Bought a Used Computer? Dangers and Ways to Make It Secure
With the holiday season approaching, you might observe hot deals on several products in the market, including electronics. In addition to the brand-new launches, you also get deals on used or refurbished computers.
However, they can pose various hazards if you’re not careful. So, are you planning to, or have you already bought a used computer? Find some ideas to ensure that the computer you purchased works the best and there are no security issues.
Dangers associated with used computers
Even for a relatively new PC, you never know how the previous owner may have been using it or what was the real reason that they wanted to sell it. A used computer may potentially include any of the following issues.
A used PC may be a den of malware or Trojan viruses, often in favor of the seller, who may have installed them in the first place. Such programs may also be hidden as protected or encrypted files, making it difficult for new users to access them conveniently. One PC infection known as MoonBounce manages to cling onto the device even if you reinstall your operating system. It remains in a device by planting itself on the motherboard’s SPI flash memory.
Hidden network restrictions
You can restrict specific networks on your Windows, Linux, or macOS computer for security purposes. But that same safeguard can be used to prevent the new owner from using the services they may require personally or professionally. For instance, you can receive a used laptop that blocks services like OneDrive, Steam, and Amazon as they were deemed unsafe by the previous owner.
A refurbished PC doesn’t mean it has installed all the latest updates. It may still be running an older version of the OS with several backdoors wide open. Alternatively, malicious programs could run in the background using those backdoors. There are already thousands of cases of crypto-jacking, with shady developers using registered platforms to mine cryptocurrencies from their users’ computers without permission.
Degradation of hardware is a common issue among used PCs. Unless a professional went over it during the refurbishing process, it could be hard to know whether the storage drives, RAM, processor, or any other component is on its last legs.
Most sellers might only observe the physical damage before evaluating the reasonable selling price, not realizing that graphic cards and hard drives have their respective usage limits.
If you wish to buy a refurbished laptop, it is best to check the battery status. Old laptops may develop overheating issues from prolonged use, with some even capable of catching fire. That’s why experts recommend checking the date of manufacturing the battery (which might vary from the laptop) and replacing it if required.
How to ensure safety for your used computer
Now that you’re aware of the possible hazards of a used computer, you can take the necessary steps to avoid them. Some of those include the following.
Check the retail source
Sometimes, the problem can manifest in the source itself. If you buy a used laptop from an unverified or shady website, it will most likely be infected with malware or have defective pieces. Both Amazon and Walmart share certified refurbished products. Still, it helps to examine each seller closely before deciding to buy. Look out for more frequent complaints or low ratings.
Bench test all the hardware
You must not trust that the performance of any PC might match its written specifications. Always bench test a new computer using System Diagnostics. It gives you an accurate report of all the internal components connected to the motherboard. If possible, try doing it before you make a purchase. It can provide you with an edge in negotiations should you find any problems.
Flash the BIOS
The first thing to do after booting a used PC is to flash the BIOS of the system. Upon startup, you can do it by pressing the F2 key (depending on the manufacturer). Go to BIOS Settings and select the Flash option. It will reset the BIOS version as if the computer just came off the factory.
Wipe the hard drive/SSD
Once you’re confident that the BIOS is running as intended, you should format all the drives on your system or install a fresh one if you can afford it. You can do it through Disk Management or the Command Prompt in Windows. For macOS, it is located under System Utilities.
Scan the entire computer
The first software you should install on a used PC should be an antivirus. You should install the premium version of a trusted source and initiate a scan of the entire computer. If no viruses are detected, leave it active to counter future cyber threats.
Update to the latest OS
Updating your current OS is a great way to close off any backdoors on your device. You should do it if the computer is running an unregistered version. Sure, you must invest a bit more, but it can save you thousands of dollars in data privacy should you ignore it.
Use a VPN
When using the internet, it is possible that you will be subjected to various types of tracking. Furthermore, your computer’s connection to the internet might not always be secure. Thus, a PC VPN can help you avoid issues with unsecured connections. It offers protection by encrypting all incoming and outgoing data. Furthermore, you can use it to change your server location to anywhere else in the world, throwing any cyber stalkers off your scent.
