Articles in Category: Leo’s blog

Leo’s less formal, more random and occasional commentary on all things technology, business and Ask Leo! related, along with some philosophy at times as well.

Why can't the poor just pirate software?

Why Can’t the Poor just Pirate Software?

Commercial software can be expensive. Can you just pirate software if you can’t afford it? You can guess my answer, but even better: theft isn’t necessary.

Avoiding Tech Support Scams

What do you do when you suddenly find yourself on the phone with a scammer? Step One: Be Skeptical!

Why UEFI?

UEFI is a replacement for the original BIOS that’s been running computers for almost a quarter of a century. UEFI allows manufacturers to take advantage of the security capabilities of the machines they produce.

Confident Computing

On Confidence and Technology

Confident computing: it’s what you can expect, and a reminder to me of what I’m trying to deliver.

Real, or Fake?

The One Thing Every Non-technical Person Needs to Know

If there’s one precaution I want everyone to embrace, it’s this.

The deep, dark secret behind Ask Leo!

The Deep, Dark Secret Behind Ask Leo!

Not long ago, I finally came up with the words to describe part of what I do. It was kind of a secret … until now.

Let's Talk About LastPass

Let’s Talk About LastPass

LastPass recently announced that vulnerabilities were discovered in the LastPass vault. The question is… did they then do the right thing?

Is There Really A Reason to Hide From Your ISP using a VPN?

I discuss the recent decision by the U.S. Congress to roll back rules relating to privacy and internet service providers, and whether a VPN is really the right solution for most people.

To Video or Not

To Video? Or Not to Video?

How much value do you receive from Ask Leo! video blogs? You can tell me.

You can't unring a bell

You Can’t Un-Ring a Bell

An overview of what happens to your data when you post online. Once posted, it gets copied faster than you may think!

One of the Reasons I Think Backups Are SO Important

I have a good reason to always be talking about backups… Once upon a time everything was lost.

Focusing on Security and Privacy

Focusing on Security and Privacy

In the first of a periodic series on increasing privacy concerns, we look at “HTTPS Everywhere” from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

In which I give thanks for many things, including you.

Could My Car Get Hacked?

The technical answer is, “Yes.” And this gets more interesting when we consider the “Internet of Things” – but is this something to worry about?

The Perils of Digital Archiving

The Perils of Digital Archiving

So much of our important data is stored digitally now. But what does that mean for future archives? Will our important documents, images and music be readable one hundred years from now?

Why I'm Keeping My Note7 (for awhile)

Why I’m Keeping My Note 7 (For a While)

Galaxy Note 7 phone is banned from air travel, but I’m still keeping mine. Here’s why…

Dealing with Windows Update and Windows 10

Dealing with Windows Update and Windows 10

Keeping your machine as up-to-date as possible is critically important to keeping it, and yourself. safe and secure from discovered vulnerabilities. Yet, with Windows 10 of late, there seems to be risk in taking those updates as well. I’ll review my strategy to stay both functional and safe.

Networking is Hard

Networking is Hard

A friend asked about transferring files from a Mac to a PC. Sadly the “correct” solution didn’t even enter my mind. Why? Networking is just too fragile, particularly between platforms.

Are You Always Learning?

Are You Always Learning?

I was challenged to think about what my “one word” might be. I talk about that, how I arrived at it, and why it feels better as a phrase.

What Is Patreon?

Patreon is a popular crowd-funding platform for a variety of content creators ranging from music … to technology!

A Couple of Travel Thoughts

A Couple of Travel Thoughts

Two of my more popular Ask Leo! articles cover travel related issues. I’m about to travel overseas, so touch on the two.

Some Tips for Fall

Ten Tips for Fall

10 (+1) Tips for both those new to the internet (for school, work or elsewhere), and perhaps more importantly, reminders for the more experienced among us.

Charging an Annual Subscription for Windows? Nope.

Charging an Annual Subscription for Windows? Nope.

There’s a persistent and bogus rumor that Microsoft is planning on charging a monthly or annual subscription fee for Windows. I discuss why it’s bogus, and the folks that continue to persist pushing the rumor are, at best, Microsoft haters, and at worst… trolls.

Is It Time To Remove GWX Control Panel

Is It Time To Remove GWX Control Panel?

GWX Control Panel and the stand-alone utility Never10 were all about preventing reminders and installation of the free Windows 10 Update. Now that the free period is over, is it time to remove those utilities, or undo the steps that they took?

Installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update can be installed manually. With the help of some time-lapse video I’ll walk through that process, quickly.

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing...

If I Could Tell You Only One Thing…

I was asked to talk a bit about computer security the other day, and that got me to thinking about what’s important, and how I prioritize what it is I would want people to remember.

