windows tips

Harden Windows 10: 11 Important Things You Need (Right Now)

Harden Windows 10: 11 Important Things You Need (Right Now)

What Is Windows 10 Hardening and Why Should I Care?

In this day and age, cyber-security is an ever-present issue—and one not to be taken lightly. Accordingly, you would be wise to harden your Windows 10 computer against security vulnerabilities.CCTV Camera

(Of those running older versions of Windows, I ask the majority to move on and “get with the times.”)

You may be asking, however:

“But wait! I’m sure Microsoft is a big company and they know how to deal with them cyber-space threats, no?”

While Microsoft does go to plenty of effort to keep the latest version of Windows 10 secure, it’s not perfect. For example, the built-in security application—Windows Defender—is good, albeit substantially better alternatives can be found for free.

In fact, there is ample free software available on the Internet that will help with your Windows 10 hardening efforts. Boasting (not necessarily all of the time) better security, paid solutions also exist.

The Consequences of a “Soft” System

Continue reading →

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
Naughty Windows 10 Bloatware: How to Protect Yourself

Naughty Windows 10 Bloatware: How to Protect Yourself

What is Bloatware?

The Windows 10 bloatware issue is, to put it descriptively, an issue.

To exemplify, it has been tearing apart innocent yet fragile families for decades, with no foreseeable end to the madness. Furthermore, it strikes precisely when the end-user isn’t expecting it.

Bloatware is causing upset throughout the world

Why does life have to be this way?

To clarify, when I say ‘bloatware’, think of any software that you do not want to be installed on your PC. Perhaps this is because it is dramatically decreasing your computer’s performance or maybe it’s entirely unnecessary.

Or, even worse—whilst performing potentially unwanted operations—a program could computer to a point of being unusable.

Before you get too overwhelmed, though, remember that not all bloatware deserves to cease its existence; stuff like the Weather app may be useful to some people but utter ‘Windows 10 bloatware’ to most others.

Where Do We Receive This Unholy Blessing of The Demons?

Like all matter, bloatware doesn’t just materialise from thin air (although Microsoft would like to object).

Windows 10 bloatware, as a matter of fact, has three primary sources from which it comes.

Continue reading →

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
Your Taskbar Is Wrong: How to Fix Auto-Hide (For Good)

Your Taskbar Is Wrong: How to Fix Auto-Hide (For Good)

More Screen Real Estate = More Productivity

In a frantic search for utmost productivity—as we all are—once may encounter a complication on their Windows computer. This problem is none other than the thieving taskbar (and auto-hide can’t solve it).

But what does it mean when we talk about ‘maximising our screen real estate’? To be concise, we mean increasing the proportional area of the desktop that can be used for useful tasks.

Multitasking on a monitorMaking more room for all of our windows, as well as their content, in other words.

Typically, this consists of hiding elements from the view such as a toolbar. To exemplify, hiding the ribbon in Microsoft Word (which I am typing into now), so you can see more page.

However, we don’t always miss out on features and functionality, mainly because we can get stuff back into view. (Keyboard shortcuts can be a great alternative for visual elements, too.)

Embracing a maximum-screen-space-little-compromise world, auto-hide is present in various controls across computer software.

In Microsoft Word, to continue that example, the ribbon can be set to ‘auto-hide’ which brings it out of view entirely; one must click at the top of the window in order to resurrect it.

And then, when you click anywhere other than the ribbon area, it auto-hides—useful, right?

That is until we look at the taskbar’s auto-hide.

Get productive: How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

Continue reading →

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
9 Effective Windows 10 Productivity Features for Beginners

9 Effective Windows 10 Productivity Features for Beginners

How to Use Windows 10 Productively, Effectively

Perhaps you’re a beginner to the productive wonders of your Windows 10 computer. Then this is the place to be: there are plenty of Windows 10 productivity features for all of the family to enjoy.

In my eyes, there are two ways one could approach work on a computer of any operating system. That is to say, not exclusively Windows 10.

