Clickbaits, phishing, toolbars: how to avoid internet scams

It feels like the Internet had become a real jungle nowadays, with scams at every corner.

Here are 5 tips to avoid those scams and make sure you stay on the safe side, (particularly if you’re browsing video streaming websites)

 

Number 1:If it’s too good to be true, ignore it! Don’t be gullible, there is no way a  perfect (dying) stranger would contact you to give you its millions as inheritance! Nope! Answer one of those emails and chances are you’ll be asked for money first to cover for the inheritance transfer, etc… of which you’ll never see a dime. Be careful as well with any emails from banks or any organization asking you to log in to your account under false pretencies. Those emails may look legit, but if you look closely, you’ll see small details that shouldn’t fool you: a fake sender domain, a corporate logo that’s not quite like the real one, approximative grammar, links that do not open the company’s website, etc.

Number 2: Avoid facebook quizzes  and stay away from anything with a dramatic title! If you don’t want to be spammed, or worse have your email account pirated, stay clear of those seemingly harmless quizzes you ‘ll find everywhere on Facebook. They could be used by hackers to infiltrate your personal data and mask malicious links… (never sign up for anything or enter your email address!)

 The Internet  is also full of “clickbaits”, fake news stories with sensational headlines. In addition to being a let down and a waste of time, those dangerous links can host malware and trojans or cause Clickjacking ( a malicious technique where you’re tricked into clicking on something different from what you think you’re clicking on, thus potentially revealing confidential information or taking control of your computerJust stay away from anything that wants you to “watch” or “see” something “unbelievable”…

Number 3: Be careful where you click when installing a new software or an update. At VSO we DO NOT add any toolbars to our installers, but, sadly, other software companies do. Be aware, especially when downloading a free program, where you click and what you agree on, or you may end up with unwanted add-ons or browser toolbars. Those toolbars are usually riddled with ads (installing additional banners, search engines, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial and in-text link advertisements). So, you’re safe with us, but if you install a software that’s not from VSO, make sure you deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place.

Number 4: Only buy from trustworthy, securized websites. Before making an online purchase, always check the “About us” page (does it look like a legit company?) Where is the head office situated ? Is the overall design professional enough (or does it look like a quickly/cheaply made website)? and most importantly, does the shopping cart have a URL that starts with https (the ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. And finally look for the “lock” icon  to check a site’s security, to the left of the web address,

When in doubt , google the website name and check ou the reviews.

Number 5: Know how to get out of tricky situations. You were minding your own business when a pop up  window suddenly appears, telling you your PC is at risk of being infected by a virus, and you need to call a number to get help?   And what’s more, you cannot close that window for the life of you? Sounds familiar? Those fake tech support pages are run by cyber criminals  in an attempt to make you pay for their malware removal “services”. They purposely make it difficult to close the browser window which then scares users into making the call to remove the supposed “virus”.

To close the invasive pop up, press CTRL + ALT + DEL on your keyboard to bring up the Windows Task Manager, select the browser’s name in the list and click on “End task”.

If you’re browsing streaming video websites,  you’re likely to encounter one of those pop ups… Read more about those in this post. You may want to install a free Adblocker to prevent unwanted ads from appearing, or subscribe to  a VPN service to surf anonymously.

Be smart!

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Father’s day is coming!

Father’s Day is fast approaching and you have no idea what to get your dad?

 

Forget ties and socks, here are some very cool ideas for the geek and TV addict fathers!

A remote control pillow (yes, it really works!!) ! We’re not saying your dad is lazy or anything, but isn’t the gift of not having to get up from the couch to get the remote control the best gift of all?

 

A Breaking bad doormat. For the series fans who want to show who’s boss!

 

A VPN subscription. Ah, the gift of security and peace of mind…! Being able to secure internet connections and one’s identity on the net is simply priceless nowadays!… Get your dad a 1,6 or 12 months subscription to Hide My Ass, one of the best VPN service on the market (approved by VSO!)

 

A light saber set of keys . This is not some boring key chain: look closer… Yep, those keys are actually cut into a light saber. No need to use the Force to open doors! Works on Kwikset and Schlage brands.

 

A zombie back scratcher. Because…… well, it’s just awesome!!! Actually I might get one for myself too!!

 

If your father is a bit more classy and likes his Martinis “shaken, not stirred”, then he deserves those James Bond cufflinks

 

Get your dad to explore the uncharted territory of the swimming pool sitting in this Star Trek pool chair!

 

If your dad likes fishing, then this smart fish finder  from That sweet gift is a must-have! No more time wasted, let technocology find out if there’s fish around or not  with this app + sonar!

 

Your father still has these old cassette tapes lying around? Why not get him a cassette to  Mp3 converter so he can convert his old music or recordings into MP3? And get rid of those tapes for good!