More Focus on Windows 10

More Focus on Windows 10

Focus is slowly shifting to Windows 10, and I’m curious what you think of it these days. Likes? Dislikes? Things you can’t find? Not so much complaints, but opportunities where I can help?

You Can't Assume the Cloud Has Your Back

You Can’t Assume the Cloud Has Your Back

I received a question earlier this week that got me to thinking – too many people are making too many assumptions about the resilience of their data “in the cloud”.

What It Means To Be "Platform Agnostic"

What It Means to be “Platform Agnostic”

I describe myself as being “platform agnostic”. I think that’s a pretty useful thing to be. I discuss what that means, and why many passionate proponents and opponents of various platforms make me sad.

An Update to My Internet Safety Book

An Update to My Internet Safety Book

I’ve released an update for my Internet Safety ebook. There’s a free version you can get for subscribing to The Ask Leo! Newsletter, and the expanded version will be available in a few weeks.

Edge Versus Internet Explorer

Edge Versus Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s strategy to push Edge seems to be dooming both Edge and IE (and how you can get IE back in Windows 10).

The Binary "Base Race"

The Binary “Base Race”

How I started computing before I ever started computing…

Windows 10 Behaves Like Malware

Windows 10 Behaves Like Malware

Windows 10 is a fine operating system, but it’s being tarnished by the over-the-top tactics Microsoft is using to get people to upgrade.

What's the risk of using Unsupported Software?

What’s the Risk of Using Unsupported Software?

It turns out you are really the key when it comes to running unsupported software safely.

What's Up with Microsoft and Email?

What’s Up With Microsoft and Email?

In the wake of Microsoft’s announced withdrawal of support for Outlook.com synchronization with Windows Live Mail 2012, I review some of the implications, including an update to my position on getting free email programs from Microsoft.

Clearing Up Some Windows 10 Misconceptions

Clearing Up Some Windows 10 Misconceptions

I recently had a question from someone that contained several common misconceptions about Windows 10. Let’s clear a few of those up…

Ad Free Outlook.com - With Support?

Ad Free Outlook.com – With Support?

Microsoft offers an “Ad-free” Outlook.com upgrade that also promises additional support. While ads disappear, support appears to be the same as free.

We Need To Talk...

We Need To Talk…

Sometimes done is done, and it’s time to move on. Put a fork in it…

If Everything Just Worked...

If Everything Just Worked…

What would you do if you could count on technology always just working? What’s stopping you? I’m honestly curious…

On Aging and Being "Too Old"

On Aging and Being “Too Old”

I often hear from people who claim that they’re “too old” to do whatever it is they see technology as requiring. Needless to say, I have a different opinion.

Why Did You Recommend Software that Doesn't Work?

Why Did You Recommend Software that Doesn’t Work?

I sometimes get feedback that a recommendation I’ve made has failed, sometimes horribly, for someone. I’ll discuss what I care about in backup solutions, and why my recommendation – or anyone’s recommendation – might fail for some.

Ask Leo! and Creative Commons

Ask Leo! & Creative Commons

I’m placing all publicly accessible Ask Leo! content under a Creative Commons license – specifically BY-NC-ND. I’ll discuss what that means, and when you are and are not allowed to republish Ask Leo! articles elsewhere.

In Search of Perfect Security

In Search of Perfect Security

Perfect security is a myth. So what can you do? The solution is as simple as realizing that all security is a trade-off, and paying attention to the trade-offs you make.

The Death of the Security Question

The Death of the Security Question

Security questions, as a way of verifying your identity, are falling out of favor. I’ll review why, and what you should do as a result.

Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors

Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors

Government agencies are increasingly pushing for a “back door” to encryption. I’ll look at what that means, and why it’s such horrible idea.

An Update to My Internet Security Book

An Update to My Internet Security Book

It’s time for me to update my book “The Ask Leo Guide to Internet Safety”. Now’s the time to let me know what you think should be emphasized, clarified or covered in the new edition!

Another reason I don't do negative reviews

Another reason I don’t do negative reviews

A site similar to Ask Leo! is being sued, and it reminds me of one of the (sad) reasons I don’t often do negative reviews.

Stopping Spam is Harder Than You Think

Spam is a much more complex, much more widespread, and much more global in nature than most people realize. All that adds up to it being VERY difficult to stop.

Let's talk about Ransomware32

Let’s Talk About Ransomware32

Ransomware32 is the latest threat currently making news. It’s a toolkit for malware authors to make more malware more easily. I’ll discuss what I think you should do about it.

Does "end of support" mean "end of life"?

Does “end of support” mean “end of life”?

With versions of Internet Explorer prior to 11 going out of support, I’ll review what that means, and make recommendations as to what steps you should take.