Testing your backups is an easy step to overlook, but an important step to take. Make sure your backups will be there when you need them.
The Best of Ask Leo!
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.
A MAC address can easily be traced for as far as it travels. The problem is, a MAC address doesn’t travel far enough to be useful.
Browser problems can be caused by any number of things that may or may not actually include the browser itself. I’ll review common troubleshooting techniques.
Linux is often a viable alternative to extend the life of older machines. We’ll look at some of the issues involved if you convert to Linux.
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.
Email can bounce for many reasons. I’ll look at several of the most common mail bounce messages, and try to interpret what they really mean.
For years, the standard practice has been to assume that eight-character passwords made up of sufficiently random characters was enough. Not any more.
Once you hit that Send button, you must assume that there is no way to stop your email from being sent … even if it’s to the wrong person.
“No Signal” is a message coming not from your computer, but from your display device, indicating that it has nothing to display. I’ll review possible causes.
A black screen on your computer can mean several things. A black screen is most commonly a screen saver, but there are other possibilities.
Changing passwords periodically is the conventional wisdom. I question it and then discuss whether a periodic password change can even happen reliably.
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.
Windows File Explorer defaults to a simple view of the files on your machine. You can change it to display details by default with a few steps.
Occasionally, the Windows taskbar can end up on either side (or even the top of) your screen. I’ll show you how to move the taskbar bar back to the bottom.
There are some practices to help you avoid having your credit card compromised; but most card theft is typically out of our control.
Sometimes fixing a pesky problem with a hardware device is as simple as forcing Windows to reinstall a driver. I’ll show you how.
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.
Drivers are critically important components of your computer, but knowing when and how to update drivers isn’t as easy or as obvious as we might like.
Because of the threat of ransomware, many people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up. I think that’s a bad idea.
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.
CHKDSK must sometimes be run at boot time. When done, its displayed messages disappear. I’ll show you where to find those CHKDSK results again.
Commercial software can be expensive. Can you just pirate software if you can’t afford it? You can guess my answer, but even better: theft isn’t necessary.
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.
“From” spoofing is how spammers send email that looks like it comes from you that you had nothing at all to do with. I’ll look at how it’s done.
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.
Most email programs can block email from a specific address. Unfortunately, blocking email from a sender is ineffective when it comes to spam.
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.
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.
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 firewall is a critical component of keeping your machine safe on the internet. There are two basic types, but which is right for you?
Depending on what email program or service you use, deleted emails may or may not be really deleted. It’s surprisingly hard to tell for certain.
Extracting data from hard drive in a dead computer isn’t typically all that hard – unless it’s the drive itself that caused the problem.
A few steps immediately after you get your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort and loss of data later. I’ll review my recommendations.
There are many reasons you might find pictures not showing in email. I’ll review the complex world that is email, and some of the things that can go wrong.
For some reason many people’s gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider getting a new computer. That’s just … wrong.
Sometimes you may want to explicitly keep someone from contacting you. Ignoring them is often simplest, but there are tools to help as well.
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.
Letting your browser remember passwords is a convenient feature. However it’s important to understand that with that convenience comes risk – often significant risk.
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.
Many online cloud storage providers encrypt your data, but if needed, they can decrypt it themselves. BoxCryptor is a great solution to ensure that your online data remains private, regardless of how it’s stored.
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.