Virgin Digital Help Virus Guide: Twitter Spam

Are you a tweeter? Do you love the constant, immediate stream of information to which you have access 24 hours a day? If so, you may have been followed by some accounts that seem unusual. They may have no bio, they may just tweet links constantly. They may even tweet completely incomprehensible, baffling nonsense (though a lot of normal accounts do this too). 

These accounts are Spambots. They are created with the intention of luring you into clicking the links they tweet out, which then take you to scam sites or worse, malware. 

If you’re followed by one of these accounts, Twitter has a ‘block and report for spam’ feature that you should click immediately to prevent other users from being tricked. 

Never, under any circumstances, click a link you don’t trust on Twitter. Even a user who you do trust could have been hacked, meaning they send out links without their knowledge. Always ensure you keep your mobile antivirus updated, just in case. 

If you do click one of these links, the consequences can be pretty bad. You’ll immediately lose your social credibility, which is bad enough, but you could also find that malware gets onto your phone, stealing your details, adding charges to your phone bill and more. 

Twitter is fun, but make sure you stay safe! 

VDH Virus Guide

Introduction to Virus Guide

At VDH we receive an awful lot of requests for help. This covers all sorts of areas, from setting up new computers to recovering deleted files. However, one issue crops up again and again for people in need of our expert assistance: computer virus prevention and cure.

It is for this reason that we’ve written the VDH Virus Guide, the first in a series of guides that we’ll be publishing to help tech users come to grips with their devices and avoid any pitfalls that come hand in hand with their usage.

The VDH Virus Guide will cover common issues, including:

  •          Rogue Antivirus
  •          iGoogle page redirection
  •          Facebook clickjacking
  •          QR Codes
  •          Digital currency
  •          Fake apps on Google Play
  •          Pharmacy discount sites
  •          Twitter spam
  •          Zero Access Virus

Each week, we’ll be posting new sections of the guide for you to refer to whenever you have problems with malware or viruses on your computer, so stay tuned.

If you have any additional questions, or areas you think we should cover, just let us know over on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks!

Virgin Digital Help’s Weekend Briefing

Here at VDH we like to be on top of the latest technology news.  Therefore we’ve put together this weekend briefing of all the interesting things that have happened in tech over the last week. 

We hope you enjoy it, and would love to hear your feedback. 

Amazon releases Kindle Touch

The much lauded e-reader Kindle has this week seen the release of its latest iteration, the Kindle Touch.  This new version will be available from the 27th April throughout Europe, five months after it launched in the US. New features of this Kindle include a web browser, touchscreen capability and an exclusive ‘x-ray’ feature, which allows users to find passages in a book quickly and simply. The Kindle Touch will cost £109 with wifi, and £169 with wifi and 3G. 

Facebook ready to switch over to timeline

For the last month Facebook users have been able to opt in to Facebook’s new timeline format, and at 7pm GMT tonight all users will be transferred to this new design.  While commentary of the new design has been mixed, frequent users of Facebook have found it a welcome addition.  What are your thoughts - will this improve the Facebook experience? 

Google set to launch own online store for tablets

In a move that is believed to rival Apple, Google today is rumoured to be set to launch its own online store to sell Google branded tablets. With iPads still dominating the tablet market, this is a brave move by the company, and shows their desire to be real contenders in the tablet market. 

Is this the end of the BlackBerry?

Popular smartphone BlackBerry’s owner RIM has suffered reports today that it is pulling out the consumer market, giving teenagers the world over cause for concern.  One of the most popular smartphones before the release of the iPhone, BlackBerry has been consistently dogged by poor service reports and security concerns. 

Only time will tell if BlackBerry exit the consumer market completely, but we’ll be sure you’re the first to know. 

Have a great weekend!

Virgin Digital Help comes to Pinterest!

                        

We’ve launched on Pinterest!  Those of you with your fingers firmly on the pulse of social media may be aware of a new social network called Pinterest.  This website allows users to take photographs from across the web and ‘pin’ them to boards, much like you would pin messages to a message board offline.  This concept has really taken off, and we decided we wanted to be a part of the fun. 

