How To Set Up Additional Monitors With A Laptop

Working from home? On a desk? Maybe the dining room table? Or even an ironing board??  

Unless you have a permanent workstation set up in your home, at some point you will probably have to take everything apart and then put it back together again. And as you don’t have an IT team at home it’s up to you to get it right. 

If you are lucky enough to be working with additional monitors plugging these in to your laptop, either using a docking station or cable should be relatively straightforward, and if you are simply re-assembling your workstation the monitors will hopefully go back to their previous settings. But what if they don’t? Or what if this is a first-time setup? That’s where the problems might start! 

Fear not, just follow our simple guide on how to set up additional monitors with a laptop in Windows 10. 

Firstly, click the Windows icon to open your Start menu, and select the cog wheel button to open the settings menu. 

From the Windows Settings menu, click on Systemand the Display menu should automatically be open for you. If not, search for Display in the left hand menu. 

Making sure that your additional monitors are correctly connected and (if necessary) powered up, click on Detect (to make sure your laptop is aware of all attached monitors), followed by Identify and a number will briefly appear on each of your monitors (possibly including your laptop).  

Once the additional screens have been detected you ideally want them to operate from left to right, and you should re-arrange them in the settings screen to match their actual position on your workstation. So if the left hand monitor is actually “2”, and the right hand monitor is “1”, click and hold on one of the monitors in Display Settings and drag it (left or right) to where you want it to be. When you are happy, click Apply. 

Select a screen resolution that works best for you. Usually a setting that is Recommended by Windows as this is based on the display’s hardware. Also ensure your Display Orientation is set to Landscape. 

Finally, and possibly most importantly, check the settings in the Multiple displays section. The first time any new monitors are plugged in these additional screens are set to Duplicate these displays, which basically means they act as a mirror of your laptop screen across the additional monitors. Assuming your aim is to have 2 (or 3, including your laptop) monitors all acting as a single desktop display, select Extend these displays from the drop-down menu, which allows you to use them as additional monitors instead. If you are going to keep the laptop screen as part of a 3 monitor desktop, we recommend it be set up in position 1 or 3, whichever suits your work setup best. 

But if you are using a laptop and 2 additional monitors and do not want the laptop screen switched on, you can un-check the box labelled Make this my main display, and this switches off the laptop screen, leaving you with the additional monitors only as your display. Obviously if you only attach 1 additional monitor you cannot un-check this box. 

We Are Now A WatchGuard Gold Partner!

Today we are extremely proud to have been certified as a WatchGuard Gold Partner. There were several milestones which both Labyrinth Technology and more importantly our staff individually had to achieve in order for us to reach this level of partnership, and is a testament to the level of our service that can be expected from businesses looking for the highest standards of network security.

Commenting on what this means, both for Labyrinth Technology and our clients, our Business Support Director, Matt Dunn explains:

Matt Dunn

“Being a WatchGuard Gold Partner is a recognition of our many years of experience and expertise in their security product portfolio. Achieving Gold Partner status is a significant milestone for our business and was a company wide effort. Now that we are a WatchGuard Gold Partner we will be able to collaborate much more closely with WatchGuard in a number of areas.”

“Our new partnership status gives our clients access to very competitive pricing and gives them reassurance that we have the expertise required to meet their security requirements with products from an industry leading security vendor.”

Being a WatchGuard Gold Partner will allow us to enhance the products, services and support we offer in respect of one of the leading manufacturers of network security equipment and cyber security tools. If the security of your computer network is important to you, contact us now for a free, honest and expert consultation.

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Adobe flash player may not uninstall automatically: check now!

In early January we wrote about the demise of Adobe Flash Player and how it had reached end of life. Indeed Adobe themselves made a change so that it wouldn’t play any content after January 12th this year. So it effectively became an un-used, un-supported and un-secure piece of software on your computer, which Microsoft have clearly realised. An update to Windows last year (KB4577586 for those of you that worry about these things) made un-installing Flash Player optional, but now Microsoft are re-running this update automatically to actively remove Flash Player.

However...

This update will not work on Flash Player installations that were completed using the Adobe standalone installer. So it is important that you check periodically to make sure that Flash Player does get un-installed. If not, you will have software that could pose a security threat to your device. If you need to uninstall a standalone version of Flash, click here to see the instructions listed on Adobe’s website.

File Emails Automatically In Outlook; How To Create A Rule 

How many emails to you get each day? Too many we hear you shout! And we would wager then several of them are merely updates, information emails about “company performance yesterday” and so on. The sort of email you don’t necessarily need to read immediately but would like to have on file just in case. You try to file them every day but eventually they just clutter up your already bulging inbox. 

