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Here Are Fast-Growing Jobs BU Can Prepare You For. One Might Surprise You A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has some interesting, and surprising career insights

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng/Unsplash

Career

What Are the Fastest Growing Jobs? And How Can BU Prepare You? A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has some interesting, and surprising career insights

If job security is your primary concern, the field for you just might be motion picture projectionist. Openings in that line of work will grow faster than any other between now and 2030, with 70.5 percent more jobs over that time, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But in-demand doesn’t necessarily mean well-paid. As you don’t need a college degree to run movies, the median wage projectionists earned last year was just $29,350.

Fortunately, BU teaches skills needed for better-paying growth industries among the top 30 tallied by the BLS. If you’re a member of the Class of 2023 pondering possible professions ahead of your last year at BU, or perhaps a 2023 graduate who’s still job-hunting, take a look at these six fields requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

Agent/business manager of performers, athletes (7th fastest growing profession, with a 46.3 percent projected employment increase between 2023 and 2030)

Photo by Oleksii Didok/iStock

Yes, it’s a niche field. But most Questrom School of Business students focus on finance as a gateway to investment management—and managing assets is a crucial skill for those representing and handling athletes and performers. “That’s what we saw with Brittney Spears,” says Mark Williams, a master lecturer in finance and executive in residence at the school. “Remember the big debate about her father, because he was her agent, [and] he was managing her assets. They usually go hand in hand.” (The University even has a Sports Business Club.)

The growth spurt is a case of the market chasing the money, Williams says: “Look at the average athlete, how much they’re making per year. That’s increased just in the last decade. How much the average music performer’s making has increased. What’s happening is social media in particular has given more power to these artists to basically be noticed and also to monetize their artistic ability.”

Someone has to manage that talent, especially with the pandemic turbocharging demand for entertainment, from binging on Netflix during the pandemic isolation days to the race for big venues now that COVID conditions are easing. And agents and managers earned a median wage of $78,410 last year, the BLS reports.

“There are lots of choices out there for these artists and professionals to go to,” Williams says. 

Statistician (14th fastest growing profession, 35.4 percent projected increase) 

Photo by Scott Graham/Unsplash

“Similar to the Industrial Revolution and internet revolution that have changed the way we live,  the data revolution will have an enormous impact on human existence for many decades to come,” says Ashis Gangopadhyay, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor of mathematical and applied statistics and department associate chair. Statistics are part of that revolution, he says, “ranging from medicine, climate science, and finance, to name a few.”

The New York Times spotlighted the discipline’s importance a dozen years ago in an article headlined “For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics,” he notes. “There is a better understanding of what statisticians do beyond keeping track of baseball scores. That awareness is reflected in recent years in the expanding number of students interested in statistics and other data-related fields.”

Information security analyst (19th fastest growing profession, 33.3 percent projected increase)

Photo by gorodenkoff/iStock

The median pay for those in this field was $102,600 last year—do we have your attention now? The compensation reflects a sad fact: the FBI tallied more than 847,000 cybercrime complaints in 2023, involving losses of almost $7 billion, says Kyung-schick Choi, who designed the Metropolitan College Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity programs. 

Compromised business email is the costliest cybercrime, Choi says, while an activity all too familiar to BU students and staff—phishing—is also heavy. Virtually every economic sector needs cybersecurity experts, but “cybercriminals are going to mainly target those that face critical situations if they lose access to their systems, such as public industries, including critical infrastructures—such as energy—businesses, and other government agencies,” he notes. “I’m personally very concerned about the healthcare/public health sector.…Most medical systems are networked via wireless technologies and relatively difficult to update and patch. Information security analysts are essentially needed for the healthcare/public health sector.”

MET’s cybersecurity programs have at least 400 students, Choi says, and “in every class, I encourage students to explore cutting-edge approaches to cybercrime investigation techniques, cybercriminology, and the ethics of cybercrime investigation.”

Film and video editor (20th fastest growing profession, 33.2 percent projected increase)

Photo by Jakob Owens/Unsplash

The median pay for film and video editors was $62,680 last year. The BLS says part of the surging demand for editors is COVID-related: with mass in-person events such as weddings resuming, people want professionals to record and edit their big day.

