Why am I getting security certificate errors?

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I regularly get the error message, “Internet Explorer blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors.” This happens no matter which version of Internet Explorer I use (I have access to 8, 9 and 10 on various computers). The only common denominator that I’ve come up with is my router. I’m using OpenDNS to filter our internet access. Is it possible that OpenDNS is keeping the security certificates from working?

OpenDNS could be keeping the security certificates from working, but that’s not the first thing that I would look at in your scenario.

Does this happen on all of the https sites that you visit? Or just a few? Maybe even just one? It’s possible that there really is a certificate error on the server; perhaps something as simple as an expired certificate could cause this error message to appear. If so, that’s a server issue and not yours.

On the other hand, if you’re seeing this message at all https sites, then it could mean a couple of different things.

Read moreWhy am I getting security certificate errors?

Footnotes & references

1: I recommend Firefox because it has its own certificate storage mechanism. Chrome, on the other hand, uses the same Windows certificate store that IE uses. A problem that is IE or Windows specific may possibly still manifest with Chrome, where it might not using Firefox.

Why Does Legitimate Email from PayPal Instruct Me to Click a Link?

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As you stated and I’ve preached to my own family, you should never click a link in an email that purports to be from PayPal – never. If there’s something that needs to be checked out, go to the PayPal site yourself by typing paypal.com in your browser’s address bar or clicking on your bookmark – never click on an emailed link to PayPal – got that? And yet my monthly email statement from PayPal includes a link to login! Why is PayPal practicing business in this manner? We both know that they know that they’re not ignorant of the risky behavior fostered.

You are 100% correct. I agree with you – I wish PayPal didn’t do this.

Now, I can postulate a few reasons why PayPal might choose to behave this way … but I still can’t really justify it.

Let me throw out a few of my ideas.

Read moreWhy Does Legitimate Email from PayPal Instruct Me to Click a Link?

Should I update my hard drive?

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Could you please tell me if I should update my hard drive? My Dell computer is eight years old. I’ve seen where you should update your hard drive, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to change any settings. Would it do that? Should I do this?

I’m not sure where you’re seeing this information that says “you should” update your hard drive.

In my opinion (and I’ve said this many times in different scenarios), if your machine’s working and you’re happy with it, I wouldn’t go looking for trouble. You don’t need to upgrade a hard drive unless you actually have a reason.

What reasons could those be? Let’s look at some.

Read moreShould I update my hard drive?

Can I use a backup image to wipe free space?

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I need to wipe a group of computers for resale. But I’d like to retain the operating system and the drives, if possible. Does an image backup retain any traces of deleted files? If not, can I copy the hard drive image then wipe the computer and restore the image to be safe?

Yes, you can do that, but there are much easier ways to accomplish what you’re trying to do.

Read moreCan I use a backup image to wipe free space?

Why Does My Browser Warn Me that “Only Secure Content Is Displayed?”

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“Only secure content is displayed.” How do I stop this message from popping up all the time? It’s driving me nuts.

Stopping this message from popping up depends on what browser you’re using. Before I tell you how to fix this, let me first explain what this message is all about.

Read moreWhy Does My Browser Warn Me that “Only Secure Content Is Displayed?”

Will it cause a problem if Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant warns me that a program is incompatible, but it works?

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The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant says that two of my older programs are incompatible, but they seem to work just fine. Will this cause any problems? In other words, will it make my machine unstable?

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant is very interesting software. I’m not sure of everything that it looks at, but I do know that it checks the various aspects of the software that it finds installed on your machine for compatibility.

When Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor tells you that something is incompatible, the biggest risk that you face isn’t system stability; it’s the possibility that features in those applications simply won’t work properly, or at all.

Read moreWill it cause a problem if Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant warns me that a program is incompatible, but it works?

What’s the Easiest Way to Upgrade an Older Machine?

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What’s the easiest way (other than buying a new machine) to upgrade my 10-year-old computer?

Unfortunately, there’s no blanket answer I can give to you. It depends on what you’re trying to do with this machine, and how it isn’t meeting your needs today.

If you’re considering an upgrade, it’s obvious there is something about this machine you don’t like. You either want to improve it or do something with it now that you can’t do currently.

Let me throw out a few ideas.

Read moreWhat’s the Easiest Way to Upgrade an Older Machine?

Do I need to have a separate data backup if I backup my system regularly?

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I’m evaluating a free version of Macrium Reflect. If I make a disk image, it contains everything that I need to restore my Windows XP and also my data such as documents and settings, etc. Now if I do incremental backups to this full disk backup, it backs up my data and the OS files. Given that, why do I need to have a separate full backup of my data only and then make differential backups of the data only? Is not all of that covered in the system backup?

It sounds like there’s some confusion here about the types of backups and when you may want to use them.

No, you don’t necessarily have to do an additional backup of your data. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re working on and what you can withstand to lose.

Read moreDo I need to have a separate data backup if I backup my system regularly?

Why Does the Size of My Office File Grow Excessively after I Make Simple Changes?

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I received a PowerPoint file that was 6.3 MB in size. Now I didn’t touch anything in the file. The only thing I did was translate to English. Nothing else. When I finished, it was 30 MB. Can you explain that? I’ve got Windows 7 and Office 20007.

There are a number of different things that go on when you save a complex file. And yes, Office documents (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files) are incredibly complex documents in even the simplest of cases. They have a number of settings, options, and even formatting that can impact what these programs save to disk.

There are many things you can do to keep the file size from exploding. Here are a few of my suggestions.

Read moreWhy Does the Size of My Office File Grow Excessively after I Make Simple Changes?