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Communications Group

Group meets at 1:00pm - 2nd Friday each month at Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street. Visitors are always welcome.

Most Cookies are Harmless

Android phoneCookies are files that contain small pieces of data that are exchanged between a user's computer and a web-site to identify specific users. They enable quick access to your internet accounts like Gmail, Facebook, Internet banking, sites you often visit, etc. With a few variations, internet cookies come in two flavours:
Session cookies are used only while navigating a website. They are stored in random access memory (RAM), are not written to the hard drive and expire when the session ends.
Persistent cookies generally include an expiration date and are automatically removed when that date is reached. They are used for two primary purposes:
Authentication: These cookies track when a user is logged in and under what user-name. They also streamline login to your internet accounts with some not requiring site passwords.
Tracking: These cookies track multiple visits to the same site over time. The information gained allows them to suggest other items that may interest the visitors. These may be more annoying than harmful.
For a comprehensive study of cookies go to AllAboutCookies.Org
Note: This website does not use Tracking or 3rd Party cookies.


Do I need a Third Party Firewall? - Windows Defender Security Center

Firewall representationWindows Defender Security Center delivers a robust suite of security features that keep you safe for the supported lifetime of your Windows 10 device.
When your PC is protected by Windows Defender Antivirus you are receiving comprehensive protection for your system, files and online activities from viruses, malware, spyware, and other threats. Peace of mind has never been this easy.
See the source for more details at: Microsoft


WI-FI Eextender & Powerline Replacement:

The Tenda Nova MW5c-3 Pack Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System could be the idealThe Tenda Nova MW5c-3 for replacing your existing Wi-Fi extender & Power line. It provides whole home Wi-Fi coverage and is compatible with all internet service providers.

The Tenda Nova MW5c-3 includes three nodes that come with Gigabit WAN/LAN ports which means that you can connect it to a high speed broadband line over 100mbps incoming delivery.

Priced at around $200.00, it is backed by a 3 year product warranty and available from many retailers.


Free Arrow Highlighter Add a highlighter

Have you ever wished you could spotlight the arrow or cursor on your screen like a pro? Well now you can with this excellent free highlighter PenAttention10 from the Alaska University. Just download and install the small exe file and tweak your settings.

You can choose: circle or rectangle, sizes, colours, opacity and see your choice shown over “sample text”. Use the Colour box to set your default colour and tick the Toggle Colour box if you want to add two more colours to use on different backgrounds.

Next, tick “Highlight mouse” and “Hotkey Toggle” at bottom right. Then click Apply Changes and Close. You can also make changes later.
In use, the Hotkeys are: Ctrl + F9 for On/Off and Clicking Rt-mouse button changes highlight colours. So easy 😃

The Current Top Five Browsers

a choice of top browsersThe right web browser can make a huge difference to your everyday browsing – whether your priority is faster performance, better security or more flexibility through downloadable extensions.
However, it can be tricky to break out of your comfort zone. The browser you're currently using might not be the best even on the best laptop, but you've probably become use to its idiosyncrasies over the years without realizing there are better options around that will make your life so much easier.
The best browsers at a glance: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Microsoft Edge & Vivaldi.
Source & more details here.

How to reduce SPAM with a Disposable email address

No spam foreverDisposable email addressing, also known as DEA or dark mail, refers to an approach where a unique email address is used for every contact or entity. The benefit is that if anyone compromises the address or utilises it in connection with email abuse, the address owner can easily cancel (or "dispose" of) it without affecting any of their other contacts. Such disposable addresses are generally provided by a service company (paid or free) that forwards mail from the DEA to the actual address.

Disposable email addressing sets up a different, unique email address for every sender/recipient combination. The most common situations of this type involve online registration for sites offering discussion groups, bulletin boards, chat rooms, online shopping, and file hosting services. In a time when email spam has become an everyday nuisance and when identity theft threatens disposable emails can serve as a convenient tool for protecting Internet users. Wikipedia provides a good introduction of how Disposable email addresses work.

THE FUTURE IS 802.11ax

Future Wi-fi representation802.11ax will become the next mainstream Wi-Fi standard. It builds on the existing 802.11ac platform, using the same frequency bands that we are already using in 2.4Ghz and 5GHz, but uses far more efficient spectrum band management. Even though the underlying data rate in 802.11ax is only 37% higher than 802.11ac, we are going to see speeds 400% faster than the current devices on the market. Even more importantly than just speed though, is that 802.11ax supports even more devices simultaneously talking to one another, through the use of next-generation Multi User Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output technology.

This will give more speed to each individual device on your network, combined with greater overall capacity on your network and your Wi-Fi signals being able to get even greater range around your home. It’s also backwards compatible with 802.11ac and its predecessors, so all your existing devices don’t need to be thrown out, they will work just fine. It’s evolutionary rather then revolutionary, which with our plethora of existing Wi-Fi devices, is a good thing. Source: PC & Tech Authority

Did You Know Your Smartphone Could Do This?

Android phoneDo you have an Android smartphone? Most users are barely scratching the surface of Android’s many built-in features. Here are some tips to help you be more productive, and to make using your phone more pleasant.

Have your phone unlock itself - Locking your phone is a basic security precaution; you don’t want strangers to poke around in it if it’s lost or stolen. But it’s a pain to enter a pin, press a fingerprint sensor, or draw a pattern every single time you want to use the phone. That’s why Android includes Smart Lock.

Smart Lock can automatically unlock your phone when you are in a specified location, such as your home, where it’s reasonably safe to do so. It can also unlock the phone when you are carrying it, and other other convenient circumstances. Source & more tips here.