Well, did you know you can automatically file these emails without them even going into your inbox? Here’s how. 

Within Outlook, on the left-hand panel right click your Inbox and select New Folder. Type the name of the folder you want the emails to be moved into, then press the Enter key. If you already have a file ready to receive these emails, ignore this step. 

There is a SIMPLE way and an ADVANCED way to do this, and today we are dealing with the EASY way onlySo, from wherever it is in Outlook find the latest email in the series you want to file automatically (like the daily update email mentioned above) and click on it. No need to open it though. Now make sure the Home tab is selected and locate the 3 dots at right end of the menu bar. Click this and then click or hover on Rules. pop-up window will appear, and from this box select Create Rule. 

You will now see a pop-up box with options for you to select regarding which emails you want to file automatically: 

  1. Who the email was sent from 
  2. What the subject contains 
  3. Who the email was sent to 

You will also see in this box options regarding what you want to happen to these emails: 

  1. Whether it is to be automatically displayed in a New Item Alert window 
  2. Whether you want a specific sound played to notify you these emails have arrived (different to the normal “new email” sound) 
  3. Whether you want the emails filed automatically 

Remembering that we are following the EASY method for the purposes of moving a regular emailso you should find that the From and Subject fields will be pre-completed, so all you need to do is check theseHowever, be careful, because if the subject changes because it contains a date for instance, you would need to remove the date part from the Subject contains box (Daily Digest 17/02/21 becomes merely Daily Digest). 

Clicking the arrow in the Sent to box allows you to stipulate whether the emails to be automatically filed are those sent to you only, one of the other recipients, or (assuming we are doing this for regular company emails) the distribution list itself (“Management Team, All Staff and so on). 

Once you are happy with the “When I get email with all of the selected conditions boxes, it is time to look at the last 3 boxes in the Do the following section. 

Because we are only concerned today with moving emails automatically, ignore the first 2 boxes. Go to, and check the box called Move the item to folder, and then select the destination folder from the list presented to you in the pop-up box. 

And that’s it. Click OK and you are done. 

Just remember the following: 

  1. You don’t need to check all the boxes. Think logically about each one (for instance, if the daily update email is sent from someone different within an Admin department each day, do not check the From box). 
  2. The rule you create will move the desired emails from your inbox automatically, without you realising itIf you want to read it you will need to go to the new folder to do this. 
  3. When a new email goes into this folder you should see a in bold appear next to the folder name, and this will show the amount of unread emails in this folder. 

Also remember that this is the EASY and SIMPLE version, and that there is also a DIFFICULT and COMPLICATED version, where you have a lot more options and can do more complicated things. Our advice is not to worry about that. Do not click on Advanced Options, you will just get confused. Keep it simple and make your inbox a little bit tidier. 

 

Microsoft 365 security: the fundementals

Protecting the data, finances and reputation of a business has become an important consideration regarding Microsoft 365, which has grown into an extensive collaboration and communication platform and is used the world over. Therefore, we have prepared a list of fundamental security controls that all Microsoft 365 business users should have in place to protect the data that they process in Microsoft 365.

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Fingerprint Scanner Not Working? Try This!

Biometric security is becoming more and more common, and while the jury is still out as to whether face and voice recognition is going to become the norm, fingerprint readers have been around for some time now, and theyre simple and easy to use. 

When they work. 

If you know someone that uses face recognition instead of fingerprint scanning, you may notice just how much faster using a face is as opposed to using fingers.

To some degree this is a technological issue, such as the placement of the fingerprint scanner for instance. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Samsung moving the scanner from the rear on the Galaxy S9 (meaning it had to be picked up every time the phone needed to be unlocked) to the front screen on phones such as the latest S21 (where it can be accessed when lying on a desk) has been hugely popular.

But it’s also a question of the fingers themselvesNot only is accurate fingerprint placement on the sensor critical, but it’s quite likely that your hands aren’t always going to be clean when you touch the sensor. Why? Because in the main we use our thumb and forefinger to “pinch” things we want to hold (like bottles, sticky tape, tubes of glue etc). Grease, oily, dirt and adhesive substances can all affect the prints of these fingers. 

So why use them as opposed to the “poor relations” on your hands? Use the middle finger or little finger as your default fingerprint source. Admittedly it can seem a bit strange at first, but after a while it’s easy, especially on phones that use the screen to locate the fingerprint sensor. 

