Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!

What’s the Difference Between Memory and Disk Space?

The difference between the various things we could call “memory” is a fundamental computing concept. I’ll review the basics.

Why Do Ads Follow Me Around the Internet?

Advertising networks notice what interests you. It might be a little creepy, but it’s not malware.

Can My ISP Monitor My Internet Connection?

Your ISP controls your internet connection, and it’s easy for them to monitor the data you send and receive. The question is, why would anyone monitor your internet?

How Can Newsletter Senders Tell That I Haven’t Opened Their Newsletter?

It’s impossible to truly determine if someone opened an email, but newsletters worrying about their reputation try to get an idea.

Can I Get Malware From Opening an Email?

It used to be that simply viewing a malformed email could allow a virus to spread. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.

How Do I Fix Windows Update?

Windows Update can get confused or stuck. I’ll review ways to fix Windows Update, including what I refer to as the nuclear option.

How Do I Recover Flash Drive Files?

Flash drives are popular, convenient, and extremely useful. But they can fail. Take preventative measures right away.

How Do I Get Wireless Internet?

You hear a lot about wireless internet, but it’s not something you can just connect to anywhere. It’s more often something you purchase and set up.

How to Use Just a Single Password for Everything

It’s very tempting to use only a single password everywhere. That’s dangerous, and there are better alternatives.

My Computer Doesn’t Work — What Do I Do?

People often ask what might be broken if their computer does nothing. It’s a long list, and I’ll look at some possibilities.

About Thunderbird

Thunderbird: a Free, Open Source, and Powerful Email Client

Thunderbird is a robust and powerful email program that can meet the needs of both light and power users. I use it all day every day.

How Do I Change My Email Name?

Changing your email name is usually easy, but changing your email address involves setting up a new account.

My Computer Is Infected With Malware. Should I Just Throw It Out?

Malware is just software. It doesn’t destroy your computer’s hardware in any way. Some work will get you back up and running without needing to destroy anything.

Why Shouldn’t I “Forward to Everyone You Know”?

We often get forwarded email warning us about everything from lost children to free money to crooked politicians. They’re mostly bogus, and they’re known as urban legends. Here’s how to tell.

What Is a Browser Cache? How Do I Clear It?

Clearing your browser cache is the first thing to try when you encounter webpage problems. I’ll look at why and how to clear your cache.

Why Do I Have Constant Disk Activity in Windows?

Unexplained disk activity is easy to identify with the right tools. We’ll use Process Monitor.

Will Email Bounce If I Send It to a Closed Account?

If you send email to an invalid address or a closed account, you may get a bounce back. You just can’t count on it.

What’s the Difference Between Outlook, Outlook, and Outlook.com?

Microsoft continues to confuse us with product names. I’ll clarify the difference between Outlook, Outlook, and Outlook.com, and help you decide which you want.

What Are Hiberfil.sys, Swapfile.sys, and Pagefile.sys, and How Do I Remove Them?

Hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys, and swapfile.sys are Windows system files that support two very important features: hibernation and virtual memory.

How Do I Get Someone’s Location From an IP Address?

While getting someone’s name and address from their IP address is technically possible, it’s also difficult and requires law enforcement’s help.

Back Up Smartphone Photos Using Dropbox

Smartphones are a popular way to take snapshots and videos. Tools like Dropbox are great for making sure those are backed up automatically.

What Information Should I Provide When Asking for Help?

When you ask someone for help, stack the deck in your favor by painting a clear picture of the problem you’re experiencing.

Should I Update to Windows 11?

Windows 11 is out to much fanfare, hype, and confusion. Unless you have specific reasons, you don’t need to upgrade yet, but there’s also no reason to avoid it.

How Do I Copy Files When Windows Says I Don’t Have Permission to Access This Folder?

When transferring NTFS-formatted disks from one machine to another, permissions can restrict access. I’ll cover both Widows GUI and command line solutions.

What Can I Do If Someone Uses My Credit Card Online?

Using someone else’s credit card online illegally is identity theft. There’s not a lot you can do except report it.

Is It Safe to Download from Download Sites?

Download sites are just too risky these days. Don’t use them unless there is no way to avoid them, and even then, be very careful in your selections.

Every Application Adds Risk

Everything you download adds risk. Be safer using my three guidelines.

Privacy Begins with the Operating System

Privacy is a complex and far-reaching topic. One of the most basic and often overlooked players is the operating system on your device.

What are POP3, IMAP, and SMTP?

POP, POP3, IMAP, and SMTP are all acronyms used in configuring email. We’ll look at what they mean and how they relate.

Can I Stop Others from Forwarding Messages?

It’s not only impossible to prevent email from being forwarded; you can’t even prevent that forward from being altered, forged or defaced.

Should I Buy a New Computer to Fix Malware?

Buying a new machine is a common knee-jerk reaction to a bad malware infestation. And it’s wrong. Not just a little wrong — it’s completely unnecessary.

How Do I Edit a Reply?

Edit a reply before sending it. Clean up your message, remove email addresses, and more.

Can I Use a Charger With the Same Voltage but Different Amperage Rating?

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.

What Does “Not Responding” Mean?

“Not Responding” is Windows’ way of telling you that a program might have a problem. Sometimes it’s benign and sometimes it’s a sign of a deeper issue.

How Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete?

It can be a challenge to delete multiple emails. I’ll look at some of the concepts and techniques used by various email programs to make it easier.

Why Doesn’t “Back” Always Work?

Occasionally, the back button won’t work and simply lands you back where you were. There are reasons, and there are workarounds.

How Do I Get an Old Version of a Webpage?

It’s generally not possible to recover an older version of a webpage, but we’ll look at a couple of straws to grasp at.

Is a Microsoft 365 Subscription Worth It?

Before you dismiss it because it’s a subscription, take a look and do the math. Microsoft 365 might be surprisingly affordable for you.

Don’t Rely on System Restore

System Restore doesn’t restore your system and has proven itself too unreliable to count on.

How Do I Prevent Credit Card Theft?

There are some practices to help you avoid having your credit card compromised, but most card theft is out of your control.

Can I Check for Malware before Downloading Something?

Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.

Why Is There So Much Spam?

Even though most of us might never fall for it, the reason there’s so much spam is simple: spam works.

Why Do Edits Made to a Document Emailed to Me Disappear?

Changes you’ve made to a document that was emailed to you can easily disappear. Let’s avoid that.

What is Virtual Memory?

Virtual memory is conceptually somewhere between RAM and hard disk space. It’s disk space used to maximize the amount of RAM available to programs.

WHY IS EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET SO GRUMPY?

Using all uppercase characters is the internet form of shouting, and is considered rude.

What Are All These Programs Running After I Boot Windows?

When you start Windows, many programs start automatically as well. Some of them don’t need to.

Why Do People Create Free Software?

Free software exists for reasons ranging from pure altruism to pure deceit.

How Do I Send Anonymous Email?

Don’t send anonymous email from work or home. It takes extra steps to keep from being traced.

How Do I Test Backups?

It’s a good idea to test backups before disaster strikes. Unfortunately, a complete test can be risky. I’ll look at some alternatives.

Your 6 Strongest Practical Password Techniques, Ranked

Six practical approaches to generating passwords, ranked from best to worst.