Every so often the newspapers run articles about something Google, Facebook or Microsoft are up to that make people panic – or at least worry a bit.
It’s not (always) that the papers actually get things wrong… not exactly.
But sometimes they’re either a bit vague… or they don’t really understand it themselves. Or simply they don’t put in enough detail, so someone who’s not completely up on something might not understand what it means.
Still, helps keep me busy making sure it’s all clear!
Anyway, for a while now some of the papers have been talking about Google shutting down “Google+”. And because they’re not always clear on exactly what Google+ is, some people have worried if this could affect them. After all, a lot of people use something or other from Google.
Well, Google+ is a social networking service Google set up a few years ago. It’s basically a competitor to things like Facebook or twitter, but it hasn’t been terribly successful. Part of the problem is that there’s no point in being on a social network if no-one else is – particularly if your family or friends aren’t on it. And since Facebook was already popular, there wasn’t much point in using Google+
Anyway, since it wasn’t that successful or popular, Google have decided to close it down (at least the version for individuals. Apparently they’re going to keep a version for businesses going as it works a bit differently).
So if you use Google for searching the web, for email, if you use the Android system for phones or tablets or any of the other service from Google, they won’t be affected.
It’s only if you specifically use the Google+ social networking site that you’ll be affected… and not that many people do – that’s the whole reason they’re shutting it!
If you do use it, you might want to look at using Facebook instead – up to you.
Anyway, it’s closing as of April this year, but as I say, most people probably won’t even notice!
A rather clever and very sneaky trick some spammers are using
You’re not the only one who gets spam emails – I get everything from emails trying to sell me fake watches to emails saying I just need to give them my bank details and they’ll transfer billions out of some corrupt country and pay me 5% as a thank you.
One that I’ve recently seen says that the people who sent the email have hacked my PC and unless I pay them a big chunk of money, they’ll do various awful things.
And they say I can tell they’ve hacked my PC because the email they’ve sent to me comes from my own email address – so they must have hacked my PC to be able to send it.
It sounds plausible – how else could they send that email?
But actually, it’s not that hard to make an email look like it’s come from any email address you like – including the same email address you’re sending it to. And that’s all they’ve done in this case, just sent an email to (say) [email protected] (if that’s your email address) and made it look like it comes from [email protected]
It doesn’t mean they’ve hacked your PC at all. So the best thing to do is simply delete the email and ignore it.
It’s frustrating – these spammers keep coming up with new ways to try and trick you. I’ll carry on keeping an eye on it and letting you know when I see a new trick that seems like it could catch people out.