When panic sets in after dropping your phone in the sink or spilling liquid over your laptop, your first thought may be to put your device in rice. Despite what Google says, putting your phone in rice after accidentally dropping it in liquid is a widely circulated myth that has been debunked by experts in the field.

Rice is often believe to be a remedy for liquid damage because it can absorb moisture, but it is not effective for electronic devices as it doesn't remove the minerals and impurities left behind by the liquid. These residues can lead to corrosion and further damage to the device over time, see picture below:

Corrosion damage on an iPhone logic board, which was left in rice. All data was successfully recovered by AJ I.T Services.

In reality, the best course of action is to immediately power off your device if you can, remove the battery if possible, and bring it to a professional like AJ I.T Services for proper drying and liquid damaged repair, for example, ultrasonic cleaning. Even if your device continues to work after being exposed to liquid, it's strongly advised to have your device professionally checked anyway to prevent further issues at a later date, so many people regret not doing this and have lost all their pictures and other important data that wasn't backed up because they presumed the device was ok.

It is important to note that putting your device in rice can actually do more damage than good, for example, it can leave dust and debris inside the device, further compromising its functionality. It is crucial to act swiftly and seek professional help to salvage your device after water damage, rather than relying on ineffective home remedies.

If you have any questions or need urgent assistance with a liquid damaged device please don't hesitate to get in touch.

With so many Antivirus software to choose from and difficult choice of which one to pick when the majority of them claim to be the best. One thing is for certain, if you are running Windows, you’ll need one of the best antivirus programs to keep you safe online. Windows is constantly under attack from malware and hackers all over the world, more than any other software platform. Paid Antivirus subscriptions provide full protection with no limitations, unlike free Antivirus software. Click to read my ‘Does Free Antivirus Work?’ post for more information on free Antivirus protection.

If you insist on running a free Antivirus, stick with Windows Defender. Windows Defender (which comes with Windows) is now far better than it used to be back in the Windows 7 days, it’s free, it updates along with Windows and it doesn’t bother you with constant annoying pop ups like other free antivirus software.

If you want the best protection, you will need to purchase an antivirus subscription. With so many choices to pick from, I have split the most popular antivirus products today into 5 categories below ranging from terrible to excellent. Please note, each have been placed based on my own opinion, research and experience, all are clickable links.

Panda Security

Not Terrible:

- Windows Defender



In summary, AJ I.T Services top choice for best Antivirus of 2024 is Bitdefender. Bitdefender had perfect results against all types of malware samples, and thanks to its cloud-based virus engine, it doesn't slow down computers, even during full system scans. Bitdefender also has some of the best web protections on the market, detecting more fake and risky sites than both built-in protections from Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, and anti-phishing protections from other antiviruses.

Bitdefender has more security features that most other antivirus, features including Advances ransomware protection, system optimization, Secure web browser for safe online payments, password manager, VPN, parental controls, Webcam and microphone protection, Anti-theft protection and more!

Overall, Bitdefender is one of the best internet security products around. It’s got unbeatable malware protection, provides lots of really good features, it’s easy to use, and it offers affordable plans for all budgets. And all of Bitdefender’s packages come with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

Please note, Kaspersky Antivirus has been removed from the list above due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and as such, AJ I.T Services won't be recommending Kaspersky for the foreseeable future.

ProtonMail is currently the worlds largest secure email service which offers end-to-end encryption and lots of other great security-based features to keep your communications private.

Is Proton Mail Safe and Secure?
ProtonMail is based in Switzerland with some of the strictest privacy laws, with end-to-end encryptions, no one except you and the recipient can view your emails. The great thing is, you can even send encrypted emails to non-ProtonMail users too! Also, two-factor authentication is built in as an additional layer of protection and is a really secure way of preventing third parties from being able to access data while it’s being transferred between systems or devices, so you can rest assured that no one will be snooping through your inbox or intercepting your correspondence.

Why switch to Proton Mail?
If you’ve got an email account with a mainstream provider, chances are it doesn’t use end-to-end encryption. The big difference between a secure email service like ProtonMail and a standard email service such as Gmail, BT or Outlook is that it provides a lot more security and privacy for its users.

Proton Mail uses a smart spam detection system to automatically filter messages to your Spam folder or inbox and custom folders. ProtonMail are constantly improving their spam filtering system, but like any email provider some spam messages may slip through their filters, and some legitimate messages may be mislabelled as spam.

Another great thing about ProtonMail is the fact that it allows you to get complete anonymity if you want it. You don’t even need to input any personal data when you create your account, so your privacy will be completely protected. And by default, ProtonMail doesn’t track IP addresses, so there’s no information that an outsider could use to tie you to that account. That way, you know your emails are completely private.

