How Do I Find the IP Address of the Person Who Created a Gmail Account in My Name?

How do I find the IP address of the person who created a Gmail account in my name? I tried the last ten IP address searches and it was all mine. How can I see the one where it was opened with?

This is a bit of a confusing question only because you seem to have access to the last ten IP addresses. That means you have access to the account created in your name.

If that’s true, then I’m afraid I don’t really know what caused this. If somebody created an account in your name, it would really depend on the steps that you took to go through and gain access to that account.

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How Do I Detect Web Beacons in Email?

Hi, Leo, I’m following up on an entry that you wrote about blocking images from being downloaded when opening web email. I’ve since tried to find more information about those hidden web beacons (or web bugs) that can track an email recipient if the images are not blocked. Going a step further, would you kindly be able to explain how to detect the URL of the aforementioned web beacons/bugs from an email’s source code?

Most of the beacons and bugs aren’t hidden at all. Email senders can tell from any image in an email (even a logo) if a message was opened and if so, from where.

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Is a Long Password of Repeating Characters Good or Not?

In a recent newsletter, you answered someone’s question about passwords. I didn’t understand your answer. Could you clarify with an outright, direct, plain, clear answer? The person was asking about passwords, an idea he had, and would it just be safer to use repeating letters as passwords? I couldn’t understand if you were saying it was good and safer as it was harder to hack with hacking software or just the opposite. I don’t understand the explanation about how hacking software works and I don’t need to. Just the answer to that question about a series of same letters would be sufficient enough for me to know what would be good to do or not to do.

As direct, plain, and clear as I can be, the answer is no, you should not use a password that is a single repeating character.

In my defense, the answer really isn’t that simple or that easy. It actually does require a little bit of thought. The problem is that it’s a very complex topic. And there aren’t always simple yes-or-no answers.

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Is there some way I can keep Windows Live Messenger?

I abhor the Skype/Windows messenger new setup. Can an older version of Windows Live Messenger be installed?

The short answer is no.

Microsoft Windows Live Messenger may continue to work for a while but the technology underlying the instant messaging protocol will go away at some point probably in the not-too-distant future.

I anticipate that once all of the customers are running the Skype application, the instant messaging will somehow be merged with the protocol that’s currently being used with Skype.

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Do I Need to Make a New Rescue Disc Every Time My Backup Software Updates?

Hi Leo, I’ve been using the free Macrium Reflect program to backup my Windows XP computer. However, I’m finding that when I try to do an image or a clone backup, I’m prompted  each time to update the software. This requires making a new rescue disc each and every time, which can be fairly time consuming as I’m using Macrium Reflect to backup up my desktop PC and my laptop, too. I’m concerned that if I don’t make a rescue disc each time the software asks me to update (which is every time I open it), my backups won’t work and I’ll be “you know what” out of luck! Can you advise?

The short answer is you don’t need to make the rescue media every time you backup.

I’m kind of surprised that Macrium is updating itself that frequently. It’s OK, but the important thing is that you are not required to make a new rescue media every time you back up or update the software.

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Is Geotagging My Photos a Bad Thing?

At the start of a public gathering event for my child’s school today, the principal surprised me by requesting that parents who took photos of the event with their mobile phones should switch off the geotagging function because it can expose the children to risks associated with privacy. I later took her aside and she explained to me about having recently learned that hackers are able to steal an image uploaded to one of the many image sharing sites or the iCloud as she described it, merely by using the geodetic coordinates of the location where the picture was taken. Is this true or yet another contemporary urban myth?

Urban myth or true fact? Well, it’s somewhere in-between.

Let’s begin by talking about what the principal said. Then, I’ll explain where she might be getting confused about geotagging.

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What If a Password is Limited to only 8 Characters?

I installed a new supposedly very good Buffalo WZR-D 1800H router. It will not accept more than 8 characters for a router password. Because of your articles and other it doesn’t seem as secure as it should be. Is there any way to add more characters to the password? It just stops accepting characters after the 8th entry.

Unfortunately, the answer to the question you ask is is no.

If a device or a website or anything that requests a password is limiting you to only 8 characters, then there is really nothing you can do to somehow increase that limit. It’s a hard-coded limitation of the software involved.

The real question then becomes: what do you do instead?

And that, in turn, depends on your application.

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Why Am I Getting Bounced Notices to Messages I Didn’t Send?

I keep getting the “cannot deliver email” message from someone that I didn’t send anything to or don’t even have in my contacts list. Why is that and what do I do?

Unfortunately, the second part of your question is actually the easier part.

What do you do? Nothing. You can’t do much about that.

But why is it happening? Well, that’s an interesting scenario.

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How Do I Change the Default Installation Drive?

Leo, I did what you did (referring to replacing my hard disk on my machine with a Solid State Drive) two years ago. I’ve had a minor problem ever since I made the switch. All the software that I install wants to install and use the C: drive, which is too small to hold all of that information. How do I change the default installation location from C: to F: which is my actual one-terabyte hard drive?

What you’re doing is kind of tricky. There’s no global setting where you can tell Windows, “Install new stuff here.”

It also depends on the program that you’re installing.

The other issue is that you’re somewhat defeating the purpose of the SSD by not installing your software on it. This is the drive where your machine can load files and access programs more quickly than if they were installed on a traditional hard drive.

In your case, there are two things that I suggest you do.

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How do I remove myself from a website I didn’t ask to be on?

I’ve been included on a website designed to assist job searchers to find employment, a fine purpose. However, I’m not a farmer looking for people to pick my apples, yet that is what the website tells the world. The website is obviously successful in spreading the word as I get about 10 calls a day from job searchers to the extent I have to filter all calls through an answering machine. Not the best solution particularly for family and friends who want to contact me. The originators of the website do not answer any of my calls for action. What can I do either on my own or via some authority with power to justify or correct unwanted entries of this sort?

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of some authority who corrects these kinds of situations.

If somebody puts your information on their website, even if it’s incorrect or wrong, there’s really no way to force them to remove the information. That is as long as it’s not libelous or slanderous (but those are legal terms and I’m no lawyer, so I can’t advise you on that).

In your case, you are in Australia and the website is in the Netherlands. Because the legal system is different in different countries, that makes it even more difficult.

So what can you do in this case?

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