Alt + Tab. The Forgotten Shortcut 

Those of a certain generation will nod their heads in a nostalgic fashion at the mention of Alt+Tab. In the days before a taskbar that showed previews of what programs are open, and indeed what documents are open within each program, the only way to easily get a snake peek at this was to use Alt+Tab. 

But this classic keyboard shortcut remains today, alive and well and available in Windows 10. And what’s more, it remains a very useful function for those users that find themselves with multiple windows open. Yes, you can hover your mouse pointer on the task bar, but to quickly press Alt+Tab and have a full visual display of your open windows simultaneously cannot be beaten. 

And its usefulness doesn’t end there. Once you press and hold Alt with your thumb and press and release Tab with your finger, the open windows remain displayed. And now you can navigate these open windows by either tapping the Tab key to move one at a time, or by using the cursor keys to move from window to window, or even by using your mouse to select the window you want to navigate to. 

And last, but by no means least, there is the classic “back and forth” between 2 open programs. If you are using source data from one window and want to enter it into another, constantly reaching for your mouse can be a pain. So using Alt+Tab is a much easier option. Press and hold Alt with your thumb and press and release Tab twice with your finger, and this navigates back and forth for you. It’s as simple as that. 

How to disable ads in your Chrome browser 

Let’s face it, ads popping up unexpectedly when you are browsing the internet are simply an accepted part of life these days, yes? We are all programmed to close them down on “auto-pilot”, even though they are irritating and annoying. 

So what if you could block ads? Would that make you happy? Keep reading to find out how to disable ads in your Chrome browser! 

Firstly, launch Google Chrome and click the 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner of the window. In the drop-down menu that appears, click or hover over More toolsand then, from the pop up window that appears, click Extensions to open a new Extensions tab. 

Click the three lines (also known as the “hamburger” button) in the top left of the page, and then the link at the bottom of the menu that slides out called Open Chrome Web Store.  

Type “AdBlock” in the “Search the Store” text box and press “Enter.” There should only be (at the moment) 3 results, and you want the one highlighted below. Click the entry to display the extension detail. 

And remember, this is all being done in the official Google Chrome Web Store, and NOT a dodgy third-party website. So, relax and don’t panic!. 

Now click on the Add to Chrome” button which will change to Checking…  

At the same time a pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm that you want to add AdBlocker. Click Add extension. 

Wait a few seconds for Chrome to download and install the AdBlock extension.

You will now be presented with the option to make a donation to the creators of AdBlock. PLEASE BE AWARE THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO DO THIS AND YOU CAN SIMPLY CLOSE THE WEB PAGE AT THIS POINT. The creators of AdBlocker have made this available at their own expense, and making a donation is entirely your decision. Labyrinth technology would also make clear that we have no connection with the creators of AdBlocker, and receive no financial payments, rewards, or favours of any other kind. We are simply offering this as best advice, and not for any commercial gain. 

Now all you need to do is restart Chrome, and AdBlock prevents ads from displaying in the browser and disables pop-up windows with advertisements. 

 

Is TeamViewer Safe? The FBI Described It As “Similar To Remote Access Trojans!”

FBI

In the USA right now there is a lot of attention on a cyberattack that successfully gained access to a water treatment plant’s network. The attacker made changes to chemical dosage settings, increasing them to extremely dangerous levels. The FBI has been investigating this attack, and on Tuesday sent out a Private Industry Notification (PIN) on the matter, specifically raising attention to the desktop sharing software TeamViewer.

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The FBI PIN specifically names TeamViewer after the app was confirmed as the attacker’s entry point into the Oldsmar water treatment plant’s network. According to a Reuters news report, officials confirmed that TeamViewer was used on two separate occasions to remotely connect to a computer on the water treatment plant’s network. During the second breach, the attacker took control of an operator’s mouse, who sat and watched it move on his monitor all by itself!

Since the attack, several cybersecurity experts have been quick to criticise organisations that make use of products such as TeamViewer for the purposes of remote work, calling them “insecure” and “inadequate” for managing sensitive and business-critical data and assets. In addition the FBI said “Beyond its legitimate uses, TeamViewer allows cyber actors to exercise remote control over computer systems and drop files onto victim computers, making it functionally similar to Remote Access Trojans (RATs)”.

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Do YOU use TeamViewer or similar products to facilitate remote working? If you have any concerns over how your remote workforce IT works, and whether it is secure and robust enough in today’s new way of working, please contact us to have a conversation about what you can do to make your business cyber secure.

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