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2013’s Ten Most Popular Posts

This year marked a bit of transition for Ask Leo! as we began a technology switch from Movable Type to WordPress. As a result, the numbers may not be quite as accurate as in years past (a page that was moved from one to the other might not be appropriately represented), but the overall standings are interesting nonetheless.

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Top 10

In descending order, by number of unique page views:

10. Can I move my old computer’s hard drive to my new computer? – Apparently, people are getting new computers and wondering how best to transfer things over. This is one of those “Yes, you can, but you can’t really do exactly what you want” kind of answers.

9. What are .iso files, and how do I open them? – As software distribution packages get larger and more and more software distribution happens over the internet, people are often left with .iso files, and a feeling of “OK, now what?”

8. Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW – Honestly, I wish this were the #1 article. It’s a resource for anyone who discovers their accounts have been hacked. I’m sure that’s why it’s as high as it is, but it also serves as a warning and lesson for those yet-to-be hacked.

7. How do I fix this high CPU usage svchost virus or whatever it is? – This is a relatively old article (2007) that’s in need of an update. It became popular once again due to a bug that resurfaced that causes Windows Update – running in svchost.exe – to spin and use up all of the CPU.

6. How do I print an email in Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail)? This was the year of the new Outlook.com user interface. One of the most persistent (and inconsistent) problems that people faced was very basic: how to find the hidden Print option in the new user interface.

5. What Security software do you recommend? – This one was in part because I point so many people at it. Many are simply confused by the wide variety of security software solutions that are out there. My recommendation, which has remained basically unchanged for some time, is one solution to the confusion.

4. Where is my Outlook “PST” file located? – This is another of those articles that, while updated this year, has remained fairly consistently popular since it was first written in 2006.

3. Someone’s sending from my email address! How do I stop them?! – This article felt like the most popular, as it covers a topic that was consistently one of the most asked about all year long: email account theft. Email hacking remained a rampant problem throughout 2013.

2. My Taskbar is missing and I have no Start button. What do I do? – Updated this year as its popularity was becoming apparent, I believe this article surged in part due to a rise in malware of various flavors that cause Explorer.exe itself to crash, resulting in the taskbar disappearing.

And the most popular article for 2013 is:

1. How do I recover my Facebook login password? – Yep, at Ask Leo! Facebook is the new Hotmail1. Millions of people are on Facebook and either getting their accounts hacked or simply forgetting their passwords.

Trends

The more things change, it seems the more that they stay the same.

The number one topic revolves around lost passwords, account theft, hacking, and attempts to recover. The specific services may have changed, but the concept of a lost password remains the most common issue – not only in the articles that people visit, but in the questions and comments that I get as well.

To take that specific topic and broaden it a bit more, I’d say that the single most discussed topic (and arguably the most important) is security. Be it account loss, data loss, or machine compromise, issues relating to security probably drive more people to look for help online than any other (excepting perhaps very specific hardware problems).

As a result, the article that I truly wish were the number one on Ask Leo! is this one: Internet safety: 8 steps to keeping your computer safe on the internet.

Spread the word and tell your friends.

Here’s to a problem free and secure 2014.

Footnotes & references

1: For many years, the #1 (and often #2 and #3) question on Ask Leo! related to recovering Hotmail passwords – so much so that Hotmail passwords became a running joke among my friends and family. This is the first year that Hotmail (or now Outlook.com) passwords haven’t cracked the top ten.

1 thought on “2013’s Ten Most Popular Posts”

  1. I’d like to see a backup article make the top ten. In a way, it’s the most important weapon in my Antimalware arsenal. The lst time I got hit with malware, I didn’t bother to try to fix it as I wanted a guaranteed solution. So I restored from the last good incremental backup and the virus was gone with 5 minutes of my time. (The restore took 3 hrs but I was somewhere else when that was happening.) I credit Leo for that as I used to think backing up my data was enough.

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