Setting up Privacy Control for Children: Optimizing Windows Performance

Through computers, children have access to a lot of information in the world. A computer connected to an Internet would mean that your child can navigate to any website without your permission. Likewise, they often navigate to pornographic websites without the parents knowing. For this purpose, Microsoft Corp. has designed Windows to support the Parental Control feature so that parents can keep an eye on their children. Setting up Parental Controls in windows is quite easy. All a user needs to do is to navigate to the section and select the options that best suit his or her requirements.

 

Setting up the privacy controls

Setting up privacy & parental controls is quite easy in windows but it should be kept in mind that the user should be signed in as an Administrator so that the change can take effect in all the accounts. In our day, the most common mistakes that parents make is that they sign in as a single (personal) account and change the settings in Parental Controls. These changed settings take effect in that particular account. As a result, it is necessary that a parent sets up the control measures through an administrative login.

Double click on the My Computer section and type ‘parental controls’ in the search bar located at the top right corner. On the other hand, a user can navigate to the Control Panel home page and locate these settings under the Privacy icon. Users can also locate these settings by typing ‘parental controls’ in the search bar of Start Menu. Now, click on the User Accounts section and enable the Parental Control option.

A display bar will be opened that will let you select programs that you want to block from the children. Select the programs through the Browse Tab or Drag Drop the icons of these programs (the Launch Applications). Parents can make changes to these settings anytime.

The second step is to navigate to the browser and enable Parental Controls. The Internet Explorer contains a Privacy option in the Internet Options section. A parent can add websites that he or she wants to block from the children. In addition, they can check the recently visited websites through the History section of the explorer.

Note: It is always best to restart the computer for the changes to take effect before the program can be used by the user.

Secure Email – Optimize the Program Experience in Windows

Most users are reluctant to use Microsoft Outlook and similar other Microsoft related messenger as well as email platforms, as they were reported previously for being virus and malware carriers, infecting the entire mailbox. These malicious emails were sent to other mail users in the contact list and their mailboxes were infected upon opening of these emails. Having switched to BBMs, people are now concerned about their privacy, and have stopped using emails for the sake of preventing their personal information and documents being accessed by others.

AOL and Gmail have installed state of the art software programs that filter out all possible spams and malicious emails that can infect a user’s mailbox. These companies have also installed virus protection and security measures to prevent the privacy of individuals from being compromised. Several ID protection services in collaboration with Norton and AVG have been installed, along with identification confirmation upon two wrong password entries. In addition, two email addresses are linked together for verification purposes. Even with these security measure that are being taken by email giants like Google, Hotmail, and AOL, cyber crimes are continually increasing in the US and other countries throughout the world.

You (as an email user) can take the following precautions to prevent your personal belongings from being compromised.

Activate the spam filter technology if you are using AOL, Hotmail, or Google Mail. This feature can be activated by clicking on the spam folder and clicking on the Filter Spam icon.

A user can also activate the Identity protection feature before logging in. The log in page contains information on this feature that takes no more than six clicks (and some forms) to activate.

Link two personal email addresses together. This can be done by creating a back up (reset information) email when you sign up for an account. Most email service providers continually circulate messages that contain an alternate email bar.

Change the password every month by clicking on the ‘forgot password’ on the email home screen.

Do not open email from an un-identified source, especially the ones that are related to financial incentives.

Avoid sending an email that contains your personal data or information to an un-identified user, in order to prevent breach of personal information.

Rearranging icons on the Start Menu and Home Screen for a Quick Launch Access

Newer versions of Windows have been equipped with some state of the art upgrades for managing and relocating icons and administrative tools. Administrative tools come in handy during the management of disk drives and their partition space selection, managing the firewall settings, and other program operations. Rearranging icons according to their particular use and needs can most certainly optimize the windows experience of a user.

 

Locating the Administrative Tools section

A user can have access to the Administrative tools through the ‘Security’ icon in the Control Panel. This method is used in windows XP; however, you can have access to these tools by typing Administrative Tools in the search bar of My Computer, Control Panel, and even the Start Menu in newer versions of windows.

