Cryptomator: Encryption for Your Cloud Storage

I regularly hear concerns about using cloud storage — the biggest being that online files are at higher risk of compromise should your account or the storage be hacked. There are also concerns that your storage provider could be required to hand over your files to law enforcement agencies under certain circumstances.

Those are all valid concerns.

Cryptomator is a free encryption solution that addresses them.

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Recuva: a Free, Easy Undelete and File Recovery Tool

I keep a small collection of useful tools for various system-maintenance and troubleshooting tasks.

For the longest time, I didn’t have a file undelete utility — not because there aren’t good ones, but because I never really got comfortable with any of the ones I tried. I just wasn’t comfortable recommending any.

Then I discovered Recuva. It’s free, easy to use, from the same people that bring you CCleaner, and it’s what I use myself when the need arises.

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CCleaner, a Windows Cleaning Tool

CCleaner‘s been around a long time, and with good reason: it provides several valuable and useful functions.

Several of CCleaner’s functions may duplicate tools you already have, but its primary claim to fame is its ability to clean up files, history, and other things from your computer you might not need or want to keep around. With the arrival of Windows 10, CCleaner is also positioned to provide a function that can’t easily be found elsewhere.

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How Do I Find Good Local Computer Help?

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My computer has a problem that I’ve not been able to figure out. I don’t even know how to ask the question. What I’d like to do is take it to someone local, but I don’t know who to trust. Should I go to one of the chain stores? Office supply stores? If not, how do I find someone that I can actually trust with my time, my money and my data?

It’s true – sometimes someone needs to physically look at your machine to diagnose whatever’s ailing it. There’s only so much that can be done over email or phone, and even remote access – with someone you trust – can’t handle every situation.

Sometimes, there’s simply no substitute for what I facetiously refer to as “laying hands” on a machine.

Finding hands you can trust is hard. Really, really hard.

Read moreHow Do I Find Good Local Computer Help?

Ninite – Install Popular Free Applications Quickly, Easily, and Securely

One of the more recent scourges of the internet is “foistware“: software you don’t want that is installed – foisted on you – with software you actually do want. Avoiding foistware can be tricky and requires constant vigilance, even when updating software you’ve previously installed.

Ninite is a free bulk installation service and utility that allows you to choose from a selection of applications and install or update them all at once. Best of all, they’re scrubbed of any foistware or malware.

Let’s install some software using Ninite.

Read moreNinite – Install Popular Free Applications Quickly, Easily, and Securely

More online technical support

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of technical support sites on the internet. If you search for various problem-related terms, you’ll stumble across many of them. Some are good, some … not so much.

I recently asked my readers what technical support sites they use in addition to Ask Leo!

Since I regularly get many more questions than I can possibly answer, I thought I’d share the results.

Read moreMore online technical support

Dropbox: Share files Across Machines, with Friends, and Publicly, for Free

I’ve been using Dropbox for a quite some time now, and was recently reminded of a compelling reason to finally recommend it to you.

One of the common questions I get is “how do I share [files, photos, documents, whatever] with my [friends, business associates, contacts] without using email, and without having them show up on the public internet?”

Dropbox solves that, and a lot more.

Read moreDropbox: Share files Across Machines, with Friends, and Publicly, for Free

Web Of Trust – Website Trust Ratings from Other Internet Users

“How do I know if a website is safe?” is a question that I get pretty regularly. In general, it’s difficult for the average person to ascertain without help.

Web of Trust, or simply WOT, at mywot.com, is one very valuable form of help.

WOT collects user ratings from internet users just like you and me and makes those ratings available in various forms. When you’re thinking of clicking on a link, you can use these to look before you leap.

I’m temporarily suspending my recommendation ot Web of Trust due to reports that they are violating the privacy of their users – particularly those who’ve installed the browser extension. More here: ‘Web Of Trust’ Browser Extension Cannot Be Trusted

Read moreWeb Of Trust – Website Trust Ratings from Other Internet Users

DBAN – Darik’s Boot And Nuke

I get questions surrounding data recovery fairly often. People are often concerned that files they’ve deleted might be recoverable after the fact, and it’s good and security conscious of them to be concerned.

At the other end of the spectrum are people who give no thought at all to the potential recoverability of their data, and discard old computers and hard drives without giving it a second thought. We often hear about people who’ve picked up an old computer at a recycler or yard sale, only to find that the hard disk is full of the previous owner’s sensitive data.

Identity theft often follows.

DBAN, short for Darik’s Boot And Nuke, is a free utility dedicated to doing one thing, and one thing well…

Erasing hard drives.

Read moreDBAN – Darik’s Boot And Nuke