“It was already a growth field” in the entertainment industry pre-pandemic, says Paul Schneider, a College of Communication professor of the practice and chair of film and television. “The amount of content being produced has vastly increased in the past 10 years—both traditional film and TV, including streaming, and also a variety of corporate and new media projects.” And while the current uptick in inflation has upped the price of movie tickets, TVs, and computers to stream shows, Schneider doesn’t “see the demand for content slowing down at all,” he adds.

“Editing has been a valuable skill for many years. It is needed for everything, ranging from news broadcasts, corporate videos, and video for online publications such as the New York Times Magazine to traditional [film and TV] production.”

All of the production courses taught by his department involve editing, and they collectively educate about 100 students at any given time, Schneider says.

Data/mathematical scientist and related occupations (29th fastest growing profession, 31.4 percent projected increase) 

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng/Unsplash

No surprise that those who swim gracefully in data and numbers are surfing the wave that’s remaking pretty much everything in life—and earning a decent living doing it (median pay: $100,480 last year). BU’s vernacularly known “Jenga building,” aka the Center for Computing & Data Sciences, houses educators in “the field of the future,” its website says. 

With computer science a tool against headline-grabbing crises from the pandemic to climate change, Bestavros says, “the most significant impact you can make is the impact you make by leveraging computing technologies”—remote work, mRNA vaccines, cryptocurrencies, cyberwarfare, precision medicine—“and because the best argument you can make is the argument you make with data.”

Indeed, the first course his Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences is offering? Data Speaks Louder Than Words.

About 2,500 BU undergraduates are majoring in some data and mathematical science field, while another 420 are studying for master’s and doctoral degrees—and that doesn’t include related study on BU’s Medical Campus or adult learners in Metropolitan College, Bestavros adds.

Physician assistant (30th fastest growing profession, 31 percent projected increase)

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography/Unsplash

Although the most amply compensated job on this list—median of $121,530 last year—“PAs tend to be reimbursed by insurance at a lower rate” than doctors, but they also carry less student debt, says Aliza Stern, director of didactic education for the School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

Even before the pandemic, demand for PAs had surged because of a shortage of primary care doctors and the fact that PAs “are a cost-effective medical provider,” says Stern, who is also a MED assistant professor of dermatology. “PAs have been able to help fill in and provide medical care in areas that do not have enough MDs to care for the population.

“COVID-19 has definitely aided in the continuing growth. The pandemic has hit the medical field hard in all areas and positions. It has been traumatic for many providers and has led to more instances of burnout,” Stern says. “PAs have been a great way to help fill in the gaps….We, as PAs, are trained as generalists. When there was shuffling of providers needed in hospitals to cover the various units and clinics, PAs can easily adapt to these changes.”

BU’s two-year PA program has 26 Class of 2023 students, she says, and 25 in the Class of 2024.

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Refurbished Phones: What Are They And Where Can You Buy Them?

QUICK ANSWER

A refurbished phone is a lightly used phone that has been returned by a customer, inspected and repaired by the manufacturer/retailer, and labeled as “refurbished” or “renewed” to be sold at a discount compared to the retail price of a new phone. You can buy refurbished and renewed phones from Swappa, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, carriers, and other retailers.

JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

What are refurbished phones?

Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for refurbished phones

The best refurbished phones stores

What are refurbished phones?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Refurbished phones come with some stigma around them. Lower prices may imply there’s something wrong with the phone. You may also have seen them presented as “pre-owned,” “renewed,” or “reconditioned.” There are also “open box” phones. These are all interchangeable terms that describe the same thing most of the time.

These terms mean that someone previously purchased the phone and returned it to the manufacturer, wireless carrier, or retailer. There was often nothing wrong with these phones even before they were “repaired”; the customer may have decided they didn’t like it and returned it within the return window. The refurbished phone may have had some hardware problem or manufacturing defect in other cases. Regardless, the phone can be fixed and sold again as a “refurbished” item.

But what does “manufacturer refurbished” mean? The difference with a manufacturer-refurbished phone is that the repairs needed to get it up to “like-new” condition were done by the original manufacturer instead of a third party. Consumers typically prefer this. However, third-party refurbished phones can still be a good deal. Just shop carefully.

