled instead. We will explain how to enable and disable the Hybrid Sleep mode later in this article.
  • If you don’t see the Hibernate option in Windows 8 or 10, it’s because it’s hidden by default.

How to Wake Your Computer from Sleep or Hibernation

Most computers can be woken up by pressing the power button. However, every computer is different. You might need to press a key on the keyboard, click a mouse button, or lift the laptop’s lid. Refer to your computer’s documentation or the manufacturer’s website for information about waking it from a power-saving state.

How to Enable and Disable the Hybrid Sleep Option

To enable or disable the Hybrid Sleep Option, open the Control Panel. To do this in Windows 10, click the Search icon on the Taskbar, type control panel, and then click “Control Panel” in the search results.

There are different ways of viewing and accessing the tools in the Control Panel. By default, the Control Panel settings are grouped by Category. From the Category view, click “System and Security”.

Then, click “Power Options” on the System and Security screen.

On the Choose or customize a power plan screen, click the “Change plan settings” link to the right of the currently selected power plan (either Balanced or Power saver).

NOTE: You can change the Hybrid Sleep option for either one or both of the power plans. The steps are the same for both.

How to Prevent Your Computer from Automatically Sleeping or Hibernating

You can also change the amount of time before your computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode, or turn off each mode completely. Here’s how to do this.

NOTE: If you are using a battery-powered laptop, be careful when changing the time before your computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode, or when turning off the sleep or hibernate mode completely. If the battery dies when you’re in the middle of working on the computer, you can lose data.

If the Power Options dialog box is not currently open, open it as discussed above.

Double-click on the “Sleep” heading, and then double-click on “Sleep After”. If you’re using a laptop, click “On Battery” or “Plugged In” to activate the edit box. Click the down arrow until “Never” is selected. You can also type a 0 into the edit box, which is the equivalent of “Never”.

If you’re using a desktop computer, click Setting, and click the down arrow until “Never” is selected.

You can do the same for the “Hibernate After” heading.

Win10 Taskbar Freeze

Been a while since I last posted. This here, seems to be a windows 10 problem. Not many has faced this issue, but just want to let you know not to panic when it happens.

Taskbar freezes! Yes, your win10 taskbar freezes, disabling you to click on the window button. Sometimes the mouse cursor, when hover on shortcut or program/file/folder icon.

The 1st and easiest step to do is to use your keyboard, press these 3 keys simultaneously. Ctrl+shift+esc = it should pop up the task manager window. Under the process tab, scroll all the way down to “windows explorer”, then right mouse click on it and left click the “restart”. Your taskbar should be working fine now.

Next, have to run a few other steps. You can check out the link below. If however, you’re not comfortable performing such task, best to let your regular IT technician, provide their services.

This is actually due to having your Windows 10 update running. Sometimes, there’s some updates not fully executed. Just check your updates in the settings.

https://techcult.com/9-ways-to-fix-frozen-windows-10-taskbar/

How to Remove Edge Browser Tabs From Alt+Tab on Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 10 October 2020 Update is out today. The update isn’t a major one, but it does see some interesting tweaks. These include changes to the Start menu and the way the Alt Tab function works.

The Start Menu, Microsoft is doing away with the solid background behind app icons. This gives a cleaner look to the start menu, it’s overall still the same Start Menu, just that it looks a little cleaner.

As for the Alt Tab function, this is something that would only affect those who use Microsoft Edge. Just before this update, Alt Tab not only lets you switch between your open windows, but also any Edge browser tabs you have. With the update, you can turn this off so that you get the classic Alt Tab experience.

And finally, the Windows 10 October 2020 update, you’ll be able to switch to higher refresh rates from the settings menu. Before this, you’ll have to go to the app that manages your graphics cards.

While the Windows 10 October 2020 update rolls out today, you may not be able to get it immediately. Microsoft is throttling availability over the coming weeks so that the update experience is a smooth one for everyone. (courtesy: Link)

If you like to remove the Edge Browser Tabs on Windows 10, here is the link to the steps. 

  1. In Settings, navigate to System > Multitasking.
  2. In Multitasking settings, scroll down until you see “Pressing Alt+Tab shows” and click the drop-down menu beneath it.
  3. In the menu that appears, select “Open Windows Only.”
  4. After that, close Settings. The next time you use Alt+Tab, you will no longer see Edge tabs as separate entries in the task switcher. Instead, you’ll only see Edge windows listed.
Below is the link to show you with photos/screenshots as guide. 

Windows XP is still alive and how to keep using it

We are now in the year 2020. We all know that Microsoft no longer provides official support for Windows XP since 8th April 2014. Some of us are unfortunate and still have yet to make the big leap to the new systems. Mainly Microsoft Windows 10. Our PCs are still running smoothly with older versions especially Windows XP, Vista or the recent out of service Windows 7. Of course, there is some glitches here and there but its just for the sole purpose of using it for either writing, listening to music and doing everything offline or even if its online, its just to watch YouTube.

According to market share studies, there are a lot of users who are still using Windows XP on their laptops or desktops. In this post, I will try to point out some helpful feature in helping to keep your Windows XP running.

