Articles tagged: bestof
A memory upgrade can be an easy, inexpensive way to improve system performance, but how do you know if an upgrade is called for?
It’s tempting to blame the mail service for account hacks and vulnerabilities, but in fact that’s rarely the case. Much more likely is that hackers gained access to individual accounts through more traditional means.
Unless you’re willing to pay a lot of attention on a very regular basis, automatic updates are an important part of keeping your machine safe.
When sending your computer out for repair, you’re handing over everything on it, including your data. Options to secure a hard drive are limited.
Erasing your hard drive before you give it away is important. Exactly how thorough an erase you need depends on your data and level of paranoia.
A black screen is most commonly caused by a screen saver, but there are other possibilities.
Wi-Fi hotspots make for a convenient connection. To connect, you need proximity, a little hardware, and most important, permission.
The “Report Spam” and “Junk” buttons serve an important function in the war against spam. However, used improperly they can do more harm than good.
Chargers and power supplies come in a wide variety of configurations. Choosing the right one is important. I’ll look at a few of the parameters.
While you can’t find the specific owner of an IP address, there are a few tools to see what IP-related information you can get.
Occasionally, when moving a drive to another machine it’ll show up as unformatted. I’ll look at some possible causes and actions to take.
Some malware goes to great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running, or applying a fix. I’ll tell you what steps to take.
It used to be that simply viewing a malformed email could allow a virus to spread. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case with modern mail programs.
Deleting cookies is an easy task. Whether it’s necessary or not is another matter.
A firewall is a critical component of keeping your machine safe on the internet. There are two basic types, but which is right for you?
If your computer is not physically secure, someone could install something even if you’re not logged in.
Free email services and accounts are convenient and ubiquitous, and can be used safely, if and only if you take responsibility for that safety.
Many online cloud storage providers encrypt your data — which means they can decrypt it themselves. BoxCryptor is a great solution to ensure that your online data remains private, regardless of how it’s stored.
POP, POP3, and SMTP are all acronyms used in configuring email. We’ll look at what they mean and how they relate.
It’s possible to get malware, even with anti-malware tools installed. Why the heck is that true?
Manhole covers? Really? Interviewing for technical positions can be tricky, but it can also be fun, if you know what interviewers are looking for.
HTTPS provides validation and encryption, two important pieces of security. Using it for everything is possible but costly, and issues would remain.
Internet safety is difficult, yet critical. Here are seven key steps to keep your computer safe on the internet.
Being a computer programmer can be a fun and rewarding profession. Here’s my take on what it takes to get there; some aspects are obvious, and others are not.
Delays happen for many reasons; it’s the nature of the email infrastructure. If you get a “Delivery Status Notification (Delay)”, your options are limited.
A MAC address and your IP address are both key components to networking, but they serve different purposes, and are visible in very different ways.
MAC address filtering is a technique that theoretically prevents unauthorized computers from accessing your network. I’ll explain why the theory fails.
Peer-to-peer file-sharing programs have a bad reputation because of the content they’re often used to download. But the technology is quite legal and useful for legitimate purposes.
Processors are generally available with what are called “multiple cores”. We’ll look at what that means, and how you might select which is right for you.
Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 processors present a headache-inducing combination of characteristics. I’ll look at what matters and then dig a little deeper.
Backing up data using an online backup service can seem to be an effective solution, and it can be an important part of an overall strategy, but there are important limits and considerations.
It’s very common to want confirmation that an email has been opened, delivered, or read. In the age of spam, it’s simply not possible with any accuracy.
There are some practices to help you avoid having your credit card compromised; but most card theft is typically out of our control.
Windows 7 and 8 have a useful utility to monitor network activity. You can use it to find out a lot about what your computer is doing online.
There are many reasons your computer could get the “blue screen of death”. I’ll review some things you can look into to help determine the cause.
DNS transforms domain names into IP addresses. A DNS cache remembers DNS information… but sometimes it needs to forget.
You can Run a download or you can Save it, or you can even Save and Run it. I’ll review what Run and Save each really mean.
Computers use email addresses to route email. Angle brackets are used when a more human-readable name is also included.
Gmail can be used to handle email for almost any email address. I’ll show you how to route your email through Gmail, and why it’s worth considering.
IMAP is a protocol that your email program may use to access your email. Among other features, it makes dealing with email on multiple devices much easier.
Email programs commonly block remote images. I’ll look at why, and how spammers and others use remote images for good and evil.
Downloading a file from the internet is easy – typically just a click or two. But knowing and controlling where downloads go takes a little more effort.
Multi-core processors add an additional layer of complexity to software design. Occasionally that can manifest as only 25% of the CPU being used.
When you get a new machine, creating a new machine image backup as soon as you can is a convenient way to reinstall should you ever need to.
A new computer is a major purchase and knowing what kind to get isn’t easy. I’ll review some of the important things to think about when deciding, starting with the type of device you’ll want.
IExplore.exe, aka Internet Explorer or ‘IE’, can crash, but it’s not always its fault. We’ll look at some of the things that can cause IExplore.exe to crash, and steps you can take.
Windows Explorer is the workhorse behind the Windows user interface. In many ways it *is* Windows. I’ll cover what to look for when it crashes.
The the Outlook PST file or Personal STorage file can easily grow to an extreme size. Here’s a 4-step plan to managing that size and getting it back under control.
Programs typically don’t use all available memory unless they either need it, or they have a problem.
Cookies are placed on your machine by websites — often more websites than you realize. We’ll review cookies and how third parties can use them.