Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!

It Pays to Be Skeptical

If we would all be a little more skeptical, we’d be safer and the internet would be a more trustworthy place.

Stop Spreading Manure

Believing and spreading manure — lies, falsehoods, and misleading implications — makes you look bad and makes the internet a dumber place.

How Can I Make My Computer Faster?

The most effective way to speed up a system is to clean it up, have it run fewer programs, and give it more resources.

My Email Is Hacked, How Do I Fix It?

If your email is hacked, there are several steps you need to take to get it back and prevent it from being hacked again.

12 Steps to Keep from Getting Your Account Hacked

Here are the steps you need to take to prevent losing your account forever to a hacker.

Who Is My Home Network Administrator?

Some Windows messages indicate that something was set by your network administrator. That’s probably you, even if you didn’t do it.

Is My Information Safe in the Cloud?

‘The cloud’ is the latest buzzword for internet-based services. It’s important to understand a few things about cloud security.

Will Using an On-Screen Keyboard Stop Keyloggers?

Using an on-screen keyboard instead of a real keyboard might stop some keyloggers, but there’s no guarantee that other techniques aren’t also being used.

How Do I Stop Someone from Emailing Me?

Sometimes you want to keep someone from contacting you. Ignoring them is often simplest, but there are tools to help as well.

Where Do I Find CHKDSK Results After a Reboot?

CHKDSK must sometimes be run at boot time. I’ll show you where to find those CHKDSK results.

A One-Step Way to Lose Your Account Forever

I see people lose access to their most important accounts all the time. It’s often their own fault that they can’t regain access.

When Tech Drives You Crazy, Don’t Make the Problem Worse

Impatience leads to frustration. Frustration leads to desperation. Desperation often leads to more problems than you started with.

Does My Computer Need a Memory Upgrade?

A memory upgrade can be an easy, inexpensive way to improve system performance, but how do you know if an upgrade is called for?

The One Thing Every Non-Technical Person Needs to Know

If there’s one precaution I want everyone to embrace, it’s this.

Monitoring Your System with Resource Monitor

Here’s a helpful system resource tool that doesn’t get nearly the press it deserves.

Why Is My Mail to This Person Not Getting Through?

Spam prevention measures have made getting email delivered more difficult. We’ll look at how to maximize the chances your email will make it through.

They Set Up My Computer and Now My Ex Is Spying on Me. What Can I Do?

Trust is tricky when it comes to computers. When you add relationships to the mix, things quickly get complicated.

How Do I Get Files From a Machine That Won’t Boot?

If your machine won’t boot for some reason, there are a couple of approaches to try to get data off its hard drive.

I’m Drowning in Spam. What Can I Do?

Sometimes it seems like spam is a tidal wave of junk that threatens to make email completely unusable. While you can’t stop spam, you can manage it with a good spam filter.

What For-Pay Email Providers Do You Recommend?

People often use free email providers for critical data only to lose everything when a problem occurs. So what do you look for in a paid email provider?

How Can I Make the Text on My Screen Larger?

There are several ways to adjust the size of text and items on your screen.

Windows File Explorer Settings: the Setting You Should Change Right Now

Windows File Explorer tries to help by hiding some information. Unfortunately, that opens a hole hackers can use to fool you.

Why Did My Security Software Not Detect a Virus on My PC?

Even with up-to-date anti-malware tools, you can still fall victim to malware. I’ll explain why by comparing your computer to your… bathroom?

Could the Microsoft Servers Be Infected?

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.

Are Automatic Updates a Good Thing?

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.

What’s a Screenshot, and How Do I Take One?

A screenshot — an image of your computer screen saved as a picture — can eliminate a lot of frustration when trying to describe what you’re seeing on your computer to someone .

My Print Queue is Stuck. How Do I Print Anything?

Every so often, the Windows print queue gets stuck. Everything looks like it should print, but it won’t. We’ll fix it.

How Do I Find Out Who Owns an Email Address?

Finding out who owns an email address is difficult at best. There’s little you can do on your own, but if you’re being harassed, law enforcement may help.

Why Does My Machine Take Forever to Shut Down?

Booting your machine can take time, but so can shutting it down. Various issues contribute to a slow shutdown.

How Do I Get an Email Forward Notification When Someone Forwards My Message?

Several urban legends would have you believe that when you forward an email, it can somehow be tracked. It cannot. Period. I’ll explain why that is.

Why is My Disk Busy Even Though I’m Doing Nothing?

Unexpected hard disk activity isn’t unusual. I’ll show you how to use a free monitoring tool to determine what program is causing it.

How Does Screen Resolution Work?

Screen resolution is a simple concept, but when combined with the myriad ways that Windows can be configured, it can become confusing.

Why Does Email Bounce?

Email can bounce for many reasons. I’ll look at several of the most common email bounce messages and try to interpret what they really mean.

What Is a Server?

The term “server” is used a lot in many contexts, but it’s really just a computer.

How Do I Hide the Email Address I’m Sending Email To?

It’s possible to send email to someone without having their email address show up on the To: or CC: lines by using Blind Carbon Copy, or BCC.

Can My Boss See My Mail and Instant Messages?

When using your company’s machine and/or network, it’s safe to assume that your boss or IT department can see your emails, instant messages, and everything else.

Why Am I Getting Bounces for Email I Didn’t Send?

Spammers want to send email that looks like it’s coming from someone who can be trusted. They want it to look like it’s coming from you — and you end up getting the bounce notifications.

What Should I Do About the Latest Breach?

Another week, another breach. What steps should you take in the wake of the latest large-scale data breach?

How Do I Fix a Blue Screen Error?

Blue screen errors are less common than they used to be, but they can still happen for a variety of reasons. I’ll review what to do and when.

How Should I Configure Virtual Memory Settings?

The default settings for virtual memory are good enough for most. Tweaking virtual memory settings depends on your computer and what you do with it.

How Was My Bank Account Hacked When I Did Everything Right?

Even with all the right things in place, stuff happens. I’ll review the additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

Half a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

OneDrive is a surprisingly powerful service that many people overlook or don’t understand. I’ll review six ways you can leverage OneDrive.

Protecting Your Privacy: Points of Vulnerability

Tracing the privacy and security of the path from your fingertips through the services you use to your information’s final destination.

How Can One Service Take Down So Much?

What happens when a major cloud service goes down, and what’s the takeaway?

How to Back Up Windows 10 (& 11)

How to back up Windows using its own built-in tools in eight easy steps. Four bonus steps handle Microsoft’s plans to retire one of those tools.

Just What Is a Backup, Anyway?

At its most basic, backups are simple: a copy of something kept somewhere else to keep it safe.

Can a USB Flash Drive Wear Out?

While the technology continues to improve, flash memory has a limited number of times it can be written to and can, in fact, wear out.

No Signal: What it Means and What to Check

“No Signal” is a message coming from your display device (not from your computer), indicating it has nothing to display. I’ll review possible causes.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Computer

Are you afraid of your computer? I’ll look at some ways to become less fearful and more adventuresome.

Never Blindly Trust an Online Recommendation (Even Mine)

A snide remark about one of my recommendations raises an important point about any recommendation you find online: there are many opportunities for abuse.