Should I take the security protection offered after the most recent security breach?

//
What is the current status of a company that wants to offer security protection for your credit card purchase and your identity? Is it “Target” initiated?

Target, a retail chain in the United States, is the company whose security was breached recently in a fairly massive theft of account information from their customers. Unfortunately, this gets really complicated really quickly. Compromised companies like Target try to do the right thing for their customers, but of course there’s always somebody who wants to come along and take further advantage of the situation.

Read moreShould I take the security protection offered after the most recent security breach?

Could a Hacked Computer Record My Skype Video Calls?

//
Hi, Leo. If I’m sure that a hacker is controlling my computer and I was online in my Skype account, in a video call to a friend. Could hackers then see and save a video message during the recording? In other words, can a hacker see my screen and record my video call with my friends and show our faces at the same time?

While this does seem like a very specific scenario and a very specific concern, I want to address it because it’s a fine example of what a lot of people just don’t seem to realize, something that’s very important about the nature of hacking, malware, and compromised machines.

To directly answer your question, yes, absolutely. If your machine has been hacked into or is compromised in some way, then a hacker could certainly record your Skype video calls.

But the problem here is that it’s much, much worse than that.

Read moreCould a Hacked Computer Record My Skype Video Calls?

What Do I Do About a Blue Screen on Shutdown?

//
When shutting down or restarting my computer, it freezes in the shut down process and then I get the blue screen of death. It’s been happening a lot more lately. I took pictures of it with my iPhone to see what it says but it’s too much to write out – but there’s something in there about a driver.

Blue screens can happen for a variety of reasons. These days, driver issues are probably number one on that list, tied with problems at shut down.

Read moreWhat Do I Do About a Blue Screen on Shutdown?

Why is only one core on my multi-core processor being maxed out?

//
I’m experiencing a strange quirk using one of my programs. At times of intense calculations, the program itself stops responding. Yet my PC remains perfectly usable. I’ve looked into the resource manager and I notice at these times, the program is using exactly 25% of the available processor power. That figures constant until the program unfreezes. My processor has 4 cores and all are available. The program is allowed to use all the cores though none of them are registering high usage at the time the program freezes other than the one. Do you have any idea why this might be happening and possibly a way to get the program to use the rest of the resources that it has available to it?

I experience almost the exact same thing from time to time. I too, have a quad core machine and occasionally it will be running at exactly 25% CPU usage as only one of the cores is maxed out by some program that I’m running.

But I know why.

Read moreWhy is only one core on my multi-core processor being maxed out?

How do I migrate to a new machine?

//
Hi, Leo. Surely you get asked this many times a day. I’m using Windows Vista, 32-bit presently, and I want to move to a new Windows 7 or possibly Windows 8, 64-bit desktop computer. I’m backed up to an external USB hard drive. What is the best way to migrate so as not to lose my emails, bookmarks and so forth? Is it possible to migrate straight from the external hard drive to the new 64-bit OS? I know that not all things are compatible between 32 and 64-bit but I’m just wanting to make this as seamless as I can. Thanks in advance for your help.

Unfortunately, seamless is a word that I’m really reluctant to use when moving to a new machine. We can move most of what you want, but the steps to do so aren’t what I’d call “seamless”.

Read moreHow do I migrate to a new machine?