ProtonMail Free
The free account comes with 1GB of storage. This isn’t loads, but it’s enough if you like to keep your inbox clean and aren’t sending or receiving hi-res images or videos. Since you can always see how much space is left, you can easily manage how it’s used or upgrade to ProtonMail Plus for more storage. The free account is also capped to 150 emails a day which, for 9 out of 10 people, is more than enough.

ProtonMail Plus
The premium email plan offers more premium features and some additional organization and productivity tools for £2.94 a month (€3.49). This includes 15GB of storage, unlimited messages a day, 10 Email addresses, support for one custom domain email is also available if you want to use a personalized email address instead of a ‘@protonmail.com’ one. Also, the plus plan will include contact groups, email client support, auto-reply and catch-all email functions.

Proton Unlimited
The unlimited comes with unlimited featured from the entire Proton product line. 500GB of storage, 15 email addresses, unlimited folders, unlimited messages per day, 3 custom domain email addresses, priority support and access to Proton calendar, proton drive and proton VPN. All for £6.73 a month (€7.99).

When Apple released the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max along with iOS 13.1, an ‘Important Display Message’ on all iPhone 11 and newer models would appear after third-party display and battery repairs.

Screen replacement message:
It's a well-known fact that Apple is not a fan of ‘the right to repair’ and will try to discourage third party repairs on their iPhones as much as possible. After Apple introduced the iPhone 11 models, along with iOS 13.1, a warning message “Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display” would appear after third party screen repair. However, this will not affect the use of the phone, as much as Apple would like you to believe it would. A lot of repair shops use cheap quality copy screens but this message would also show up even if a brand-new genuine Apple screen was taken from a brand-new iPhone. Apples ‘scare tactic’ notifications aim is to try and make you use Apple for repairs, and pay much more as a result, however, third party screen replacements do not affect the phones use, you can safely ignore the message and continue to use the phone as normal. Eventually, it will only be viewable in the settings.

Battery replacement message:
If you replace the battery in the newest iPhones, a message indicating you need to service your battery appears in Settings > Battery, next to Battery Health. The “Service” message is normally an indication that the battery is degraded and needs to be replaced. The message still shows up when you put in a brand-new battery. Apple is locking batteries to their iPhones at the factory, so whenever you replace the battery yourself even if you’re using a genuine Apple battery from another iPhone it will still give you the “Service” message. The only way around this is paying Apple money to replace your iPhone battery for you, at a much higher cost. It is worth noting that third part repair battery replacements do not affect the phones use, you can safely ignore the message and continue to use the phone as normal. Eventually, it will only be viewable in the settings.

More info:
- Apple Is Discouraging Screen Repair with an iPhone 11 “Genuine” Warning
- Apple Will Now Warn If Your Screen Is Not 'Genuine' After Repair
- iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Will Show Warning if Non-Genuine Apple Display is Used for Repairs

Your device will track the battery percentage starting from a full battery at 100%, steadily and naturally dropping to 0% number by number. However sometimes your device won’t show the accurate battery percentage, for example, have you ever experienced your phone jumping from a high battery percentage to a low battery percentage instantly (50% to 1%)? You may also experience unexpected shutdown?

This is where battery calibration comes in, doing this at least once a month can ensure your phone always displays the correct battery percentage.

Please note: It is important to know that calibrating your battery will not make a battery last longer, this is because all lithium batteries degrade over time with age due to repeated charging cycles.

Here’s how to calibrate your device:
Step 1 – Let the battery drain past 0% until the device naturally shuts down.
Step 2 – Make sure there is no charge left (try turning it back on a few times to discharge leftover current).
Step 3 – Plug the device in to charge (make sure you use a genuine charger purchased from the manufacturer or authorised cable).
Step 4 – If your device turns on, shut it down and let it charge fully while it is powered off (once it has reached 100%, leave it for a further two hours).
Step 5 – Turn on the device (with charger still plugged in).
Step 6 – Unplug charging cable once the device has booted fully.

More useful links on battery calibration:
iFixit - Battery Calibration
Gadget Hacks - Calibrate any Android phone
Apple Dystopia - How to Calibrate an iPhone battery

"What's my password", "What's the password for this?", "I can't remember my password".

Let's face it, passwords, for most people, are a nightmare! Every online account requires one and it can be a an inconvenience trying to remember what your passwords are. Even if you can find your old scribbled password book, this doesn't take away from the fact that most of your passwords are most likely not secure enough to keep up with todays standards of online account safety. Everyone knows the number one rule with passwords is to NOT use the same password twice, we are all guilty of reusing passwords and we did this for convenience, but now we can have secure passwords and the convenience together by using a password manager.

It's time to ditch that old handwritten scribbled password book and get a password manager!

Password managers store your login information for all the websites you use and help you log into them automatically. With a password manager, you only need to remember ONE master password which will grant you access to all your other encrypted passwords in the password managers database. Because password managers sign you into your accounts automatically, this now frees you up to change your weak passwords into seriously strong passwords.