The prospect of owning a new PC for cheap is rather lucrative. So, have you bought a used computer? Dangers and ways to make it safe should also be on your mind. With this guide, you can ensure that no other device can turn on you ever again.
Streamlining User Acceptance Testing with the Best Automation Tools Available
User acceptance testing is a crucial phase in the development cycle that comes last. Testing is done to ensure that the software will meet the requirements of the end users. No business will want to release low-quality software products to the consumer, and testing ensures the software’s quality, functionality, and usability.
The manual process has been used for testing over the years, but it was time-consuming and prone to human errors. UAT automation tools come to solve this problem, and you can perform tests faster, more accurately, and with greater consistency. It doesn’t take much time like manual testing does and reduces the efforts and risk of human error. With automated testing, you can expect an improvement in overall quality.
What Is UAT and its Automation?
UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is a type of testing that is performed in the end by the client or end-user to verify the software quality, and it is done in the final phase of development. UAT becomes crucial to validate end-to-end business flow and works without focusing on system testing, cosmetic errors, and spelling mistakes. UAT testing becomes crucial after developing the product as developers have written the code for the software on their understanding and might require changes later. If a developer writes code that is not effectively communicated, the client will not accept the product. Testing helps to deal with it.
UAT automation means you don’t have to run the test as it runs automatically in a UAT automation tool. After performing the testing with the tool, you will get to know the actual performance of the software compared to your expectation. It will give you an answer of yes or no. The benefit of using a UAT automation tool is that it can mimic the task without any error.
Manual Vs. Automated Testing
Manual testing is the traditional way of testing, and automation is the recent testing practice using UAT automation tools. There are not any either-or options between them as both have their strengths.
In Automation testing, tests run quickly and repeatedly. Humans can’t do repetitive tasks as it leads to boredom or fatigue, and unavailability is another concern. You can use automation tools based on your comfort as it provides high availability and performs the task with accuracy. The automation tools allow you to perform stress, binary-based and script-based testing.
In manual testing, the tester gave the output beyond yes or no. For example, complex and subjective test scripts require an actual tester that requires more than a yes or no result. A tester provides the actual response to an issue and identifies the defects, problems, and solutions. On the other hand, automation testing results in yes or no. Numerous ways of testing can be done manually such as evaluations of fonts, reports, menu types, workflow logic, etc. Manual testers can identify how software can be used.
Automated and manual testing have the strength that can be used by users based on their requirements. When both mixes, it creates a bigger impact. Both tests complement each other as a simple and repetitive test can be performed automatically while a complex and specific test can run manually.
Top Automation Tools
Here is the list of a few UAT automation tools available for automation testing.
It is a code-based tool that is free to use and widely used for automating web browsers. It supports multiple programming languages like Java, Ruby, Python, and C# and provides a rich set of APIs for testing web applications.
● Test Complete
It is also a code-based tool that automates web, mobile, and desktop applications. It also supports multiple languages like selenium and provides a user-friendly interface for creating and executing tests. TestComplete is well-suited for automating UAT, especially for complex applications that require extensive testing.
Another open-source automation tool that supports multiple programming languages and automates mobile, web, and hybrid applications. Appium is a popular choice for automating mobile applications.
A commercial tool that automates desktop, web, and mobile applications. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating and executing tests and supports multiple programming languages, including C#, Java, and Python. Ranorex is well-suited for automating UAT, especially for applications with complex user interfaces.
Another open-source tool that is used for automation and supports Behavior Driven Development (BDD). It provides a clear and concise way to define test scenarios in plain language, making it easier for end-users to understand and validate the software’s functionality. Cucumber is a popular choice for automating UAT in agile development environments.
● HP UFT/LeanFT
HP UFT (Unified Functional Testing) and LeanFT are commercial tools that are used for automation. They provide a comprehensive set of APIs for automating UAT and support multiple programming languages. It is well-suited for automating UAT in large organizations with complex testing requirements.