Refurbished phones are basically like new, but you get them at a discount.

John Callaham

When it comes to refurbished phones compared to new phones, there’s really no other difference beyond the fact it was lightly used before getting to you (if used at all). A refurbished phone should work just like new. It’s not technically a “new” product anymore, so the term “refurbished” signals that distinction. That’s why such phones can be such a great deal — they’re basically like new, but you get them at a steep discount.

Check for a warranty — If the phone you want truly has no issues, the smartphone maker or retailer will include a warranty with the purchase. This indicates confidence from the retailer’s end about the condition of the device, as well as gives you some added peace of mind just in case something does go wrong. When it doesn’t come with a warranty, there’s a bigger chance something will be wrong with it out of the box.

Try to buy one from the company that originally made the phone — Many times, a phone manufacturer will have some handsets that are perfectly fine. The original owner returned them for some unknown reason. They’ll often try to resell them as refurbished phones on their official website. This is probably the easiest way for you to save some money.

Always read the fine print — You should do this anyway with any large purchase, but it’s imperative when you’re buying a phone. A typical red flag is a phone marked “as is.” Reading the fine print might reveal that you can’t return the phone or get a refund if anything isn’t working. It may also indicate if any box accessories are missing.

What’s the best place to buy these phones? There are plenty of places where you can purchase them. They include well-known retailers, wireless carriers, smartphone makers, and companies that exclusively sell refurbished phones.

The best refurbished phones stores:

Swappa

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This online second-hand shop originally only sold tablets and phones, making it a great place to find quality products. The service has improved by adding gaming, laptops, cameras, and VR to the mix. It’s sort of like eBay, in that there’s a mix of dedicated businesses and individual private sellers you can negotiate with to find that perfect deal. The big difference is that the seller sets a price, and you can pay it or request that they lower the cost. Overall, this is an excellent and trustworthy place to buy from.

Gazelle

This is one of the best-known places to buy refurbished phones. You can also return any phone you buy on Gazelle within 30 days of purchase and get your money back. The company also offers device protection plans, so you can get another layer of reassurance. If you want an all-in-one solution for selling your phone, too, you can easily trade it in through Gazelle. The company also works with ecoATM to buy used devices, so you might not even need to ship your old phone in before purchasing another device.

Decluttr

The folks at Decluttr want you to sell your old phone and possibly buy a device from them. They offer a 12-month limited warranty on all the phones they sell. Also, these devices undergo a 70-point inspection before they go on sale on its site.

Amazon

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

It’s not a shock to learn that Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is also a great place to shop for refurbished phones under the Amazon Renewed program. These come with at least a 90-day supplier warranty for renewed products. But Amazon also offers Renewed Premium devices for some devices (including iPhones), which come with a full year warranty.

Best Buy

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Best Buy also offers a trade-in program for consumers to turn in older phones. The retailer also sells refurbished phones on its website, along with what it calls “pre-owned” phones.

If a phone on Best Buy has that label, it means it is “fully functional with some cosmetic blemishes” and comes with a non-original package with a charger and a data cable, along with a 90-day warranty. Best Buy devices have been “repaired and restored to a like-new state” and also come with their accessories, along with a warranty.

Mobile carriers

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Several US wireless carriers (including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) sell refurbished phones, although their selection is pretty small compared to Gazelle, Amazon, and Best Buy. However, they are all certified to work like new phones, even if some of them might have some cosmetic blemishes. These won’t affect their functionality.

eBay

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you are willing to do a little more research and take a risk on merchants you may not be familiar with, eBay is a great place to check out a ton of offers. Again, our rules for buying such phones really matter when you dive into the murky waters of eBay. Make sure the phone you buy has some kind of warranty, and check out any fine print before spending your hard-earned cash.

That said, eBay itself refurbished and sells phones. These come with an impressive two-year warranty, a money-back guarantee, and full refunds if returned before 30 days. Going with official eBay refurbished phones is arguably as safe as any other competitor on this list.

Walmart

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Walmart is one of the largest retail chain stores; chances are you have a store nearby. They also offer refurbished phones at great prices if you trust the brand. Their selection is pretty wide too. You get a 90-day minimum warranty on these products and accessories, so you can shop in peace.