And finally, why of course, the best gift of all: a software from VSO! Very easy to use, but with outstanding quality, it’s the perfect gift even if your father is not computer savvy!

For instance our great  video to DVD conversion software, ConvertXtoDVD! Let your dad enjoy his videos on the big screen!

Or our VSO Downloader Ultimate, to retrieve almost any videos that he’ll find on the internet!

Like this guide? Share it around to make sure you get what you really want, if you’re a dad yourself!

For more Father’s day gift ideas, check out our T-shirts selection.

 

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How to change a colour video to black and white?

Wanna give your videos the vintage look?

Turn them into Black and White!

With our video converters, it’s very easy:

In ConvertXtoDVD:

  1. Open software, load the video
  2. Click on the Image Settings tab
  3. Set the saturation to 0
  4. Check the preview: the video is in black and white. Now just click on “Convert”!

In ConvertXtoVideo, Blu-ray Converter and DVD Converter, simply load the video, then click on “Advanced Settings” on the right. In the window that opens, click on the movie clip icon, and set the third setting (saturation) to zero  in the Brightness, contrast… section:

If you only need to extract a black and white snapshot from a colour video, no need to convert the whole video, simply follow these steps:

  1. Open our free VSO Media Player then load the video
  2. Click on the little TV icon
  3. Set Saturation to zero (see below)
  4. Play the video and press the F9 key to make the screenshot of the desired scene (you can pause the video at the exact scene then click on F9). You’ll find the black and white screenshot in “Images” on your PC.

That’s it!

 

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Why is this year’s Cannes film festival revolutionary?

Forget wardrobe malfunctions and other actor’s tantrums, this year’s most prestigious film festival is all about embracing TV (or trying to)!

Cannes first wardrobe malfunction, courtesy of Bella Hadid

Indeed, the lineup at each year’s Cannes Film Festival often includes a few surprises, but this year we’re in for a treat!

For the first time (and apparently the last, read on), two Netflix movies will be competing in the race for the Palme d’Or. The outrage here is that those movies will never be screened in cinema theaters, but only on the TV subscription service!

Even the members of the jury disagreed, (president Pedro Almodovar suggested the movies should not win anything while his fellow jury member Will Smith defended  Netflix move).  The controversy heightened at the first movie premiere , Okja by Bong Joon-ho (excellent director of “The Snowpiercer”), where the film was booed and a curious curtain malfunction hid the screen for the first few minutes… It was later announced  that from now on the festival would not shortlist any movies that would not be distributed in French cinemas theaters.

The second Netflix movie is called The Meyerowitz Stories and stars Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman and Ben Stiller, will screen on May, 21st.

This year,  film festival will also host for the first time special screenings of TV shows! Two of its award winning directors, David Lynch and Jane Campion, will premiere their new series at Cannes!

The first two parts of Twin Peaks (the new TV series, not the movie that won the Palme d’Or ) will have a special screening on May, 26 th (while it will have already premiered on Sunday, 21st on Showtime.)

The second installment of Top of the Lake (titled “China Girl”), starring Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman, will be screened in its entirety, before its actual premiers in September on Sundance TV.

So is Cannes embracing television after all?

In any case, if you’re a fan of the glam surrounding the festival and the gossip of the film industry,  I suggest you watch a great French TV series about the world of talent agents, Call My Agent streaming on Netflix or here.

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How to improve video image quality ?

If you have an old video, VHS tape or footage with a bad or unstable image, then this tutorial is for you!

While no miracles can be made, our post processing engine can really improve the image quality of your videos.

It works like a magic wand, so not much to do on your side, apart from choosing the right filter that works for your video.

– Open our ConvertXtoDVD video converter (there is a full and free trial version, so no need to buy the program if you do not wish to)

– Load your video, then click on the “Image Settings” tab on the right, under the Preview.

  • Under Image Post Processing, you’ll see a drop-down menu of different filters:   Detail and contrast, one especially designed for VHS tapes (but works for other types of videos too), Sharpen and Blur.

  • Then click on the icon on the right with two movie films, this will enable you to see two screens in the preview: the original on the left (“before”) and the “new” one with the applied filter on the right (“after”).
  • Press play in the above preview. Both screens will be displayed so you can fully evaluate the filter and be able to choose the one that better enhances the image.

Here are some Before/After exemples, the difference might not strike you with these small screenshots, but it is definitely visible in the software preview and on  the TV screen !

Before/After with the “Details and contrast enhance” filter:

Before/After with the “VHS tapes” filter (here is how to import VHS content to your PC):

Before/After with the “Sharpen strong” filter:

  • Once you’ve made your choice, don’t forget to press “Convert” to convert the file and have the enhancement filter applied.                                                                                                                                                                 Insert a DVD to burn automatically , and you’re done!
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