Valentines – Can Windows really make you more romantic?
Your PC can do many things, but making you into a more desirable partner is probably not one of them, nevertheless, just like any other occasion, your PC can help things go with a bang, if you know how.
Valentines shopping – Ok, so we’ve gone into lots of online shopping tips back in our November newsletter, so if you need some general security pointers, be sure to check that out.
If you’re shopping for a really special gift for someone, particularly someone who you share your home with, then remember to keep things secret. Some web browsers have so called incognito modes, but the best way to keep things on the sly is to create a separate user account for each person. Not only that, but you get a boost to your PCs security if you create a separate administrator account and then a day to day standard user account.
Creating user accounts is easy. Here’s how to do it in Windows 10.
If you think your partner might get suspicious, you can delete the new account as soon as you’re done using it too. Windows will always require you to have one administrator account, but you can add or remove user accounts as often as you like.
Sneaking away for the weekend? Maybe you should pack the laptop after all – If you’re getting away from it all with your loved one this weekend then it might be best to leave the laptop behind. The temptation to check your work e-mails or messages might get too much. However, if you’re going away and want to make sure you don’t get bored, remember your Windows PC offers a way to watch both the Netflix and Amazon Prime services. The TV in the hotel might be restricted to just broadcast television rather than the selections available on these streaming services.
You can watch Netflix on your PC by downloading the app in the Windows store. For Amazon Prime, you will need to watch in your web browser.
Online dating dos and don’ts – If you’re single this Valentines day then you might be tempted to try one of the many online dating services. These services can and do work for some people, but not everyone. Curb your expectations and consider it as a possible way to meet someone, rather than something that will automatically find you Mr or Mrs right. We don’t have any specific recommendations for any particular service, there are several around that cater for all kinds of preferences, so do some checking before you subscribe!
If you do dip your toes into the waters of online dating, be careful not to lose your head. Did you know that “Romance Fraud” is on the increase? Criminals and con-men pray on lonely hearts, at first chatting and flirting normally, then convincing them to send money or expensive gifts. A sob story from your new crush might be what you want to believe, but would someone who cared about you really want you to send them money before you even met?, probably not. Think long and hard and ask the advice of a friend before you get involved with anyone like this.
As with anyone you meet online, be careful with what information you share. It’s extremely easy to make a mistake when you start regularly corresponding with someone you like. Send a photo from your smartphone, for instance, and on many phones the location is tagged on the image. Now, a stranger on the internet has your street address, accurate to within one house number usually.
Keep in mind too that anything you share online has the potential to stay online forever. If you share intimate pictures with someone, even on a private, encrypted messaging service like Whatsapp or Wire, there’s nothing to stop them copying the messages and posting or sharing them elsewhere. Depending on what you shared it may actually be illegal for them to repost it, of course, but it still has the potential to be embarrassing and even damaging.
Have teenage kids? – Teenagers often share things they shouldn’t, with Valentines around the corner they may be more tempted than ever to do so, so talk to your teen about what’s safe to share and what isn’t. So called “sexting”, the sending of intimate pictures, can land teens in serious legal trouble. If you’re under the age of consent, you cannot consent to such things, even with yourself.
Meeting an online crush – Whether you meet on a dating site or just by chance somewhere else online (yes, people even meet their significant others on forums or online gaming services!) then eventually of course, you will need to take those first steps towards meeting in the real world. For a first meeting, always meet somewhere public and always tell someone where you are going. The media sometimes paints a dark picture of online dating and strangers on the internet, but in reality it’s no more or less likely to land you in trouble than any other way of meeting new people.
Playing together – You might not realise, but there are actually some couple friendly video games you might want to check out, if you’re both into that sort of thing of course! The super popular farming simulator Stardew Valley lets two friends cooperate growing crops, raising animals and exploring the valley. You will each need a PC (you can’t play split screen) and a copy of the game.
The cutesy “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” lets two (or three or four!) players cooperate and take on the evil forces of “anti-love”, just remember to work together and play nicely! Check it out here.
Whatever you get up to this year, or if you’re skipping the whole thing and staying happily single, we hope you have a fun day!