Samsung refurbished phones

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you are a Samsung phone fan, you might like to hear the company has its own refurbished phones. At a significant discount too.

The good news is that Samsung’s technicians have fixed these older phones. The company offers a one-year warranty. It also helps that all parts are genuine; every user gets a new battery, Samsung changes the IMEI and SIM card, and you get a brand new box. If you can wait a few months after a new Samsung flagship launch, you can even pick a returned unit at an impressively low price.

Apple refurbished phones

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Hate it or love it, Apple has fantastic customer service, making them one of the best refurbished phone sellers. That is one thing no one can bash them about, so when shopping for certified phones, this is one brand you can’t ignore. Especially if you are an iPhone fan.

All Apple refurbished products come with a standard one-year limited warranty. Even better, Apple takes things a step further and provides a whole new outer shell, so your phone will look brand new. It’ll also include a new box with all the included accessories, and, of course, all repairs will include genuine Apple parts.

If you’re not convinced by the idea of buying a refurbished device, you might also consider getting a used phone. Doing this has its set of dangers, though. Check out our guide to get the best chances at a pleasant used phone purchase.

FAQs

Yes. Refurbished phones are functionally identical to new phones.

A refurbished phone will last just as long as a new phone will.

How Companies Are Getting Your Browser History And What You Can Do About It

What Are Tracking Cookies?

If you’re interested in knowing what tracking or third-party cookies are, please read my piece and JJ’s piece on MTE about this.

Why Getting Rid Of The Cookies Isn’t Enough

Of course, there are some complications presented if you don’t have cookies enabled. Obviously, this means that the website (Google, for example) can’t keep track of you as an individual. To counter this, some websites will analyze your queries by IP. Ubiquitous companies like Google can use your Gmail account as a basis by which to identify who you are and simply store a database of your queries.

Can You Opt Out?

For More Info…

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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What Is Bitcoin And How You Can Utilize It Online

It is very possible to live our entire life online. We can chat with our friends, we can obtain knowledge from ebooks and we can order food or medicines using the web. And, since 2009, we can even pay and get paid using Internet’s own currency – Bitcoin (sign: BTC).

The origin of Bitcoin

Created in 2009 by the Japanese pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto (it is not known if, behind this pseudonym, was a person or a whole group), this currency is a free open-source project based in the peer-to-peer technology, with all its issues and transactions being carried and managed by the whole network instead being centralized, as happens with the regular currencies. This means that, if you want to be paid by a friend living in the other side of the world, that payment made with Bitcoins will not involve any other entity such as banks.

How Bitcoin works

Just like Paypal where every account is associated with an email address, everyone transacting Bitcoin has at least one unique address, made by a set of regular characters. When your friend send money to you, the network adds your unique address to the Bitcoins and sends them to you; now you own that amount, while your friend is prevented from using it again by the network.

The scheme below represents this process, for a transaction of 2.00 BTC using more than one address.

Unlike Paypal that transacts in the physical currency, Bitcoin is the currency for the Web. Regardless which country you are residing, you have to own Bitcoin to transact in Bitcoin.

Managing your Bitcoin

To manage your Bitcoin and all its transaction, you have to use a software call “wallets“. There are various software available for multiple operating systems and platforms both as desktop (requiring installation) or web-based, which are required to be a part of the Bitcoin network. Your wallet generates your Bitcoin address, and through it, lets you send and receive Bitcoins from other users. It is basically your account manager – much like the regular e-banking services: you can watch your balance, the transactions you made, pay for services and goods, make transfers, and so on. Also, you don’t have to be online in order to be paid; the wallet software receives and holds your money in place until your next connection.

(There are actually 

Earning Bitcoins

(There are actually real coins made, which are basically collectibles containing codes to be redeemed by digital Bitcoins.)

At this moment, you’re probably wondering how to gain access to Bitcoins. The first and easiest way is to simply buy them , and there are many places to do this. It is also possible to generate Bitcoins. That’s right – growing money!