  • Install an Anti Virus

Even though Microsoft no longer releases Windows XP security patches, you can still protect your computer. You can anytime download and install free or paid antivirus programs.

The free software is ok, but if you really want to secure your Windows XP system you should choose a paid version of antivirus. The best programs that you can use is Avast. I have tried downloading others such as AVG, Comodo, Clam Antivirus, McAfee and run on them even in search by other bloggers and websites saying, they are be used on Windows XP, the software installation says it doesn’t support older operating system anymore. I may have chosen the wrong link to download but hope that’s just my mistake.

In case you are asking about what happened to Microsoft Security Essentials, you should know that the software received the last updated in June 2015.

Anyway, even though Security Essential represents the official Microsoft security tool, we recommend using a better antivirus program.

  • Stop using Internet Explorer

On your Windows XP you should use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I would suggest Mozilla Firefox as Google Chrome also no longer supports windows xp. However, you can choose to install a lower version of Google Chrome. But I would not advice on it as some features will not be able to work. All the major tech and security companies out there urge you to stop using Internet Explorer and for a good reason.

Why? Well mainly because Windows XP will no longer receive Internet Explorer official support which means that your web browser might not offer the security support you need.

So, the best way to avoid unpleasant situations will be in using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, which will bring patches up to date. There are a lot other browsers as well, just do a search and you can find them. Or for the better, to protect your PC from malicious attacks on the internet…

  • Use VPN

You may wonder what VPN is all about. A virtual private network (VPN) is a private data network that abstracts your Internet connection so as to maintain privacy through cryptographic security protocols. In addition, a VPN hides your IP address and makes you anonymous online. Such a service can be installed on a number of operating systems and devices to secure all network traffic.

Also, if you are already installed with the Avast free or paid yearly, Avast also has the VPN feature for an additional subscription. I have not tested on other VPN services, only Avast and corporate VPN services such as Sophos Cyberoam. I have however, tested on some free VPN but they can be rather annoying because it is filled with advertisements and also you need to verify captchas everytime you want to use the VPN.

Conclusion, if you still want to use older versions of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 (End of Extended Support is on January 14, 2020) and even Windows 8/8.1 (End of Extended Support is on January 10, 2023), Update to its latest updates, have an antivirus and internet browser that supports the system and also for additional internet surfing security, use VPN. But do take note, you can’t install some of the latest software that isn’t compatible with the older versions anymore.

Microphone not working on Laptops

Microphone not working on Laptops

With most of the people nowadays working from home during this Conditional Movement Control Order, the need to communicate with customers and co-workers is important. recently have a customer encounter problems getting the microphone on the their laptops to work.

Particularly on Microsoft Teams for this case. I’m not sure if other apps and software has this similar issue. But after searching for solutions on Google search, and also updating to the latest drivers, still could not get it to work. So, testing and troubleshooting it, I noticed that most of the laptop microphone and speaker shares the same functions. And sometimes the laptops have additional audio enhancement installed as well. Just need to disable the sound feature that is currently sharing with the microphone.

To perform this task, go to the Windows 10 Settings, System, Sound and Manage Sound Devices.

In this Manage Sound Devices, you will be able to see Output Devices and Input Devices. Output Devices will have speakers while Input Devices have the microphone and stereo mix.

Disable the stereo mix and the microphone should be working fine now.

Of course, if you are a music lover, don’t forget to enable back the Stereo Mix for better sound quality when listening to your favorite radio station online or from your laptop playlist. However, when you need to use the microphone to communicate with work, then you need to disable the Stereo Mix.

That’s it.

Network Printer Going OFFLINE

Recently some network printers especially seems to go offline automatically. Of course, this can be rectified just by doing a “troubleshoot” and the OS will just reset the print spooler and your printer will be back online again.

Here are some methods that can help your Network printer to come back online when it automatically goes offline. 

Method 1:

    1. Check to make sure the printer is turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your PC. Your printer’s built-in menu should show which network it’s connected to, or check your printer’s manual for more info. 
    2. Verify that your printer is not in Use Printer Offline mode. Select Start  > Settings  > Devices > Printers & scanners. Then select your printer > Open queue. Under Printer, make sure Use Printer Offline is not selected.

       
      Method 2:

      1. Unplug wait for 30 seconds to a minute and restart your printer. ‘
      2. Check cables or wireless connection
      3. Uninstall and reinstall your printer
      4. Install the latest driver for your printer
      5. Run the printing troubleshooter
      6. Clear and reset the print spooler by going to the taskbar, select services and restart the print spooler. 

      Method 3:

      1. Untick your SNMP Status Enabled. 
      2. Go to your Printers and Devices under the Control Panel
      3. Select the printer that often goes OFFLINE
      4. Right Click and select Printer Properties
      5. Click on the Printer and select Configure Port
      6. Untick the box that says SNMP Status Enabled.  

        Antivirus and Printers/Scanners sometimes don’t work together well.

        We as IT technicians should always focus on delivering good service to the customer and also give customers the convenience in their daily work life.

