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 I Don’t Believe in Conspiracies

There are many conspiracy theories in the tech industry. I’m a hard one to convince, and you should be, too.


In which I diagnose an issue online and come to an interesting conclusion.

Is Outsourcing Tech Support Evil?

Cost-cutting by sending tech support overseas is often derided as a terrible move, but it’s not the location that matters, it’s the quality.

What I’ve Learned Answering Questions for 20 Years

It was 20 years ago today I started having something to say.

Why I (No Longer) Avoid BitLocker

BitLocker is a fine encryption program if used properly. The problem is that it’s too easy for the average user to skip steps that could result in data loss.

Ignored by Online Services? Remember, You Are Not the Customer

When free services seem to change arbitrarily, it’s easy to wonder if they’re paying attention to their customers. They probably are — just not the ones you think.

Why Do People Create Free Software?

Free software exists for reasons ranging from pure altruism to pure deceit.

The One Thing Every Non-Technical Person Needs to Know

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

Why Ask Why?

It’s common to ask “Why?” when it comes to computers. It’s also common to be frustrated with the answer.

Why I Rarely Panic

I have a fairly laid-back style, but I feel it’s with good reason. So much of we hear about just isn’t panic-worthy, even if news reports make it seem like it is.

“Right to Be Forgotten”: Misguided and Misleading

“The right to be forgotten” is a misleading and ineffectual technique to prevent people from finding information on the internet. Bottom line: it can’t work.

My Favorite Question

My favorite question? You’ll never guess. Hint: it makes my job super easy, and you don’t want that.

How Do I Permanently Close My Account?

I often hear from people wanting to close an email account for one reason or another. The problem is that closing an email account is often the wrong solution to their real problem.

Security: It’s a Spectrum, Not a State

Many people want to be secure, not realizing there’s no such thing.

Why Are There So Many Internet Jerks?

The internet, and social media specifically, seems like a breeding ground for jerks. Did it actually create them, or just expose those already among us?

Don’t Call Yourself Stupid

Some people call themselves “dumb” or “stupid” when it comes to computers. There’s little that frustrates me more.

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!


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.

On Confidence and Technology

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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?

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

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

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.

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?

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

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 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

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

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”

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

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

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”

How I started computing before I ever started computing…

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?

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

What’s Up With Microsoft and Email?

In the wake of Microsoft’s announced withdrawal of support for 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.