Therefore, we’re proud to announce Virgin Digital Help’s very own Pinterest account.  Here we will be pinning images on a daily basis that take our fancy, including what tech we cover, helpful hints and tips, as well as things from the wider world of tech that we think are worth sharing. We’ll also be posting each week’s blog to a board, so you can catch up with archived posts on everything from iPhone tips to keeping your computer virus free. 

We’re following all the major players in technology, such as CNet and Mashable in order to be able to bring you the hottest news and tech information. 

Are you on Pinterest? Follow us and we’ll be sure to follow back. If not, let us know via Facebook or Twitter and we’ll send an invite your way!

Xmas App: Instagram

You may have seen our recent post about Instagram, a popular photo sharing social network for iPhone users. With Christmas fast approaching we thought it time to give you a rundown of the hottest photography app for the iPhone (and now Android too) so you can capture your Christmas snaps in style!

Even though Instagram has only been around for little over a year, it has already amassed twenty seven million users and two versions.  

Instagram  uses camera company Lomography’s vision to ‘shoot from the hip’ and brings it to life online through social network features.   Instagram has taken popular elements of Facebook and Twitter to become a social experience. Your friends can like your pictures, comment on them and you can leave replies to individuals by mentioning their username . You can also hashtag your images around a certain theme. 

Instagram allows you to share your photos to other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter

One reason Instagram is so popular is its incredible versatility. At current count there are 15 different filters, ranging from “1977” and “Lomo-fi”, giving your images a range of effects from bold colorings to subtle highlights and overtones. It’s like having 15 different cameras in your pocket, which, let’s face it, wouldn’t be very comfortable. 

Instagram is so great because it’s very simple to use.  It’s part and parcel of a device users already own and use constantly. There’s no fiddly changing of your camera’s film, instead with Instagram you just point, shoot and then select the filter as you want it to appear over your photo. 

You can take photos within the app, or select from your photo gallery - allowing you to download photos from your digital camera and attach Instagram’s filters. 

To sign up, go to the app store and download onto your iPhone/Android and click ‘sign up’. Enter your details, and you’re away. From here, you can search for friends, or import them from Facebook and Twitter. Then, just explore! The “Popular” section is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the community and find people to follow. 

If you really start to develop the Instagram bug, the next place to visit is http://instagramers.comInstagramers is a worldwide community with over 220 fan groups across the world in many cities, so you’ll be sure to find a group in your own country. Instagramers regularly set creative challenges and competitions, keeping you occupied long after the initial excitement has worn off!

Facebook timeline is coming!

You may have heard people talking about the new Facebook layout, referred to as Facebook Timeline. According to Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, the Timeline is a way of using Facebook to show ‘the story of your life’.  Your Facebook profile will change to become less of a news stream and something much more interactive, representing your entire personal history in a single place.

There are quite a lot of changes taking place but fear not, they are being rolled out slowly. This blog will help you prepare a little bit so that you know what to do once the Timeline is fully shown.

What is the Facebook Timeline?

Essentially, the Facebook Timeline feature is slowly being bought in to replace the existing layout of your profile page. Rather than activities appearing as a list on your profile, they will appear much more visually, a bit like a scrapbook of everything you are sharing and interacting with - songs you are listening to, images you post, pages you like and interactions you have with your friends will still appear but they are captured and displayed in a new way!

What will my Timeline display?

Your Timeline allows you to expresses who you are more than ever. You can link up all the things that you do and goes further than just you ‘liking’ a page e.g if you ‘like’ a recipe, then you can plan a future dish and engage with your interests more.

Your profile page will go as far back from the date you were born, to the date you posted your first status, photo, comment and so on. And you can go back and fill in any missing gaps - so your graduation photos, your first bike ride or even your first birthday!

How will my Timeline look?

The layout on your Facebook page will look dramatically different. Timeline shows one large picture at the top, this can be anything you wish, be as arty as you like!

Much like the current display, the content on Facebook Timeline is displayed in chronological order. Timeline allows you to travel visually back in time, you can browse through the dates shown on the right side to a date in your Facebook history, to see what images you were taking and what conversation you were having in the past. Depending on how long you have been on Facebook, you could browse back several years and see comments, pages you’ve liked and pictures from way back! Impressive huh?

Is there anything I should be aware of?

While it is much more visually stunning, there are some things to be aware of. The new re-design gives a stark reminder that anything you put up on Facebook is still there, and can be dug up by anybody who has access. So watch your privacy settings and be careful what you make public.

