Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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.

What Information Should I Provide When Asking For Help?

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?

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!

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 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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

Stop Spreading Manure

Perhaps most importantly, stop believing it.

How do I remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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

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

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.

How do I remove malware?

How Do I Remove Malware?

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.

CHKDSK: What Is It and How Do I Run It?

CHKDSK, short for Check Disk, is a utility that checks the integrity of the files and file structure of your hard disk. I’ll walk you through it.

7 Steps to a Secure Router

Your router is your first line of defense against malicious attacks from the internet. But do you have a secure router? I’ll review the important settings.

Is copyright still an issue if something's not available anywhere?

Is Copyright Still an Issue If Something’s Not Available Anywhere?

Copyright is a complex topic, but the practical implications are simple. I’ll look at availability, copyright, and more.

How do I get data off of the hard drive in a dead computer?

How Do I Get Data Off of the Hard Drive in a Dead Computer?

Extracting data from a hard drive in a dead computer isn’t typically difficult, unless it’s the drive itself that caused the problem.

Can I stop an email?

Can I Stop or ‘Un-send’ an Email I Sent by Mistake?

Once you hit that Send button, assume there is no way to stop your email from being sent … even if it’s to the wrong person.

Is changing my password enough?

Is Changing My Password Enough?

Changing your password is a common response to account hacks. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough.

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.

Can I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

Can I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

While there are settings and services that claim to know if an email has been opened, they are notoriously unreliable and pointless.

How Do I Remove Myself from the Search Engines?

How Do I Remove Myself from the Search Engines?

The internet has a very long memory. Removal from search engines is practically and perhaps literally impossible.

What Good is Incognito Mode?

What Good is Incognito Mode?

Incognito mode, or Private or InPrivate browsing, protects your privacy to a point. It’s critical to know where that point is.

Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW

Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to Do NOW

Email account theft is rampant. If it happens to you, there are several steps you need to take — not only to recover your account, but to prevent it from being easily hacked again.

The deep, dark secret behind Ask Leo!

The Deep, Dark Secret Behind Ask Leo!

Not long ago, I finally came up with the words to describe part of what I do. It was kind of a secret … until now.

12 Steps To Keep from Getting Your Account Hacked

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.

A One Step Way to Lose Your Account ... Forever

A One-step Way to Lose Your Account … Forever

I see people lose access to their important accounts all the time. Most frustrating is that it’s often their own fault that they can’t regain access.

Is the Cloud Dangerous?

Is the Cloud Dangerous?

As security compromises happen regularly, many are asking, “Is the cloud too dangerous?” It’s as safe as you make it.

How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative’s Computer?

How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative’s Computer?

If no preparations have been made beforehand, accessing the machine of a deceased loved one can be anywhere from easy to impossible.

Can I get someone's name and address from their IP address?

Can I Get Someone’s Name and Address from Their IP Address?

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

This Is Why I Back Up

This Is Why I Back Up

Here’s another example of why going digital enables a level of backup safety that single originals simply can’t achieve.

If I Had to Do It Over…

If I Had to Do It Over…

I never planned to be a writer. And yet here I am. I kinda wish I’d approached a few things differently along the way.

How do I unsubscribe from all these unwanted emails?

How Do I Unsubscribe from All These Unwanted Emails?

There are emails from which you should certainly unsubscribe when you no longer want them. However, there are emails that you absolutely should never unsubscribe from. I’ll review the differences.