Mining Bitcoins

This process, however, is much harder than it seems. Mining is a way to process and monitor transactions through the creation of blocks – permanent records of Bitcoin activity and new Bitcoins. Whenever a block is created, an ever-decreasing (halving every 210K blocks) bounty (in BTC) is awarded to its creator, and that block gets in line with other blocks, thus forming a blockchain. In order to perform the mining process, you need the right software and hardware. Since the mining rewards (this is the number of Bitcoins generated per block) are always decreasing, the number of Bitcoins in existence will never exceed 21 million. In this graph, you can watch the evolution of the total Bitcoins in circulation, which is still under 11 million.

Some concerns with security might arise, like in all other online payment methods. Even though all Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly, available for anyone wanting to see them and providing information such as one’s balance and address, it is not possible to associate such data to its physical owner. This means that, unless you publicly display your Bitcoin address, no one will know that it belongs to you. However, to improve security, it is suggested that users create a new address every time they make a transaction and that they hide their computer’s IP.

There are many ways in which you can use Bitcoins, both online (art, web hosting, design, e-mail services, security services, software, and many others) and offline (auction sites, toys, clothing, electronics, consumables, books, music, and even professional services). In fact, more and more stores and professionals are accepting this currency as payment. It is safe to say that Bitcoin, like nearly every Internet-related creation, is shaking the actual society.

It was recently reported that Bitcoin value has reached $1 billion, which is too much to not take into account. Since Bitcoin is not related to any institution or government, it tends to be safer than the usual currencies that are tied to current economy in crisis. However, it is important to highlight that the Bitcoin world is still in development, so it is not possible yet to know the true potential and effects that Bitcoin might have in our lives.

Image credit: Stack of bitcoins isolated on white by BigStockPhoto

Diogo Costa

Diogo (@diogocostaweb) is a Biologist with a grip on computers and technology. Running Windows systems all his life, has a big interest in discovering new apps that increase productivity or simply make things more interesting. He lives in Portugal and has photography and music as main hobbies. He is also the author of the page chúng tôi a page for short (but useful) computer tweaks and tutorials.

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Mte Explains: What Is Ddos And How Can You Protect Yourself

What Are “DoS” And “DDoS?”

DoS and DDoS are both attacks that are carried out on a particular computer or server. Both of these attacks have one thing in common: They flood the destination server with connection requests and/or data. The goal of both attacks is to overwhelm the server with so much data that it will simply stop accepting new connections. Other users will not be able to use the services provided by that network endpoint. In other words, if someone succeeds in attacking a website through a DoS or DDoS attack, you won’t be able to connect to it.

The difference between the two terms lies simply in the number of computers attacking.

DoS, or “Denial of Service,” attacks are carried out by one single computer.

DDoS, or “Distributed Denial of Service,” attacks are carried out by multiple computers (either voluntarily or involuntarily).

Both attacks can be dangerous, but DDoS is the most dangerous of all.

Methods of Execution

While a DoS attack may involves one single computer just running a DoS “tool,” a DDoS attack is often much more sophisticated. DDoS attacks are usually carried out from within botnets. A botnet is a group of computers that have been rounded up against their will, usually because of a virus or something else. They all connect to a central “command center.” This command center can be something as simple as a private password-protected chatroom. After the computers have all connected to the terminal, the hacker can simply command all of the connected computers to flood the target machine. A typical botnet looks like this:

Sometimes, this involves thousands of computers, all pouring the full brunt of their bandwidth into one server. This poses an extreme risk.

How Does DDoS Affect You?

There are two ways to be a victim of a DDoS attack: Your computer can either be infected with the botnet virus, or you can be the target of a DDoS attack. Both of them can pull you offline for a very extended period of time! I’ve had a DDoS attack flood my servers with over 8 Gbits/second of data for an entire week. This really interrupts many things, and the infected computers didn’t even know that they were attacking me.

How To Protect Yourself From DDoS

Although a corporate network is more likely to be on the receiving end of one of these bad boys, it’s good to be protected at all times. I’m going to tell you a harsh truth: There’s little you can do to prevent a DDoS attack from ripping your bandwidth to shreds. A firewall will only do so much. One decent way to defend yourself against DDoS is to buy a decent switch or router with network-level packet filtering technology.