Increase Your Windows 10 Productivity
  1. Sit down at your computer and use what you know to get stuff done. It doesn’t matter how (even if the method is inefficient), as long as it works.
  2. On the other hand, you could first invest the time learning Windows 10’s productivity features beforehand. As a result, you’ll save time in the long-term, and be happier and more confident in using Windows 10.

Also, you’d be delighted to hear that these 9 Windows 10 productivity features will increase your work output—no doubt.

Even if you feel confident and experienced using Windows 10, I bet there’s something here you’re not exploiting.

After all, productivity is all about exploiting techniques. Thus, if you truly want utmost productivity, you’ll always be in the search for handy little tips and tricks.

The secret is going fast, and when you can go fast, you go productive.

Luis Thiam-Nye 2018

Having made my pitch that this article truly is relevant—for you—on Cryptic Butter, let’s dive in immediately. Starting with the basics…

Continue reading →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
How to Use Your Old Laptop as a Second Monitor (5 Ways)

How to Use Your Old Laptop as a Second Monitor (5 Ways)

Don’t Waste Your Old Laptop

So, you’re sitting in front of that snazzy, latest-and-greatest desktop (or laptop) computer. Meanwhile, your old laptop, lurking in the wardrobe, feels neglected and sad that you’ve excluded it from the fun-house.

That’s truly shameful—Lucius—that you would do such a thing!

Neglected Old Laptop

Especially so, once you think of the sheer volume of cash you sacrificed solely for that one laptop.

“Now it’s an old laptop, and nobody cares, yo, because I have dat bank pushing what it worth, brother.”

Incorrect, son (grammatically and conceptually). You’re putting a potential extra monitor to waste.

It’s highly important that we make our money go as far as the rainbows, hence today’s fun activity.

Today, I’ll teach you to revive your old laptop and finally make productive use out of it once again; we’re going to make your old laptop great again, that is to say.

In fact, I’ve been in this situation myself, when I essentially replaced my laptop with a more powerful, relevant desktop. Allow me to illustrate this picture a little better for you:

rescue your laptop now →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: How to Protect Your Data

Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: How to Protect Your Data

Your Privacy: It’s Progressively Diminishing

Technology increasing as privacy decreases

This privacy guide is brought to you as a necessity for those who dislike the idea of being constantly watched. After all, why shouldn’t we have the right to protect our data?

Alas, the trend over recent times shows an inevitable decline in privacy. The Internet, smart home devices, the rise of cameras, and wearable technology are all indicators of this trend.

Development of technology, besides an exciting, convenient future, results in the reduction of privacy.

Indeed, we could all forget about this privacy guide, accepting the inescapable reality yet to come. There is, in fact, an insightful article about the declining privacy trend here, if you’re interested in learning more.

Sometimes, however, we don’t need to be providing data to such an extent—why a privacy guide is useful.

To iterate, the reality is that we are slowly losing our privacy everywhere with technology. That doesn’t mean we can’t secure certain aspects of our lives, though.

If you’re the hero, hacking scammers’ computers, you’re most likely against being tracked.

The ultimate purpose of today’s privacy guide is to provide you with the resources to:

  • Reclaim your online privacy
  • Become more anonymous online
  • Make sure your data is secure
  • Stop Windows 10 from spying on you

Pay with privacy: How to Use Bitcoin: Truths You Need to Know

Continue reading →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
Ultimate Checklist for the Best Initial Windows 10 Setup

Ultimate Checklist for the Best Initial Windows 10 Setup

Windows 10 is notorious for poor privacy.

Your Computer Has Just Finished Installing Windows 10…

Okay, so you’ve waited and waited, and finally, you are at the stage of Windows 10 setup. That is to say, you’re probably looking at a bright blue screen with Cortana shouting down your ear.

However, you might already have Windows 10 setup, in which case, you can follow the later steps. We will cover what you can do after the initial Windows 10 setup wizard has completed, so don’t worry.

Ultimately, this is a guide for configuring your Windows 10 computer in the best way—for privacy and security. Therefore, even if you don’t think there’s work to be done, there’s likely something you need to do right now.