For example, millions of people around the world have had messages sent to them from an apparent friend on Facebook and WhatsApp asking for money and more. Inevitably, you will also get targeted by crooks, thieves and scammers, AKA cyber-criminals, if you don't take control of your weak passwords. This is why investing in a password manager should be a top priority!

AJ I.T Services recommends Dashlane. Click the video below for a more in depth look:

AJ I.T Services Dashlane review
Dashlane remains one of the top password managers on the market in 2022 and still stands out with an excellent list of features with airtight security. Dashlane has, for years, topped the list of the best password manager and it's east to see why. It's packed with features and uses an airtight security model to keep your data safe.

Dashlane has, in a way, always aspired to be more than a password manager. It has several unique features that other password managers don't offer. All the basics are accounted for, Dashlane is easy to use with the browser extension/ add-on (pictured below) and has a snappy autofill feature which will automatically log you in to your accounts, autofill your name and other personal info upon filling out an application or auto filling your payment details online, saving you to reach for your card all the time! The other good thing about the autofill is that it automatically captures passwords as you log in to websites. Dashlane also supports multi-device sync on paid plans, secure notes and unlimited password sharing.

Dashlane's most unique feature has to be the automatic password changer, weak passwords can become unhackable secure passwords in seconds, automatically!

The Dashlane extension is available on all Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Opera, Brave, etc), as well as Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

Dark Web Monitoring and Password Health:
As the video above states, Dashlane is more than just a password manager. Dashlane also has a password health check-up which provides a more accurate look at how secure your passwords are. The password health page shows weak, reused and compromised passwords, and then uses that information to give you an overhaul health score. It's great for checking up on your accounts but the mean reason for this is help you make your passwords more secure. Compromised passwords are detected by Dashlane's dark web monitoring, which will monitor up to five email addresses for you. It will search for any data breaches related to your added emails and notify you. Dashlane also offers a VPN as part of its premium plans.

Mobile App
Like any good password manager should, Dashlane offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. Testing on Android, everything went off without a hitch. After logging in, the app immediately synced my account and autofill worked right away. Autofill is the main purpose of the mobile apps, but Dashlane includes most of the features of the desktop web browser extension too. Dark web monitoring and the VPN are available on mobile, as is the password health screen.

My Verdict
Dashlane is still as impressive as it has always been and remains a great password manager choice. It's more user friendly application look compared to other options and extra features that most other password managers don't support make Dashlane a top choice pick for AJ I.T Services. I have personally been using Dashlane since 2018, and in that time, I have tried other password manager and always find myself reverting to Dashlane straight away. Remember, difficult passwords make a hackers life difficult!

With Dashlane's Free, Premium and Family plan options, why not give it a try and you can save 20% for yearly payment plans!

Get Dashlane - Pricing, Premium, and Free Trial Plans | Dashlane

More info:
What Makes Us Great | Dashlane
How Our Password Manager Works | Dashlane
Pricing, Premium, and Free Trial Plans | Dashlane
Find out if your data has been breached | Dashlane
Personal Tips (dashlane.com)

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) protects your connection while you're using the internet by establishing a secure connection between you and the internet. This disguises your IP address and makes your browsing private and ensures your internet service provider doesn't track you. This means your internet service provider won't be able to see what websites you visit or anything you do online.

Best VPN Service AJ I.T Services recommends Surfshark. Surfshark has long been an excellent and popular VPN service, and no wonder. It's competitive price and unlimited simultaneous connection all look very attractive! It also has a generous unlimited devices policy, making Surfshark the only VPN service that provides this service letting you hook up as many devices as you'd like with one subscription! The network has 3,200+ servers distributed across an impressive 160+ locations in 65 countries. Surfshark was a finalist at Cybersecurity Excellence Awards in 2020 as Cybersecurity Company of the year. Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Get 82% off AND 2 months FREE with the AJ I.T Services affiliate link! - https://get.surfshark.net/SHcS

Surfshark Price

Surfshark is available on Android phones and tablets, Apple devices like iPhones, iMacs and MacBooks, Windows computers and TVs!


Surfshark is more than just another VPN!

How does Surfshark compare to other VPNs? With two years of sky-rocketing brand growth, Surfshark VPN is #3 blobally by brand searches. Surfsharks CR% is also higher than the industry average with its vast features that some other VPNs lack such as the unlimited devices support, add blocker, Two-factor authentication and more!

Other reasons to give Surfshark a try!

Click here to get 82% off and 2 months FREE!

