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About andysm

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  1. andysm

    Free VPNs and are they worth it?

    A VPN won't really protect you from malware. If most of your internet traffic is via a web browser, then most websites these days use https so the traffic will already be encrypted. Someone could still see which websites you are visiting from the DNS lookups. Most email services these days use TLS so the traffic to/from email clients will also usually be encrypted, though some ISP's free email accounts do not use TLS (e.g. Plusnet).
  2. andysm

    Free VPNs and are they worth it?

    Also, be very wary of free VPNs on Android, a recent study found around 85% did not provide adequate security, some of them contained adware or spyware and some were fake VPNs insofar as they didn't actually do anything.
  3. andysm

    Free VPNs and are they worth it?

    Depends on what you are trying to do. Are you trying to watch US Netflix shows from the UK? Then you need a VPN with US servers that are not on the Netflix blocklist. If you are worried that your ISP or someone in the coffe shop is monitoring what you are doing then you need a VPN that uses good encryption and with servers in a country that can resist court orders. etc. I sometimes use PIA (Private Internet Access) when I am out and about, it is not free but it works well, but I have never tried using them to watch US Netflix.
  4. andysm

    Hacker contacted mobile phone provider.

    Security depends on the customer service reps, the company procedures and how well trained the CSRs are. I don't know if Tesco Mobile have their own CSRs or use the same ones as O2. GiffGaff support is via the GiffGaff support website, I don't think they have any telephone based support. Mobile account takeovers are usually a human problem rather then a technical one.
  5. andysm

    Hacker contacted mobile phone provider.

    This sort of mobile account takeover is sometimes used to gain access to text-based 2FA codes in order to allow the attacker to take over more of the victims accounts.
  6. andysm


    Are you sure it is the monitor which takes a long time to come on? It could be your computer takes a long time to boot up.
  7. andysm

    Computer takes 30 mins to load

    My mate's laptop was doing exactly the same thing, turned out that the hard disk was failing. Replaced disk and working perfectly now. Find out what make of hard drive your machine has. Go to the manufacturers support / download pages and download and install the disk utilities. There will usually be a utility to test the disk. For Seagate it is called 'Seatools for Windows'. Try the 'Short DST' test. For WD it is called 'WD Drive Utilities for Windows'. EDIT: Actually for WD I think it is 'Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows'
  8. andysm

    Is my new HDD dead?

    Existing disk is regularly failing to read sectors, so I am planning to do a new Win 10 install and restore some files from a previous backup. Just wanted to partition the disk before doing the install.
  9. andysm

    Is my new HDD dead?

    Interesting, just tried the disk in a desktop machine and it spun up ok. Looks like it is the caddy that is the problem. Now how am I going to prepare the disk without a caddy? It is WD Blue 1TB.
  10. andysm

    Is my new HDD dead?

    Am using it with a caddy, but the caddy I am using has a separate 2A power supply for the HDD, and it has always worked fine in the past with 2.5" and 3.5" disks (it supports both).
  11. andysm

    Is my new HDD dead?

    I just bought a new 2.5 inch HDD to replace a failing disk in a laptop. When I power up the new disk it immediately starts making a ticking sound (about 2 ticks per second), it doesn't seem to spin up. I tried another HDD (different brand and model) which worked OK. Is this likely to be a dead disk or could there be some other explanation?
  12. andysm

    sky go on android7

  13. andysm

    No 51 buses on monday?

    From the Travel South Yorkshire website: Redmires Road will be closed between the junctions of Pitchford Lane/Sandygate Road and The Ridge for road works on the Monday 26 November 2018 (0930 – 1530). Service 51 will terminate at Crosspool between the time stated and will not serve Lodge Moor. Service to operate as normal to Manchester Road at the junction of Sandygate Road then divert via Manchester Road, Coldwell Lane and Sandygate Road before resuming normal route towards Sheffield at Crosspool shops.
  14. andysm

    Is free speech a thing of the past in England.

    We have the right to free speech in the UK, enshrined in the Human Rights Act, but there are a large number of exceptions - more than in most western countries. Some of the exceptions are vague and subjective, while others are impossible to disprove ('I was alarmed by what he said').

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