In public, stay protected

Tech Tonic

Q What precautions should I take when I use a public WiFi?

Rohan Rastogi

Do not do any sensitive work, such as accessing your bank accounts, when you are on a public WiFi network. You are vulnerable to hackers because you never know who is snooping on you. You are best protected if you use a virtual private network (VPN) to prevent others from spying on you. This is a paid service and there are several out there, depending on your budget. Do not share files over Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive as these folders become accessible to prying eyes.

Turn off files sharing on your Windows computer. Go to Control Panel. Under Network and Internet, click on "View network status and tasks". On the next page, click "Change advanced sharing settings". Turn off file and printer sharing. You should also switch off network discovery.

Windows updates

Q My computer is running on Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 (32 bit). I get regular updates that are installed successfully. Now, I want to upgrade it from Service Pack 1 to SP3.

Abhishek Majumder

There is no Service Pack 2 or 3 for Windows 7. Microsoft has done away with that nomenclature. For the past two years, the company has been calling these updates "convenience rollup". So, if you have SP1 installed, you will continue to get the latest features that may have been introduced with every update that you download. The last major Convenience Rollup for Windows 7 was issued in April 2016. You can get it from www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/home.aspx. Search for "Update for Windows 7 (KB3125574)". The easiest way to instal these is from Windows Update.

Office bug in Win10

After updating to Windows 10 Home (version 1709) recently, I am unable to find Microsoft Word and Excel. The Word documents have been renamed .docx and the default app assigned to Wordpad, which cannot open them. How can I get back MS Word and Excel?

Jawaid Siddiqui

Version 1709 of Windows 10 is called the Fall Creators Update, and some people who had older versions of Microsoft Office have been adversely affected. One way that might fix it is to repair or reset the missing apps. Open Settings by clicking the Windows icon on the bottom left of your desktop screen. Select Apps. On the Apps & features tab, find the name of the missing app. Click the app and select Advanced. Click on Repair if the option is available. If not, press the Reset button. Once the repair or reset is completed, the app should again appear in the app list. If this does not work, you have to get a newer version of Microsoft Office.

Safe mode

Q Whenever I switch on my Gionee F103 Pro mobile phone it shows 'Android is starting optimising app 1 of 1...' How can I get rid of this problem?

Kahlan Ray

An app you downloaded recently seems to have corrupted the operating system. Start your phone in Safe Mode. Get rid of the latest app you downloaded and start the phone normally. If the problem recurs, uninstal another suspect app and reboot normally. By eliminating one app at a time, you will be able to narrow down your problem to the suspect app. You can activate the safe mode in Gionee F103 Pro by pressing the power button and then long press "power off" on the screen. Follow the screen prompts. One of them should be safe mode. Repeat the steps to get out of safe mode.

The second thing is to wipe the cache partition. Turn off phone. Press and hold volume up and power key simultaneously for a couple of seconds. Release the buttons when you see an Android image on the screen. Hold down the power button to get into Recovery Mode. Use the volume buttons to navigate to "wipe cache partition" and select it by using the power button.


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