Opkey is a no-code UAT test automation platform that allows business users to seamlessly participate in testing.
UAT testing is a crucial aspect of the development cycle, and the testing process comes last. It ensures the quality of software that will meet the requirements of the end user. There are two types of testing – manual, and automation. Manual testing is the traditional way of testing, and automation testing is a recent way of testing that is quick, reliable, and repetitive. UAT automation tools help you to automate the testing process, and Opkey is one of the great tools for automation.
What is Metaverse? Everything You Need to Know!
As Facebook has changed its name to “Meta”, you may have heard a lot about Metaverse.
There is a discussion that Metaverse is the future of technology as a lot of tech giants are investing in it.
Microsoft, Google, Qualcomm, and Nvidia are investing billions of dollars in the metaverse.
But, what is it? How to get access to Metaverse?
You must have these questions in your mind so let’s discuss them in detail.
What is Metaverse?
Suppose that there is a virtual land where different people or their avatars are moving, interacting with each other, selling or buying new things, and playing or learning new concepts, all from the comfort of their physical homes.
This virtual world is Metaverse. In it, our computer screens will turn into a 3D virtual realm that will be like real life.
At this moment, the metaverse is still in its growing stage, and evolving this technology may take time.
Today, you can see a glimpse of Metaverse in form of virtual workspaces such as Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, online video games like Fortnite, or virtual operating rooms.
These only resemble the idea of Metaverse as they have limited facilities while the concept of Metaverse is one virtual world that has every facility and technology in it.
This is a brief introduction to Metaverse. But, what is its history?
Let’s see it.
History of Metaverse
The term “Metaverse” was first used in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash“. This fact shows that this concept is not new, and in past, people have tried to work on this concept.
Sainsbury, the UK grocery chain, introduced a VR shopping demo in the 90s.
Second Life, a popular game launched in 2003, depicted the concept of Metaverse. This game is most near to the real concept of the metaverse that futurists have thought about.
Some technologies which gave access to this virtual world are augmented reality (AR) glasses and virtual reality (VR) headsets. These technologies are slowly evolving now.
This is the brief history that told us that the metaverse concept is an old one, and to some extent, it is present in today’s world. But, how to get access to it?
How to Get Access to Metaverse?
As we have discussed, there is no single portal at this moment. Various platforms are offering Metaverse technology which you can access.
Fortnite, Roblox, Horizons World, and Sandbox are giving a variety of virtual life experiences such as gaming, shopping, or virtual workspace.
You can access these platforms through a Virtual Reality (VR) headset.
But, a lot of experts are claiming that you can access Metaverse through smartphones too. This is vague information and people are still unsure how to access Metaverse through this method.
How to Buy Land in Metaverse?
Just like you have to buy a product or land in the physical world, the same you have to do it in the virtual world.
This land can be used to give services, host events, publish educational activities and create mini-games in the virtual world.
A lot of celebrities and businesses such as Snoop Dog, JP Morgan, and Samsung have virtual lands in metaverse platforms. The businesses are using this land to interact with staff and give access to services to their clients.
But, how to buy land in Metaverse?
There are four steps to buying it.
1. Have a Digital Wallet
You should have a digital currency to buy virtual land and to hold that currency, you need a digital wallet.
There are various digital wallets in the market such as MetaMask and Binance Chain Wallet. Make sure that you choose a wallet that supports the digital currency you need.
The metaverse platform will tell you which wallet should you have and how to link it with the platform.
2. Buy Cryptocurrency
You need to buy cryptocurrency to have a virtual land. The cryptocurrencies are $MANA, $ETH, and $SAND.
3. Select a Metaverse Platform
You have to select the metaverse platform from where you want to buy the land. Some popular platforms such as Sandbox and Decentraland sell virtual lands. You can also buy land from third-party sellers such as OpenSea.
