Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!

How Do I Choose a Good Password?

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.

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.

How to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive

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.

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.

Creating a Backup Image Using Windows’ Built-in Backup

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.

Why Don’t I Get Sound from My Computer? (A Checklist)

“No sound” can happen for a variety of reasons. Here’s how to troubleshoot if your computer is inexplicably silent.

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 Know a Web Address is Safe?

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.

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

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.

What Is an Email Quota and What Does “Over Quota” Mean?

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.

What Security Software Do You Recommend?

I have recommendations for specific security software and techniques in various places on the site. Here’s a short summary.

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.

What Are My Hotmail and Outlook.com Account Recovery Options?

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.

How Do I Remove Myself from a Machine?

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.

Can I Count on Mail to a Bad Address Bouncing Back?

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.

Why Do Search Results Not Have Dates?

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.

Should I Switch to Linux from Windows?

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.

One Reason Why You Don’t Need a New Computer

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.

Embracing the Most Important Attitude

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.

Why Doesn’t My New, Empty Hard Drive Show All the Advertised Space?

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.

How the Internet Is Breaking Journalism (and What It Means to You)

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.

This Doesn’t Need to Happen

Another day, another story of data loss. The frustrating thing is that it doesn’t have to happen.

How Do I Find Who Hacked My Email Account?

It’s natural to want to find out who hacked your email and why. Begin by recovering and securing your account. I’ll review what steps you can take after that, and their chances of success.

Am I Wasting My Time Reporting Scam and Spam Emails?

Reporting spam in your email program with the spam button is critical. Reporting it by forwarding it somewhere isn’t going to do any good.

Should I Partition My Hard Disk?

Partitioning, or splitting a single physical hard drive into multiple drives, has pros and cons. I’ll look at those and make a recommendation.

Why Is It Important to Have Different Passwords on Different Accounts?

Using a different password for every login is an important part of overall security — and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

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 Can’t the Poor just Pirate Software?

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.

What’s the Difference Between a Hub, a Switch, and a Router?

Hubs, switches, and routers are all computer networking devices with varying capabilities. Unfortunately, the terms are often misused.

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

Google will use your mobile phone number for verification if you lose access to your account. Some people don’t want to provide that information to Google.

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.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Computer

Are you afraid of your computer? It could be getting in your way. I’ll look at some ways to become less fearful and more adventuresome.

Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?

Only Windows is Windows. There are alternatives, but whether they’re right for you depends on you.

Are PCs Doomed?

While the ratio of PCs to mobile devices may change over time, I believe PCs will not be going away any time soon. They’re just too darned useful.

Crank Your Password Strength Up to 11!

The results are in for last year’s most common passwords. The implications are depressing, but important.

Facebook Hacked? What You Need to Do NOW

Facebook account hacks happen. There are steps you need to take, not only to recover your account but to prevent it from being hacked again.

Where Can I Download Windows?

You can download Windows versions 7, 8.1, and 10 from legitimate sources. If you have a legal retail product key, this could be your replacement media.

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Occasionally, one program uses all of your computer’s processing resources. Using Task Manager, it’s easy to figure out which program that is.

Why Is My Machine Slowing Down?

A PC running Windows can slow down for many reasons. Viruses, spyware, updated software, disk fragmentation, and more can lead to performance drops.

How Do I Best Extend My Wireless Network for Laptop Access?

It can be difficult to get wireless network coverage throughout your home. I’ll look at a couple of ways to extend your wireless network.

How Do I Back Up My Computer?

Backing up your computer is critical to avoiding data loss. I’ll look at what it means and give a suggestion for typical users.

Where’s My Disk Space Going?

It’s not uncommon to run out of disk space. A free utility can show where your disk space is going so you can determine what steps to take.

Stop Spreading Manure

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

How to Remove PUPs, Foistware, Drive-bys, Toolbars, and Other Annoying Things

Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed as well. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.

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 — albeit significant work — will get you back up and running without needing to destroy anything.

I Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

It seems like even the most up-to-date anti-malware package isn’t always enough. It’s frustrating, because you’d think it would be.

How Should I Set Up My Home Network?

A home network allows you to share a single internet connection, as well as data and devices, between multiple devices. I’ll review the basics components of a home network and some steps to take as your network grows.

How Do I Use an Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Safely?

Open Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops, airports, and other public places are opportunities for hackers to steal information and more. I’ll review how to stay safe.

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.

Dealing with Browser Problems

Browser problems can be caused by any number of things that may or may not include the browser itself. I’ll review common troubleshooting techniques.