        However, I came across an incident that made me thinking. This happens only recently (yesterday). I was called to service a construction site office.

        Another technician was already there fiddling with the printer. He is the printer’s techie guy. When I arrived, he kept mumbling that the Wi-Fi connection is up and down. I checked, 1st thing location of the device was in the cupboard shelve. I move it on top of the shelve instead. The signal got better.

        The network cable was loose. So, I plug it in tightly. Printer was functioning again. I then continue to do my task while he setup ready pcs there to connect to printer and scan. He then instructed the customer saying “I have disabled the pc’s antivirus firewall. Then only it can scan the file in”. I was shocked to hear that coming out from the printer technician. I had to intervene. I just say it out “you don’t need to disable the antivirus, its placed that in the first place to prevent viruses. You can’t just disable just to make the scanning works. Its an inconvenience to the customer”. He didn’t bother. He just want to make his work simple and complete.

        I manage to fix the scanning and with the antivirus still running. No need to disable anything! We’re suppose to give convenience to the customers, not inconveniences! And the technician didn’t even bother to learn.

        Solution:
        Most Antivirus have the function and setting to enable Printer and Sharing services. Just need to make sure that the function is enabled and most up to date printer drivers should be able to work well with the antivirus intact and running. If the antivirus still blocks, meaning the drivers or the software is not configured with the latest functions and should only be placed in a pc or mini server with no internet connection. This way, the software will not be prone to get virus attacks that could leak out to other normal working PCs with internet connection. This is to prevent from users, (usually) choosing to click ignore on antivirus pop up scanners because, it interrupts their work or they need to access the file. 

        Installing Printers that aren’t detected on older Windows PC thru Network Connection

        I came across an old PC. Its still runs on Windows XP Home. And its connection to the internet thru a local area network (LAN). It has a network linked printer. I can detect the printer via command prompt (C:\ping 192.168.1.xxx) by pinging on the network IP printer. But when I tried to install the printer from the Windows XP Control Panel = Add Printer Wizard window, it doesn’t detect the printer. Nor will it access the network printer via Run command “\\192.168.1.xxx”. 
        I can’t just go and tell my customer that “oh, its an old PC with out dated Windows XP Home, probably you should just get a new Windows 10 PC”.  Customer says, “The PC was working fine just yesterday and only today it doesn’t connect or cannot detect”. So long as the printer has a driver for Windows XP and above, it should work.
        So, this solution that I found is to install the printer not from network search (because its not detecting the printer IP), but from the normal “Local Printer attached to this computer” option.
        Make sure you un-tick the option that says “Automatically detect and install my plug and play printer”.  
        (Download the correct printer driver first before hand). When you click next, go to the printer driver folder and select the printer driver .inf file. 
        It will pop up stating the printer’s name. Choose according to the printer that is hooked up on the network. 
        Have it installed successfully. The printer icon should appear on the printer window. That’s not the end. Now we have to make it connect to the IP address that has been assigned to the printer. 
        To do this, go to the printer properties (right click on the printer icon). 
        Click on the Add Port, Select the Standard TCP/IP Port . Then key in the IP address under the label “Printer name or IP address“. Click next and Apply or OK to finalize the settings. 
        There you have it! Its all done and now the printer should be able to print again. Always do a Test Print to make sure. 
        If it still doesn’t work, it has to be either the network is not connected or could be the printer driver is not installed with the correct driver. 

        How to Remove Double Arrows Overlay on Icons in Windows 10

        In Windows 10, when you compress a file or folder, its icon will have a double blue arrows overlay at the top right corner to indicate that it’s a compressed file or folder. If you not happy to see the blue arrow, you can remove them. This article will show you how to remove the double blue arrows icon in Windows 10.

        Way 1: Remove Blue Arrows Icons in Registry Editor

        To remove double blue arrows icon on folders and files, you have to download the ZIP archive which contains the empty icon. It will be used instead of the blue arrows icon.

        Step 1: Download tranparent icon.

        Step 2: Then move it into your C:\Windows\System32 folder. If prompted to provide administrator permissions, click on Continue to proceed.

        Step 3: Open Registry Editor.(run regedit)

        Step 4: In registry editor, go to the following path:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer

        Step 5: Create a new subkey named Shell Icons.

        Right-click on Explorer, select New > Key, then give it a name Shell Icons.

        Step 6: Under the Shell Icons subkey, create a new string value and name it 179.

        When done, close registry editor. Restart your PC, you’ll find blue arrows icon is removed.

        Way 2: Remove Blue Arrows Icon in Properties

        To remove double blue arrows icon in file or folder Properties, here’s how:

        Step 1: Press Win + E keys to open File Explore. Go to Document directory.

        Step 2: Right-click on that folder with double blue overlaid and then select Properties.

        Step 3: Under the General tab, select Advanced in the bottom right corner.

        Step 4: Clear Compress contents to save disk space checkbox. Click OK

        Step 5: In Properties window, then Apply.

        Select Apply changes to all folders and sub-folders option to confirm attribute changes.

        You’ll see the double blue arrow disappear. You can repeat do this action for other folders in different directories.