 

Setting up the Administrative Tools option on the Start Menu

Adding a link of Administrative Tools to the Home menu is simple. Right click on the task bar (select and empty section) and click on Start Menu option. Click on the customize start menu option and select the Administrative tools. The properties for the Administrative Tools are located at the end of the Customize Start Menu section with three options for the tools. A user needs to select the last option namely, ‘do not display this item’ and click on OK, to verify settings.

Now, click on the Start Menu and locate Administrative tools at the bottom right section (just above the shutdown icon) with all the options like Windows Firewall settings, Task Scheduler, System Configuration. The good part is that you will not be required to access these tools in the Control Panel as a hot key has been created in the Administrative Tools section of the Start Menu.

Administrative Tools are also used to locate the IP address of a particular computer that is attached to a printer in an office. This way, a user can set up multiple computers in an office by creating a Home Network of all the computers that need to be connected to this computer. In this day and age, Admin Tools are also used to connect to a wireless printer or fax machine.

Optimizing Windows by Enhancing Internet Services – The YouTube Lag

Adjusting various programs on the Internet, which have become slow due to daily usage, requires making necessary adjustments for the smooth operation of these programs. It is crucial that you constantly make changes to Internet services like YouTube and Facebook so that they perform to the expectations of the users. Menaces such as pop ups, and opening of new tabs is reported frequently by windows users and it seems that Microsoft and Google are unable to fix these complications. In addition, streaming problems are reported almost daily and, since last year, YouTube has estimated more than 20% streaming problems by users. Even if a user has a fast Internet connection, the problem of video buffering persists and user are unable to find a suitable answer. Pragmatically speaking, no one can make changes to the buffering speed themselves; still YouTube users can make some alterations to their browsers to prevent this jeopardy.

 

The YouTube fix explained

To fix YouTube buffering problems, you need to make changes to the browser and some of the browser settings. Following steps will guide you in this regard:

Stop using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera Mini and switch to Google Chrome. Most of you might not know but YouTube has been bought by Google, which means that it is best to run videos on a Google browser. For this purpose, navigate to the Google home page and download chrome.

Install the current version of flash player by typing ‘Flash Player 2012’ in the Google search bar. Restart the computer manually for the system to accept the changes and start using the browser. The videos will run fine in the first few days but you will feel the lag in buffering after seven or eight days.

To clear out this lag, you need to navigate to the wrench icon located in the top right corner of the screen. Click “History” and clear out all the items. You will have to delete the cookies and cache manually by clicking browsing data settings under the ‘wrench’ icon. Clearing out cookies and cache will remove all the temporary data from the browser’s memory. The computer needs to be restarted for these changes to take their effect.

Installing HD Wallpapers and Themes

Installing High Definition wallpapers and themes uplifts the beauty of a home screen, and correspondingly protects monitor pixels from fading. By improving the viewing angles and general performance of a computer screen, in this article, users will be guided in making small changes that will yield superior results.

High Definition wallpapers are available throughout the web and software like the Adobe Photoshop and Adobe illustrator can also help a user in customizing such works of art.

 

Monitors

Monitors and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD and LED) screens are somewhat delicate viewing instruments in the respect that they require regular maintenance in terms of wallpapers and home screens. Although wallpapers are installed with the Windows, you need to make some necessary adjustments like installing a theme that would keep the pixels in motion. The most commonly heard jargon in the IT department is the ‘pixel dry out’ which means that a screen pixel or a group of pixels have lost the color displaying capability due to a lack of themes. Pixel dry out can distort the viewing angles and the monitor’s screen will not be able to auto adjust itself to the settings. A theme keeps the pixels in motion (or it uses the pixels) when a screen is idle and thus, saves them from drying out.

 

Installing themes and High Definition (HD) wallpapers

Buying a new LED or LCD screen is a requirement if you are using the cathode ray screens especially if a user is interested in installing HD wallpapers and themes. Themes are not available on all the websites but it is important that you install a few. For this purpose, navigate to the Google home page by double clicking on the Internet Explorer icon (or any other browser that you use) and type High Definition wallpapers. Click on any of the trusted search results and download the wallpapers. Now, type HD themes and download a few.

Setting up these themes and wallpapers is quite easy. Right click on the home screen and click on properties. Now, navigate to the Screen Savers tab and select the theme. Correspondingly, select the time interval for the theme, and finally, navigate to the wallpapers tab and select HD wallpapers for the home screen.