But even that method is kind of ineffective. If you really want to protect yourself, you’d better hope you have a dynamic IP. This will allow you to change your IP address any time you disconnect from the Internet and connect to it again. You can do this by unplugging your router and plugging it back in again. If you have a static IP, there’s nothing you can really do except wait out the attack or call your Internet service provider (ISP) and ask them to change your IP. This strategy will allow you to finally have some breathing room.

That’s not all you should do, though. Changing your IP is just one step of many (and probably the last step you should follow in the entire strategic process). You should close any program you use on the Internet (Outlook, instant messaging, syncing utilities, etc.) and then just open your browser to look through the web. Do this for a few days. Afterwards, you can pop your head out of the water to see if all is safe. Doing this puts you below the radar. Using an application like AdvTor in tandem with your Internet utilities can really confuse a hacker trying to attack you with a DDoS. It hides your IP and allows you to resume all operations safely while you wait out the attack.

In fact, one of the best ways to prevent a DDoS from ever affecting you is to use a proxy or the previously-mentioned application at all times. When you hide your IP, you give yourself more power.

What If You’re Infected With A DDoS Virus?

First of all, software firewalls are very effective at stopping a virus from penetrating your network. The only times they’re ineffective is when you accidentally add a virus to the firewall’s application exception database. Check what programs are listed as exceptions. If any of them seem suspicious, do a quick search on the web to determine whether it’s something you should be worried about.

In general, keeping a healthy and strong antivirus application on your computer helps you stop these kinds of things from happening. There are exceptions (such as newly-created “0-day” viruses). In this case, you should go back to your firewall. Configure it to disable your Internet connection for absolutely everything except applications that you allow. Better yet, clear the exception list entirely. When a program asks to use the Internet, a notification will appear asking you to approve its use.

If you don’t feel confident that you’ll catch the virus this way, use a network monitoring application like netmon from Microsoft.

The image above shows how netmon looks after I’ve started a new capture for a few seconds. It shows me exactly what programs are using my Internet connection on the left-hand panel. This transparency can help you tell whether there’s a program using your Internet connection without your consent.

Conclusion

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy. We will not share your data and you can unsubscribe at any time.

What Are Windows Runtime Errors And How Do You Fix Them?

Runtime errors in Windows are as old as the operating system itself. It’s a common error message to see when an app crashes, but what exactly is a runtime error, and what can you do about it?

Software development is complex, and modern applications rely on sophisticated libraries and supporting data to work as expected. This guide will help you understand why runtime errors happen and how to minimize them.

Table of Contents

What Is a Runtime Error?

The term “runtime error” refers to any application error when a program is executed. In other words, it happens to a running program. This is in contrast to errors that happen when a program is compiling. Compilation is the process of taking programming code (the “source” code) and converting it to binary code that can be excited by the operating system. If any part of the source code is invalid, the compiler will stop and give an error message.

Runtime errors happen when the compiled executable encounters a situation where it doesn’t know what to do next or something interferes with its normal operation. At this point, it will throw in the towel and give a runtime error.

Different Types of Runtime Error

Because runtime errors are defined so broadly, troubleshooting them can be tricky. It helps to understand what common types of error you may encounter. The five error types below are not exhaustive but are the most likely culprits.

Logic Errors

Logic errors happen when the computer literally encounters something that “does not compute.” It’s an output generated by the program’s code that produces an unexpected result, sometimes an impossible one, because the logic of the code doesn’t track or the programmers did not anticipate a specific set of conditions or inputs.

Memory Leaks

A memory leak happens when a program doesn’t give back memory that it requested after it no longer needs it. Over time memory leaks leave fewer and fewer resources for other programs, leading to degraded performance and, eventually, runtime errors. This is an interesting one because the software that reports a runtime error is usually not the one with a memory leak. It’s just a victim of the leak.

Dividing by Zero

It’s impossible to divide by zero, so when your computer tries to, it implodes into a black hole. Just kidding! It will crash the program with a runtime error along the lines of “cannot divide by zero.”

Undefined Objects

This error is usually associated with Java and JavaScript, where variables that have not been assigned a value or haven’t been declared. In other words, there’s no data in a variable, or the code refers to a variable that doesn’t exist. Basically, the programmer messed up in some way.

