Newsletter for May 2017

With the recent Ransomware Cyber Attack around the world, it is a timely reminder to each of us to ensure that the computer we are using has the latest updates and that we also regularly back up each device.  The articles below you may find informative and helpful.  However, if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to ask a Tutor at one of our classes or a How Do I…? Workshop.

What is a computer virus? (

Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation.

What do computer viruses do?

Through the course of using the Internet and your computer, you may have come in to contact with computer viruses. Many computer viruses are stopped before they can start, but there is still an ever-growing concern as to what do computer viruses do and the list of common computer virus symptoms. A computer virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your email program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.

Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in email messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open email attachments unless you know who it’s from and you are expecting it.

Viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files.

Computer viruses also spread through downloads on the Internet. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or programs you might download.

To help avoid computer viruses, it’s essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates, and that you follow a few basic rules when you surf the Internet, download files, and open attachments.

For more on this topic and the WannaCry Ransomware Worm in particular, click here to read the article on our website.

June – Workshop – Avoidance of Scams

The Avoidance of Scams, Workshop will cover various Scams that may appear on computers or in text messages.  If you have questions bring them along, we will try to answer any questions on the day or we will get back to you!  Put the date into your calendar now! Thursday 22 June at 1.30pm to 4pm (cost is $5.00 and places are limited – booking with Theresa is essential).

Practical tips when buying a new device

Ever been in the situation where you think you know what you need but during or after an intense discussion (and some of them are) with a technologically knowledgeable person you feel you’ve lost the plot?

This may be because you genuinely don’t understand the tech speak. If this is the case then ask the person to explain in your language. Or, alternatively it could be that you haven’t communicated your needs clearly enough.

To ensure you have, when you do go to buy or upgrade your new smartphone/tablet/ipad:

  • have a mental or physical list of the priority things YOU wish to use your smartphone for
  • ask lots of questions of the person demonstrating the device
  • speak up if you are in “information overload” and ask for a repeat explanation
  • before you leave the shop understand how to use the basics of your smartphone, which may be as simple as how to answer a call
  • consider more complex functions, which may be demonstrated, as an added bonus that you can explore further in your own time and at SeniorNet

Remember there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Don’t stress if you can’t absorb all the information given at the time of purchase. Focus on the basics. Once you have mastered the basics on your smartphone you will have the confidence to explore further what these clever devices can do for you.

Happy shopping!         Golden-ager

Has your password been hacked or stolen, and you don’t even know?!

You may be able to find out!

The trouble is, that if your password has been hacked, for instance from one of your websites like Gmail, Hotmail or Facebook or Skype, then perhaps you use that same password for other websites. So then the baddies can get into those sites as well!

The good news is that the hackers release databases with all the ones they have stolen. Why? Well as evidence of their “successful” work! They want people to know how clever they are. Why is that good news?

Well “Should I Change My Password” is a website that checks those databases for you and tells you if your password is one of the ones they have taken. If it has, then at least you know, and you can change your password ASAP.

Click on and just put in your email address, and it will tell you what you need to know. Remember this isn’t totally foolproof, but it’s certainly a good and easy test.
Ian Bonallack

Committee Nominations

The 2017 Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 19 July at 1:00pm. If you wish to nominate someone for the Committee, you are welcome to submit your nomination online here on our website. It is important to be aware that both the Nominator and Nominee must be current (ie paid-up) members of SeniorNet Kapiti. Online nominations close 1 July 2017.

Course Bookings

Please call Teresa at (04) 298 3132 and enrol in your chosen course,

Why not check out our classes and see if there is something to interest you for the next term or click to see our Course Timetable and costs. The course ‘Introduction to Computers’ is free and well suited to get into the basics of computing.  Please pass this information on to friends and family.  Remember that we also have reduced rates for any member wishing to repeat a course.

Regular Workshops

Regular Workshops are $5.00 per session (except Q&A which is a large gold coin). The current regular workshops are Q&A, iPad-iPhone and Android tablet Workshops each month and no prior booking is required. Click to see our Workshop and Special Interest Group (SIG) Timetable. If you’ve already completed a Course and need some additional help to clarify a few points we are, as always, delighted to help at one of our How Do I…? workshop sessions, where the charge varies depending on how long we spend helping you (max $10 per hour).

Tutors and Assistant Tutors Wanted

It may appear that we are always requesting for tutors and assistant tutors to join SeniorNet and that’s because we are!  So please contact Kuini at and she will discuss the options with you. Join our friendly and supportive group and bring your ideas forward for discussion. Experienced senior/lead tutors are there to train you to become assistant tutors and this is also a great opportunity to keep up with all the latest advances in the computer world. Tutors also need to keep themselves updated so enrol in a course or go along as an assistant tutor.


Please support our sponsors: Noel Leeming, Vodafone, Westpac Bank and Grey Power. Remember to take your SeniorNet card with you as substantial discounts are given on most items at Noel Leeming (not just computers!).

Have fun computing

Chairman Brian

3 thoughts on “Newsletter for May 2017

  1. Belinda,
    Glad you enjoyed the WannaCry article and even “gladder” that you’ve taken a full backup! I hope more members follow your example.

    As to whether your subsequent backups will be faster, the answer is “it depends!”…

    If you used the Windows 7 Backup & Restore Program in Windows 10 (or 8 or 7) then the answer is “Yes” PROVIDED you put the same hard disk into the PC. That program takes what are called “incremental” backups so subsequent backups are only recording changes since the last backup.

    If you used the more basic Copy method I recommended in the WannaCry article, then each backup will take the same length of time because everything is being copied every time.

    Both methods are equally valid although the Windows 7 Backup & restore method is more appropriate when you have large volumes of information (eg lots of pictures, music or videos). For most of our members however, the basic copy method onto a hard disk or memory stick is a quick, efficient and effective way to protect your information.

    Peter Bunkall

    • Thanks Peter. I did the full back-up, as shown to me by the Noel Leemings salesman, so I’ll expect the next to be a bit quicker.

  2. Thanks Seniornet. I’ve just backed up my computer for the first time for—years, I have to admit it. Followed the advice in the “Wannacry” post & took myself off to Noel Leemings to buy a backup disc & got the sales guy to take me through the steps. The process is so much easier, in fact a breeze compared to what I used to have to do, copying files separately. Took ages, but I assume it will be quicker next time as the backup copy will be updated rather than replaced?
    Belinda, Otaki

Comments are closed.