- Managing content on your page

If you want to delete a post or someone’s comment that appears on your profile page, or if you want to prevent people from seeing a recent activity on your profile page then you can do this by clicking the symbol that appears to the right of the story when you move your mouse over it. 

 

 - Managing your privacy settings 

You can control who sees what on your Facebook page easily and quickly by toggling your privacy settings. These are located in the top right-hand side of your Facebook page. For a guide on how to get your Facebook settings watertight see: http://on.fb.me/pwMC4D

If you want more help on how to change your Facebook profile or if there is anything you’d like to know, go to the Facebook help center - they explain things clearly, and also give out tips. You can also ask us on Twitter @VirginDigiHelp!

What do you think?

What do you think of the Facebook changes so far? Is there anything you love or don’t like in particular? Share with us on our Facebook page. 

Virgin First Times

                                         

Join us today as we take part in the Virgin Social Media Marathon. We want you to share your first times with us today - when did you first use a computer? When did you pick up an iPhone for the first time? What was it like the first time you logged on to the internet? 

Let us help you find your Facebook memories on with our First Times app. You can share your first times with all your friends, and tell us too. 

Enter our sweepstakes to be in with a chance of winning one of our fantastic goodie bags, and our grand prize, to be announced at 6pm:


1 X Virgin Atlantic flight to Washington DC 
1 X 4 nights stay at the W Hotel in Washington courtesy of Virgin Holidays
1 X Virgin Media TiVo, 100Mb broadband, home phone, mobile 
1 X 2012 Virgin London Marathon place (with VIP Green start upgrade) 
1 x year membership to Virgin Active 
1 X Virgin Trains Weekend First Class Traveller Pass 
1 X case of Virgin Wines (plus Virgin Wines apron & corkscrew) 
2 X 7 Day Anytime National Champagne Virgin Balloon Rides
1 X Yearly Virgin Digital Help cover plan
1 x Aston Martin Virgin Experience Day

Top of the Apps

There have been quite a few new and exciting apps to come out this month, not least the much anticipated Facebook app for the iPad.  We couldn’t complete this blog without mentioning it, and for the most part it’s a welcome addition. 



We’ve had a look at how the Facebook app differs from the mobile version of the website, and there are some key new features to look out for, including the ability to scroll through your news feed with your fingers, easy navigation with a left-hand menu and swipe-to-view images.  The most obvious is how much easier everything is to view, with CNN noting that ‘the iPad app leverages the iPad’s larger screen and highlights photo and videos beautifully’. Of course, it’s up to you to see for yourself, and we’re sure it won’t be long before you’re tapping up your friends.  



Everyone likes to take a little bit of time out and what better way to fill your time than getting creative. An app that we’ve been having a lot of fun with in the last month is PicPlz.  Taking photographs and then applying retro filters has garnered mass popularity within the last year, and no app has been more successful than Instagram.  Android users might know of the frustration associated with not being able to join the up-and-coming Instagram community. While Instagram have reported that an Android version is in the pipeline, in the meantime PicPlz appears to be a worthy contender.   
PicPlz offers many filters for you to use, including instant film, cross-process, C-41 (so called after the analogue film process of the same name), and one simply, and helpfully titled as ‘The 70s’.  Picplz also benefits from a large community - and therefore encourages appreciation of your photos .   Some elements of Picplz seem a little clunky - for example adding friends, but we hope that newer iterations of the app will improve on this. 



Our final app up for review this month is a seriously handy utility app. CrossCountry trains have taken the train time platform display and packaged it up in app form. I’ve often been running late and wished I could buy my train tickets on the move, rather than waiting in a queue at the station.  On CrossCountry’s app you can look up train times, check real-time running information and buy train tickets, and it’s got good multiple platform functionality, being available on iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, Android and offering a general link for other mobiles too. 

An Introduction to Facebook Privacy

                          

Facebook is now one of the most popular sites on the world wide web, with over 750 million active users and over 200 million of those coming from the United Kingdom and the United States.

Over on our Facebook page, we know that many of you are also Facebook users, and we also know that you would like some help in making sure your account is really secure and can only be seen by your real, offline friends. 

Therefore we have put together this mini guide to keeping your account safe. 

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