Installing Drivers for Optimizing Windows

We usually have to reinstall Windows after every six months or so just for the sake of improving the performance of operating systems. Pirated Copies of Windows create frequent problem for users as they get infected with malicious software and Trojans that affect overall performance of the system. For that reason, methods should be adopted so as to avoid these problems in the future and to elevate the performance of the operating system as a whole. This article will give the users a walkthrough of installing software and keeping them up to date.

 

Getting rid of an un-licensed Windows copy

The first step of any user should be to un-install the pirated version of Windows from the computer and install a genuine copy. For this purpose, a user can access Microsoft’s website for downloading the original version. Most university students are given a Microsoft ID these days for downloading Windows 7 directly on their computers free of cost.

 

Installing drivers

After a user has installed a fresh copy of genuine Windows, it is time to install the different drivers and softwares that will be needed. Some drivers are optional whereas, others are mandatory softwares that are linked to the Windows’s requirements, and need to be installed.

Install the sound and display drivers for Windows 7 and restart the computer as you do.

Install other software like the Microsoft Office. The computer will be restarted occasionally. It is important to keep in mind that a user puts his or her name in the credentials tab of the Windows and Microsoft Office. Next in line is the installation of a genuine copy of an Antivirus software that can receive regular updates from the server.

After a user has finished installing the software, it is now time to update them. Turn off Windows firewall for the programs that you want to update. This can be done by double clicking on the Control Panel typing ‘firewall’ in the search bar. Turn off the general windows firewall by unchecking the green icon. Now, proceed towards the programs tab to turn off firewall for the programs individually. Uncheck the options one by one and restart the computer. You are now ready to install updates for the programs.

Improving the Windows Gaming Experience

With the advent of wild processing speeds, the gaming experience has assuredly improved on windows. Every day, new gaming cards, like NVIDIA and ATI Systems, surface the desktop computer market but still some people complain about their computers falling short of the expected performance. It can be attributed to the fact that games sometimes take too much space then one would expect, particularly when they have to be unzipped. This calls for improving the gaming experience by making necessary adjustments in Windows for smoothly operating a game.

From time to time, it is best to take both the external and internal factors into account throughout the search of a solution. The external factors that a person can take into account can be a regular power loss resulting in repeated system reboots, which should be minimized by installing an alternate power source.

The first step involves clearing up the PC of any malicious software or viruses that can potentially damage the computer. Use the Microsoft Security Essentials for the removal of viruses, malwares, or even Trojans.

Turn off all Automatic Updates for the computer. It can be done by clicking on the red balloon and unchecking the automatic updates option. Instead, a user can turn off updates through the Automatic Updates icon in the Control Panel. Turning off the updates is essential, as some users have reported automatic system restart during the course of their gaming session.

Then, put the installation disk in the computer and follow the instructions. Restart the computer upon successful installation of a game and give the computer at least five minutes before you can start playing. Double click on the desktop shortcut icon and navigate to the settings page. Locate the Screen Preferences search bar and reduce the resolution of the monitor without changing the graphics settings.

Apply the settings and navigate out of the game. Press the “shift” button on the keyboard, five times, and the sticky keys option will appear, which is important for players, especially those who are not using a joypad or other gaming controller. Set which keys you use and like for instance GTA San Andreas and some first person shooter games like the Call of Duty series require an extensive use of keys like Shift, Control, and Q. Several other keys might get pressed simultaneously during a gaming session which means that the session will minimize and the user will be redirected to the Stick Keys home page.

 

Finding an IP Address to Optimize LAN Usage for Windows

Finding an Internet Protocol or IP address was quite difficult in the previous version of windows like windows 98 and 2000. People had to physically locate the IP address of a computer and make the necessary changes. However, this problem has been taken care of in the newer versions of windows and has removed hurdles that posed many problems to users, especially during Online Gaming. IP addresses have been physically made visible to computer users so that they can be conveyed to other users who have previous versions of windows installed on their computers and therefore, to optimize their gaming or Internet usage experience.

 

Locating an IP address of a computer

A dedicated program is installed with the windows 7 installation known as ‘Network and Sharing Center’ that manages all the Internet connection and displays the current available Internet or wireless connections. Double click on the Network and Sharing Center visible on the home screen. A user can also locate it by typing ‘network and sharing’ in the search bar located in My Computer or the Control Panel home menu.