4. Purchase it
After completing all the above steps, you just have to click buy. Once your transaction will be confirmed, you can see your NFT in your digital wallet and will become the owner of the land.
In the end, we can say that the metaverse is a future technology, and you can feel or understand it through different metaverse platforms present at this moment.
In this article, we have discussed some essential questions which people may have in their minds about the metaverse. It contains some basic and essential information about this new technology which is going to change the face of technology in the future.
Can’t wait to see its further growth and experience the power of technology!
Top Automated Technologies to Improve Life
Do you want to modernize your dwelling and bring it into the twenty-first century in a way that improves your quality of life and increases the energy efficiency of your home? You may want to consider installing a smart home. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your family members and has all your utilities in one place that’s easy to keep track of. But there is another option for movies in home automation application – the purchase of individual automation components, products, or systems.
This second option involves versatile smart desks, motorized windows, TV lifts, and, of course, adjustable bed frames to make your sleep healthier. All of these products can be easily adjusted to your home environment and let you enjoy more free time and absolute comfort. No one likes cluttered surfaces and spaces in the kitchen, bedroom, or any other room. For this case, we have upgraded furniture by linear actuators integration and control panel. Learn further to get more details about them.
Smart Home Ideas to Reach the Level of Comfort You Need
Smart homes focus on convenience, safety, and efficiency. Instead of sci-fi robots or devices that tune into our deepest desires before we have a chance to voice them, updating your abode controls is an effective way to check all your utilities.
Simply put, smart homes were created with the consumer in mind and aimed at making life easier and more convenient. Let’s forget about any stigma you might have and focus on how much time you could save by installing a smart home.
Some of the benefits of smart homes are long-term. This means that it takes a certain level of investment to start saving money, making your home more efficient, and spending less time organizing your utilities. Because of this, the reasons why someone might not consider installing a smart home are usually related to finances.
Smart Lighting and Its Benefits
This is usually the entry point for those looking to update their home systems. It’s also a great place to start playing with the mood of certain rooms and change colors or dimming settings throughout the day.
The advantage of smart lighting is that you don’t need a central hub to control it, you can just use an app on your phone or even program it with a smart home speaker.
For this reason, smart lighting is used by many modern Americans, and simple features like turning on the living room lights while you’re on vacation are an effective way to scare away unwanted guests and intruders. Smart lights can interact with other smart home devices, which is another big reason why so many people focus on lighting as a stepping stone into the world of smart home devices.
Thermostats and Smart Heating in Your Home
Another key part of smart homes is the ease of controlling your home’s heating, which can start saving you money in the long run. While this is usually the most expensive installation cost, integrating a smart thermostat will add value to your home by bringing it up to date.
Smart thermostats are effective for programming the rooms you occupy the most and adjusting your HVAC systems accordingly. Another great feature of this system is that you can connect speakers and program them so that your home doesn’t use energy when you’re away to heat a room you don’t intend to be in.
Home Security Cameras
An effective way to establish Security in your home is through the installation of home security cameras. Most often, this is used to keep an eye on your home or even pets when you are not at home. Street models are effective at catching burglars on the spot before they get inside.
Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Another way to keep your home safe is to upgrade your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Smart detectors will generate local alarms, and send notifications to your phone and anyone you authorize as a contact when a hazard is detected.
This is another great feature for all elderly or vulnerable people because you will have peace of mind knowing that they are insured and that you will be contacted in an emergency.
Automated Desks and Bed Frames
These products are a must-have for any abode. Their key function and features are to bring ergonomics to your home. You will feel better with them in terms of physical and correspondingly mental state.
If you study or work from home, an adjustable desk will allow you to change your body positioning while sitting and standing. It is able to adjust its height according to your particular physique and general preferences. Do not sit the whole day, discover a new ergonomic way of working while standing for some time.
Speaking about motorized bed frames, here you get a perfect sleeping place with proper body positioning. All systems of your body will start to work better: no pain in the legs, no strain in the back and head. Moreover, you will get rid of noisy snoring and feel more power in the morning.
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