Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!
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.
Photographic images have a number of characteristics that we often don’t consider or understand. I’ll review how digital pictures are constructed and stored, and what you need to keep in mind when sharing or publishing.
When running out of disk space, considering what you can delete makes sense. I’ll look at the steps to determine whether a file, such as a .dat file, may be important.
Strong passwords are important, but they don’t protect you from everything. I’ll look at other ways your account can be compromised.
It’s sometimes hard to tell why Word thinks a document changed even though you haven’t done anything to it. I’ll look at a few clues.
Testing your backups is an easy step to overlook, but an important one to take. Make sure your backups will be there when you need them.
A single original of anything is not backed up, and backing up is significantly easier, and of higher quality, in digital media.
Letting your browser remember passwords is a convenient feature. With that convenience comes risk — often significant risk. Most folks are much better served by using a password vault. I’ll explain why.
Many external drives include free backup software that I never use. I’ll explain why, and what I do instead.
Windows File Explorer defaults to a simple view of files on your machine that isn’t secure. Changes these settings as soon as you can.
We worry a lot about privacy, but our concerns are often misplaced. Fortunately, the biggest risk to our personal privacy is right under our nose.
There are common causes, and sometimes simple solutions, for a video that starts and stops as you watch it.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your accounts secure from hackers — even those who manage to get your password.
How Do I Change the Browser Home Page in Windows 10? Take Control with Quick Instructions for Edge, Firefox, and Chrome
Sometimes installers change your browser home page “for you”. Other times, homepage content changes. I’ll show you how to be more productive and set your homepage to what you want.
It’s not only impossible to prevent email from being forwarded; you can’t even prevent that forward from being altered, forged or defaced.
The internet, and social media specifically, seems like a breeding ground for jerks. Did it actually create them, or just expose those already among us?
Email and texting usually works, but when it doesn’t, there’s just no way to tell if someone has blocked you.
Backing up your computer’s data is critical. What backup program should you use? There are many, but pragmatically, the best is whatever you’ll actually use.
Image backups are excellent protection against data loss, but restoring an old backup to new computer isn’t why you do them.
Assuming your intent is legal or at least moral, it’s not hard to copy content from a webpage that attempts to prevent it.
These are oversimplifications of many variations on the same basic question. People want to hack into other people’s accounts, or even their own, for a variety of reasons. Some sound perfectly legitimate. Others, not so much. And others are just blatant attempts at theft, harassment, or revenge. What’s really scary is that I get these requests … Read more
Changing passwords periodically is conventional wisdom. I disagree, and then discuss whether periodic password change can even happen reliably.
Open Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops and other public places are opportunities for hackers. I’ll review how to stay safe.
The first thing a diagnostic technician may ask you to do is reboot your computer. Why?
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.
What’s the Difference Between an Email Account, an Email Address, an Email Program, and an Email Service?
Terminology around email can be confusing, and lead to incorrect answers to misstated questions. I’ll review some common and important terms.
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.