A network icon will be visible on the desktop. If not, you can always set one up in the Network and Sharing Center. Right click on the desktop icon and click on the underlined Network and Sharing Center, if a network appears. A window will pop up showing a general map of the network. Click on the ‘View Full Map’ icon to view the detail network map of the connection. The network lines are indicated that distinguish a correct (operational) connection from an un-operational one.

Trace the operational line to the correct PC and hover the mouse pointer over it. The IP address will be visible to you. Instead, a user can also locate the IP address by right clicking on the icon and clicking on Properties. The process of obtaining an IP address of another computer becomes especially important if you want to create a remote connection for Internet gaming or server gaming (LAN gaming).

Locating an IP address enables windows users to effectively manage their gaming or file sharing tasks between two or more computers easily.

 

Adding Controllers and Printers to Optimize the Work Performance

Adding devices whether they are printer or controllers can prove to be beneficial for us in their own ways. Being pragmatic, a gaming controller would enable us in improving stats and scores in a particular game. By the same token, adding a fax or a printer would create a work to life balance and enable a user to multi-task in our busy world. As a result, more output is produced for an organization with individual efforts directed towards separate tasks leading to job specialization. We have more computers at homes than at offices, which can be attributed to the fact that office life is made easier through cloud computing and users can access data sitting at home, in any corner of the world.

Adding printers and other devices

Adding a printer to an office inventory relieves us from buying separate printers for all the tables as this printer can be used over a modem (LAN) connection. Costs and redundancies are considerably reduced which enables us to do something more productive. Through windows, three or more users can access a single printer through a ‘one click’ operation. It is accomplished by adding an ordinary printer as a ‘Network Printer’.

The procedure is simple:

  1. Connect a printer to a single computer. It should be installed on the office network.
  2. Find the computer name by double clicking on the System Properties icon in Control Panel and navigate to the Computer Name Tab. A user can find the Network ID of the computer and he or she has the choice to change or rename the ID.
  3. Double click on the Control Panel icon again and enable Printer Sharing. Right click on the printer icon and choose Printer Sharing.
  4. Create a name for the printer and share it over the network.

 

More importantly, you should cross check that all other printers have the same name appearing in the Printer Settings menu and run a quick print test from all the connected computers. Printer manufacturing giants like HP are also developing wireless printers that require no cables, and any device can connect to them through Bluetooth. In the same way, a user can add plug and play controllers by installing drivers from the software installation CD. A controller needs to be calibrated through ‘Gaming Controllers’ icon in the Control Panel menu. Click on Calibrate and adjust the trim, forward, backward, and yaw settings of the controller at least three times to let the changes take effect.

 

Activating System Restore to Optimize the Windows Experience

Although creating a restore point in Windows is discouraged, particularly due to the fact that it creates an invisible hard drive that stores all the temporary files and data, still this feature has proven to be a life saver. For instance, a computer with vital information in its hard drive, which has been infected with viruses or other malware, can be saved with system restore as it recovers all the data so that a user can make necessary changes.

System Restore is also used for a variety of other reasons. As a case in point, most software installations go smooth and as planned but the tables get turned every once in a while, which means that System Restore will be needed to restore the settings to an already designated restore point. This article is devoted to setting up this life saving restore feature (Time Machine in Mac).

Using the System Restore feature

Click on the My Computer icon and click on the Control Panel icon in Windows. Then, you should locate the System Restore icon and open it. Alternatively, a windows user can always type System Restore in the search bar of the Start Menu. A security bar will pop up asking for permission to continue navigating to this program. Click “ok” and proceed towards the main menu. Now, two options are available for the users.

The first option is restore to a recommended restore point. Windows automatically sets up a restore point according to the previous statistics and restores the computer to that point.

To set a restore point manually, click on the ‘set a different restore point’ icon. You will be directed to a tab that contains all the restore points, with dates of major software installations and scheduled system checkpoints (Windows Update restore points are also created).

A user can always create a restore point beforehand by clicking on the System Properties Tab or by typing in System Properties in the Control Panel search bar. The operator should navigate to System Protection and create a C or Windows drives restore point.

It is imperative for a user to keep in mind that, by using this procedure, changes will be made to the system data and registry files of the computer and malicious software or bugs will not be fixed by the windows.