Zucking Your Data
Microsoft will Zuck many more datas when someone new has Windows 10 setup

But why is it important to have a Windows 10 checklist to abide by? Well, this makes it super-easy to get up and running as soon as possible.

On top of that, these steps will guide you through the ways of giving Windows 10 some privacy and security. Unfortunately, Windows 10 is notorious for collecting swathes of potentially personally-identifying data.

This data is sufficiently bountiful such that it can reveal a scary and surprising amount about you. In fact, Microsoft is essentially building up their own, massive profile of you.

Do you really want this?

Also, it is a very good idea to configure Windows 10 for security. As a result, I promise you won’t have to worry nearly as much about being infected by malware; infections of any sort are astonishingly likely, no matter how careful you think you are online…

With that all in mind, let us subsequently, swiftly shuffle our way into the first step of many. This after Windows 10 has finished its installation, to clarify.

Make Windows 10 fast, secure, and private →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
These 15 Computer Shortcuts Explained Will Make Your Day

These 15 Computer Shortcuts Explained Will Make Your Day

About This List of Computer Shortcuts in Windows

Because Windows 10 has such a vast quantity of computer shortcuts, it makes sense to compile a list of them. However, any standard, regular list is rather boring, to say the least; I certainly don’t feel “empowered to do great things” with regards to computer shortcuts…

It’s for this reason that, in my previous article about Windows 10’s computer shortcuts, I gave away a mind-map. I must say that mind-maps are an excellent method of visualising information for an easier absorption of such.

Related Read: How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

Get productive with shortcuts now →
Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts

The Secret to Ultimate Windows 10 ProficiencyIncrease Your Windows 10 Productivity

Do you want to learn the one thing that can accelerate your productivity when using Windows 10? In that case, you’ll need to know how to navigate Windows 10 proficiently, and keyboard shortcuts are the solution. This is because they allow rapid access to Windows 10 functions without moving the cursor.

For you see, solely using your mouse and neglecting keyboard shortcuts puts the brakes on your productivity: you consume an awful amount of time dragging that cursor from one end of the screen to the other. Not to mention, you mustn’t forget the time spent clicking buttons.

Keyboard shortcuts are essential to efficiently navigate Windows 10. Moreover, they are at the heart of proficiently using computers as a whole. Therefore, I have an article with a free downloadable infographic about editing text with shortcuts.

This time though, we will be focusing exclusively on how to navigate Windows 10; I will walk you through all the keyboard shortcuts you need to know in order to make the most of your Windows operating system.

Continue reading →

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments
4 Incredible Taskbar Customisation Tricks You Need to Know

4 Incredible Taskbar Customisation Tricks You Need to Know

Jazz Up Your Windows Desktop

Personally, I believe that the default Windows taskbar is not optimal. Fortunately for you, however, this is an issue that, to an extent, can be solved. In this article, I will highlight the taskbar customisation tricks that you can use to add a sprinkle of pizzazz to your Windows desktop.
Jazz
Don’t you sometimes get bored of the suboptimal, bog-standard taskbar? If you do, you’ll likely adjust the personalisation settings: the colour, tray icons, pinned items, labels, icon size, position, and so on.

Rather inconveniently, Windows does not offer boggling quantities of taskbar customisation built-in. It’s not like you can easily adjust the transparency of the taskbar, for example.

Equally, some taskbar customisation options compromise other features. An example of this would be using small taskbar buttons. This, in Windows 10, disallows the use of badges—such as the one on your Windows 10 Mail app showing how many unread items there are in your inbox.

For this reason, I feel that Windows is considerably limited in its customisability. By contrast, Linux provides you with far more control over how your desktop acts, looks, and feels. Disappointment—no?

In spite of Microsoft’s limitations, though, there are useful things you can do with your Windows desktop. Furthermore, third-parties decided to join in on the fun by providing us with tools to expand Windows; we are hence blessed with taskbar customisation options not available before.

These are the 5 taskbar customisation tricks that you can employ to enhance your experience and potentially increase productivity.

Continue reading →

Posted by Luis Thiam-Nye in Computer Proficiency, 0 comments