Tech Tip – Optimise Power Plans For Your Battery Life

Windows allows users to customise or switch between different power plans based on their current needs, balancing performance with energy consumption. This is especially useful for laptop users who may need to maximise battery life or require full performance during intensive tasks. Here’s how works:

– Right-click on the battery icon in the taskbar and select Power Options, or search for “Edit Power Plan” in the Start menu.

– Here, you can switch between pre-defined plans such as Balanced, Power saver, or High performance.

– Customise these plans or create your own by modifying settings like screen brightness, sleep timers, and processor power management.

Tech Tip – Voice Typing In Windows

If you don’t want to type but need to produce some written content (e.g. dictate something for an email message or an offer) the Windows ‘voice typing’ feature easily and quickly transcribes your speech to text. If you haven’t yet tried it, you may find it fun as well as useful. Here’s how it works:

– Open a suitable Windows app for text, e.g. Word and click into the document where you want the text to start.

– Click on Win + H. If you haven’t yet toggled on ‘Speech recognition’ it will provide a link to Settings enable you to do so. Toggle it to the ‘on’ position.

– Once that’s done, close Settings, return to your Word document and click on Win + H.

– The microphone symbol will appear at the top of the screen. Click on the microphone and wait for the ‘listening’ notification.

– Dictate your text requirements and it will be converted to text in your Word document.

Tech Tip – Filtering Video Searches In Google

If you need to search Google for a specific video, or for the best version of that video, Google Search lets you filter video results by duration, time, quality, source, and more. Here’s how it works:

– Type the words into Google Search that you’re looking for a video about.

– When the results are displayed, click on ‘Images’ (below the Google Search box).

– Click on the ‘Tools’ link (just to the right).

– Use the small dropdown menus to filter down and find the exact video you need.

Tech Tip – Use Google Translate To Check For Mistakes In Your Content

If you’ve written content such as blog posts, articles etc that you’d like to check thoroughly for any mistakes and hear more clearly how it sounds being read back, try using Google Translate. Here’s how.

– Go to Google Translate.

– Copy and paste your content (up to 5,000 characters) into the left-hand window and select English as the language.

– Click on the speaker (‘Listen’) icon in the bottom left of the left-hand window.

– Listen to your content being read back, keeping an ear out for any changes you’d like to make.

Tech Tip – Enhance Password Security with Emojis

If you’d like to fortify your passwords to make them exceptionally challenging to crack, incorporating emojis can prove remarkably effective.

It might come as a surprise to many users but, as highlighted recently by Kaspersky, some popular apps and online platforms (e.g. Dropbox and OpenAI) permit the use of emojis to bolster the strength of passwords.

For example, computers treat emojis much like they do numbers and special characters. Whereas traditional passwords consisting of letters, numbers, and punctuation offer less than a hundred permutations for each character, Unicode boasts over 3,600 standardised emojis. Consequently, by simply adding one emoji to your password, you increase the complexity for hackers by almost 4,000 possible variations per symbol. Experts suggest that employing five distinct emoticons is akin to using a typical nine-character password.

Therefore, if you’d like to craft a password that is highly resistant to guessing or brute force attacks and offers an additional, unexpected layer of security against cyber threats, incorporating a couple of easily memorable (and swiftly typable) emojis may be the solution.

As a word of caution, however, some emojis are harder to enter. For example, on desktops, there may in some cases be problems in passing verification when signing in.

Tech Tip – Automatically Block Third-Party Cookies In Google Chrome

If you’d like to protect your privacy and prevent yourself from being tracked by websites other than the one you are currently visiting, there’s a way to automatically block third-party cookies in Google Chrome. Here’s how:

– In Chrome, click on the three dots (top right) and click on ‘Settings’.

– Click on ‘Privacy and security’.

– Click on ‘Third-party cookies’.

– Select ‘Block third-party cookies’.

Tech Tip – Create Shortcuts for Important WhatsApp Chats

If there’s a particular and important chat you access frequently, you can create a shortcut for it on your device’s home screen. Here’s how:

Long-press on the specific chat in the chat list until it’s selected.

Tap on the three dots (top right).

Choose “Add chat shortcut.”

Tap on “Add”.

This will create a shortcut icon on your device’s home screen, so you can save time by accessing the chat directly without opening WhatsApp first.

Tech Tip – Prioritise WhatsApp Messages By Pinning A Chat To The Top

If there’s a particular WhatsApp chat you would like to prioritise, you can pin it to the top of your chats list. Here’s how:

– For Android: Tap and hold the chat you want to pin, then tap the Pin symbol at the top of the screen.

– For iPhone: Swipe right on the chat you want to pin, then tap Pin.

Your chosen chats (you can choose up to three) will then moved to top of your chats list.

Tech Tip – Google Chrome’s Link To Highlighted Text Feature

If you’ve found a specific passage of text in a web page that you’d like to show to another person, Google Chrome has a built-in feature that allows you to share a link that goes straight to that text. Here’s how it works:

– In Chrome, highlight the passage text in any web page that you’d like to show to, e.g. to a customer or colleague.

– Right-click.

– Select ‘Copy link to highlight.’

– Share the link.

Tech Tip – How To Save Time By Sending Public (But Private-Looking) Messages In WhatsApp

If you’d like to use WhatsApp to save time when asking a group of people the same question, making it look as though you’ve asked each of them individually and not having to open each chat to ask them separately, here’s how:

– For Android: Tap on Chats > Menu (three dots top right)> New Broadcast.

– Select the contacts for the broadcast list by tapping on their names (a green tick will appear).

– Once the list has been made, tap on the “Create” (big green tick) button. You will then be shown the number of recipients (and names) top left, with a message field at the foot of the screen.

– Compose and send the message to the list.

– To edit the recipients, or to delete the list, tap on the three dots (top right) and tap on ‘Broadcast list info.’

– To create the list in iOS – Tap on Chats > Broadcast Lists > New List > Add contacts.