Frequently asked questions regarding VPNs

Get 82% off AND 2 months FREE with the AJ I.T Services affiliate link! - https://get.surfshark.net/SHcS

More about Surfshark - What is Surfshark: About Us, Our Product, & Our Story
Surfshark Blog - Blog: All things digital privacy & security - Surfshark
Benefits of using Surfshark - Top 12 VPN Use Cases - Surfshark

With prices so cheap, it’s hard to convince Apple device owners to pay the price for an official lightning cable from Apple, but is the short term saving worth the long term expense? Unofficial Lightning cables, apart from being poorly constructed and incredibly unreliable can be dangerous in certain situations, this also applies to unofficial apple charging plugs.

Certified Apple chargers have a tiny authentication chip inside them which tells your device it’s Apple MFI certified. This is important, because non-certified, or knock-off, lightning cables can be very dangerous to your device.

Why are non-certified Apple chargers dangerous?

It could damage your device:
They can cause power surges in your iPhone or iPad which can damage the charging chip inside the charging port, without a functional charging port, you will be unable to charge your device. If the charging chip avoids damage, the same most likely won’t be said for your device’s battery, as non-certified charging cables can rapidly reduce the device’s battery health, even if it’s a new battery. These cables can also cause more damage internally to the device including the processor, killing the device completely.

Health and safety implications:
The biggest reason you should not purchase non-certified Apple chargers. These chargers have a reputation for overheating, catching fire and potentially delivering a lethal electric shock to anyone at any point during their use. Some cables are so poorly insulated that users have reported being able to ‘feel’ the current running through the cable when held. A UK-based Charted Trading Standards Institute did some research into unofficial Lightning cables, the team tested 400 non-certified Lightning cables and of those, only 1% (three cables out of 400, to be exact) passed basic assessments for safety.

Here are some examples of non-certified Apple chargers

Why it's important to use a genuine Apple charger or MFi charger
Original or MFi cables are important because those cables have the tiny chip inside the cable that will protect your device from voltage fluctuations which, you now know, will cause a lot of damage to your device.

Are there any good alternatives which are still cheaper than Apple?
Some well-known companies such as Anker make MFi Certified Apple charging cables and plugs cheaper than Apples. Just type ‘MFi Certified Apple Charging Cables’ into Amazon or your preferred online shop.

What is MFi Certified?
Introduced by Apple in 2005, MFi Certified is short for ‘Made for iPhone/ iPad/ iPod’. It lets you know that a product has Apple’s official stamp of approval and will work perfectly with an Apple device. Apple recommends using only accessories that Apple has certified and that come with the MFi badge (pictured below).

MFi badge

For more information, please forward to Apples more in depth explanation about uncertified Lighting cables by clicking the following link - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204566

In this tough economy, getting something for free is always a good thing, right? Short answer: It depends on your tolerance for risk.

Take free antivirus software as an example. It may seem like a bargain, but it’s not. Here are the issues to consider before you download or already use this particular “freeware.” First and foremost, free antivirus software doesn’t provide the comprehensive protection you need against today’s biggest online threats. So when you trust your computer, applications, files and identity to free antivirus software, it can end up costing you more in time, aggravation, and money than you ever imagined. After you install most free antivirus software, you can expect to be hit with a barrage of annoying, time-wasting pop-up alerts telling you that it only provides “basic” protection. Then you’ll receive recommendations to switch to one of the software maker’s paid security products for “complete” protection.

Another point to keep in mind: Experts agree that today’s biggest online threats come in forms that free antivirus software doesn’t stop. Threats such as rootkits, bots, keyloggers, hackers, phishing scams, and infected Web sites breeze right past most free antivirus software. These threats can pose an even bigger danger than viruses, not only to your computer and files but to your bank account as well. They can lead to a hard drive crash, system failure, or worse, identity theft. Free antivirus software is generally reactive, That means it only deals with threats after they’ve attacked and had an opportunity to do damage to your computer and files.

So what’s the bottom line? Free antivirus software simply doesn’t provide the comprehensive protection you need in today’s online world. When you add up the various costs listed above, free antivirus software isn’t free at all.

There are lots of efficient paid antivirus software on the market that will do the job. You can do some research, or you can always get an independent Computer Support Technician like myself to help you with what I recommend.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Choosing a repair shop or someone to repair your computer, phone, tablet, or another device can be complicated. Getting the lowest price can be your first concern, but it is worth thinking about the quality of the repair on your valuable device. • When repairing your phone, tablet, computer or other devices, I use high-quality components. Some repair shops use only the cheapest aftermarket parts that are unlikely to last long, made with less expensive materials and don't work correctly.

• When I give you your device back, you will know that it has been thoroughly tested and working correctly.

• I am confident to provide you with a warranty. You may find that other repair shops are not so keen to guarantee their work.

• I know how important your digital device is to you, which is why I will only use the best parts available and spend longer, making sure it works properly. This may cost you a little more in the short term, but I believe you will find the investment well worth it.

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