Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!
Trying to remove malware? I’ll walk you through the steps and options, from simple to hard, including the only approach that’s guaranteed to work.
Online shopping is ubiquitous, and yet some avoid it completely. Why are some people afraid to shop online when it’s arguably safer than offline?
Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.
Task Manager shows many of the items that run automatically when you start your machine. What you need and what you don’t depends on many factors.
My recommendations for specific security software and techniques to keep your computer, and yourself, safe.
Malware authors often make fantastic promises to get people to bypass their security software. It’s important to remain skeptical, vigilant, and attentive.
For years, the standard practice has been to assume that eight-character passwords made up of sufficiently random characters was enough. Not any more. Not even close.
It can be extremely difficult to find the email address of someone you want to contact. To begin with, they must want to be found.
Assorted redistributables and shared libraries are installed on your PC by programs that need them. Removing them, while tempting, is fairly risky.
Avoid ransomware the same way you avoid any malware. A full backup will save you not only from ransomware, but from a host of other problems as well.
Microsoft continues to confuse us with product names. I’ll clarify the difference between Outlook and Outlook.com, and help you understand which you want.
Spammers use many techniques to slide their garbage into your inbox. BCCing you on messages is a common way.
People can tell very little from your IP address. For example, they cannot tell who or where you are. How much they can tell varies a great deal.
Over-aggressive spam filtering can cause email newsletters and other messages to fail to appear in your inbox. I’ll look at why that is, and three steps you can take to improve the situation.
It’s a good idea to test backups before disaster strikes. Unfortunately, a complete test can be risky. I’ll look at some alternatives.
Realistically, it’s impossible to delete things from the internet. Yet in an apparent contradiction in terms, if you happen to delete something in your control, you also can’t get it back.
After an online account is deleted, the ID or email address is eventually made available for re-use. It’s the same name but a different owner, and that can confuse people.
You might lose your hardware and any un-backed-up data on it, and possibly give a thief access to it all! I’ll cover a few of the basics. A stolen computer or lost computer can open the doors to all sorts of havoc if you’re not prepared.
Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 is a handy tool for freeing up space on your hard drive. I’ll show you how it’s done, and what to clean up. It’s one of the first places I recommend people turn to when they’re running low on disk space.
Device-driver updates can come from several places. I’ll review the best sources for driver updates and where else you might need to look.
The best registry cleaner is none at all. There may be cases where you want to use one, though, and I’ll review which I’d use and how to use them safely.
How Can I Securely Delete Everything Except the Operating System? Five Steps to Get as Close as You Can
Before giving away a machine or returning a loaner, it’s important to remove personal information from it. That may be both harder and easier than you think.
There are many reasons you’re more likely to be directed to online and self-help resources than talk to a real person.
It’s important to understand the risk of buying a used computer.
Often, when people find their posts or comments removed or altered from websites they visit, they’re quick to claim their right to free speech has been violated. That’s rarely the case.
System Restore doesn’t restore your system and has proven itself too unreliable to count on.
The most important life skill, for everything from getting your computer fixed to becoming a highly-paid professional, may not be what you think it is.
Https is an important part of keeping your data safe, but it’s only a part. It’s important to understand what it does and doesn’t mean.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a fully encrypted, private internet connection via a VPN provider. I’ll look at what protection it offers.
Sometimes, it is possible to recover a file deleted by accident. Stop using the disk, check your Recycle Bin, and perhaps pull out an undelete utility.
“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.
With occasional security breaches at service providers and rampant email account theft, password security has never been more important. Make sure you choose and use secure passwords.
Even though most of us might never fall for it, the reason there’s so much spam is simple: spam works.
A Windows 10 Recovery Drive can be used to restore Windows backups to your machine and more. I’ll show you how to create one.
If we would all be a little more skeptical, we’d be safer and the internet would be a more trustworthy place.
I don’t think much of the Windows backup utility–but any backup is better than no backup. Let’s take a look at how to use it.
Windows Update can get confused or stuck. I’ll review ways to fix Windows Update, including what I refer to as the “nuclear option”.
Domain names are simple in concept, yet can be constructed in ways that might fool you. I’ll look at some examples, and discuss what’s important.
Folks often ask what might be broken if their computer does nothing, but provide few clues. It’s a long list, and I’ll look at some possibilities.
Being over quota means you’ve received or kept too much email. To deal with it, you need to understand where that email is being kept.
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.
Outlook.com, Hotmail, and Microsoft account compromise and loss happens. How to get your account back varies based on just what was stolen. I’ll review different scenarios.
Although there’s no way to remove all traces of yourself from a machine, there certainly are ways to remove as much as you can.
If you send email to an invalid address or a closed account, usually you’ll get a bounce back. Usually. But you cannot count on bounces.
Google’s search tools can help you find websites that have been tagged with particular dates. But be cautious; dates may not mean what you think.
Linux is a viable alternative to extend the life of older machines. We’ll look at some of the issues involved if you switch to Linux.
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 very wrong and completely unnecessary.
There is one approach to life — one setting in your psyche — that affects your experience with technology much more than any lack of skill or knowledge.
Terms used to measure disk space can be ambiguous. As a result, a megabyte to you might not be the same as a megabyte to your computer.
When it comes to journalism and other information you read online, there’s a very strong argument that things are seriously broken. We all need to be more vigilant than ever to separate truth from falsehood and recognize what’s important over what’s popular.