IO Errors

IO or Input/Output errors happen when a program tries to read or write data from a storage device and fails. This can be for various reasons, from a disconnected drive to a faulty hard drive or USB hardware. Scratched optical discs are another common cause of IO errors.

How to Fix Runtime Errors

So you’ve encountered a runtime error, and it’s bumming you out because you’re trying to get things done. While we’ve mentioned above that runtime errors come in different varieties, and specific errors may clue you into which type, there are some general fixes that may work regardless of the details.

Reboot Your Computer

Rebooting your computer may solve memory leak issues or clear out any temporary data caches or other working data that may have caused a program to stop. If an issue goes away after a reboot, it doesn’t help clear up the cause, but for occasional problems, a restart is a fast solution to try.

Update The Application

More often than not, runtime errors in software result from bugs in the software itself. Once a software developer is aware of these bugs, they’ll usually fix the problem and release an update for the application. So one of the first things you should do is check whether an update for your software is available.

Perhaps more importantly, when you encounter a Windows runtime error, you should report it to the developers. Sometimes there’s a reporting button alongside the error message; at other times you may have to take a screenshot or write down an error code and then get in touch via email or social media. Reporting a new bug can speed up getting a fix.

Update Windows

Runtime errors can also be due to bugs or other issues in Microsoft Windows itself, which are often rectified in Windows updates. Small issues are usually addressed in “hotfixes” which are small updates that fix specific urgent problems.

Alternatively, if a program has started giving runtime errors shortly after a Windows update, you may want to delete the last update until the developers update their software.

Update Your Outdated Drivers

Drivers are software that let the operating system control your hardware, such as the display adapter (AKA your graphics card). New software or newly-updated software may rely on features that only exist in the latest version of the driver, so when you update drivers for your computer components, you might fix hardware-related runtime errors.

Reinstall or Repair The Application

Runtime errors can be the result of corrupted application files or data. So when the program executable tries to access data it needs to work, it runs into errors because that data is wrong or missing.

By uninstalling the application and reinstalling it, you can overwrite that corrupt data with a fresh copy. You may not have to uninstall the application first. Many apps will offer a “repair” or “verify” option when you either run the installer again or try to uninstall them from the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel.

Close All Other Apps

Runtime errors that are caused by memory leaks or because a particular app needs more memory than is available can be mitigated by closing any nonessential programs that are open. You may also want to adjust the size of your swap file, to create a little more breathing room for apps that don’t fit into RAM.

Run Windows in Safe Mode or Perform a Clean Boot

If you suspect the runtime errors that you’re experiencing are the result of drivers or other software applications in the background, you can use either Safe Mode or a clean boot to confirm it.

A clean boot is almost the opposite of Safe Mode. Rather than loading a minimal operating system, Windows disables all third-party startup software. If a clean boot resolves the runtime error, it’s likely a third-party app that needs to be disabled, updated, or replaced. Refer to our guide on how to perform a clean boot.

Update Runtime Components

Software often depends on shared software libraries and standard software runtime components. If these are not installed, are corrupted, or are the wrong version it can cause issues. Examples of such runtime components include the Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable package.

You can download the required VC++ redistributable from the Microsoft website, but it’s usually included with the software that needs it. So reinstalling or repairing the app should also restore the Visual C++ runtime library. This is one of the easiest runtime component problems to identify, because the runtime error message will usually specify that it’s a “C++ runtime error.”

Check For Corrupt Files

Data corruption happens when the ones and zeros that make up a file are damaged or overwritten for some reason. Damage to system or application files can lead to unexpected runtime errors.

You can run the Windows System File Checker (SFC) to check and repair damage to system files. For applications, most of the time the installer will have a “repair” option if you run it without uninstalling the app first. With software clients such as Steam, you can also use the “verify” option on your games to check that the files are still whole.

Perform a Malware Scan

Many types of malware inject themselves into running code, corrupt data files, or alter executable files. All of which can lead to runtime errors. To rule out malware as the reason you’re getting errors, run a scan using your favorite antivirus or antimalware software.

Perform A Memory Test

Before your running software gets to your CPU for processing, it stops over in your RAM. If your RAM is faulty, this may cause runtime errors that are hard to track down. Run a memory test and make sure it’s not an issue with bits getting flipped in your memory modules!

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