Articles tagged: The Best of Ask Leo!

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.

What’s the Difference Between CHKDSK /F and CHKDSK /R?

CHKDSK is a powerful Windows utility used to diagnose and repair disks. /F and /R represent two types of repairs.

My Machine’s Full of Malware; Should I Get a New Computer?

For some reason, many people’s gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider getting a new computer. That’s unnecessary.

Why Your Computer Might Be Slow

A friend’s slow computer provided me an opportunity to review the four primary characteristics of computer slowdowns to help you diagnose issues in the future.

Why Doesn’t Blocking Email Senders Work?

Most email programs can block email from a specific address. Unfortunately, blocking email from a sender is ineffective when it comes to spam.

How Using BCC Reduces Spam

Using BCC on forwarded email is one way to reduce the amount of spam your recipients might get.

Should I Switch to Linux?

Linux is a viable alternative to extend the life of older machines, or if you’re just fed up with Windows. I’ll look at some of the issues involved if you switch to Linux.

How Long Should I Keep Backups?

Having a regular backup system in place is critical. But then what? I’ll look at how long you might want to keep those backups, why, and how long I keep mine.

How Do I View the BCC Recipients on an Email I’ve Received?

“BCC” is a way to send copies of email without all the recipients being visible. But can you still view the BCC’ed?

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 Fix “Your Connection is Not Private”?

“Your connection is not private” errors are often benign, but are worth paying attention to.

My Registry Scan Reported Hundreds of Errors! Which Do I Fix?

Registry scanners often report hundreds, if not thousands, of issues. Should you fix them, and if so, which? Here’s my approach.

Can My School See Email I Send and Recieve?

Your school can see email being sent and received across its systems, and there’s no way to know whether or not they’re actually looking.

Can I ZIP Photos or MP3 Files to Save Space?

Most music, picture, and movie files are already compressed. Compressing them again won’t make much difference, and could even make them larger.

If I Share Wi-Fi With My Neighbor, Can They See My Network Traffic?

Sharing Wi-Fi with your neighbor might seem like a friendly thing to do, but be aware you are potentially putting your own computers at risk.

How to Email Large Files Using Any Email Program or Service

Emailing large attachments is typically a bad idea, as your mail may not be delivered. I’ll look at alternatives.

How to Get Rid of Spam Emails

If you’re not getting spam now, you will soon — and probably lots of it. What can you do? There’s no magic answer, but there are various things you can do to help.

When Is “www” Needed and Why?

The “www” in website addresses is now typically optional and even redundant, but there was once a reason as to why it was required in URLs.

How Do I Change My Microsoft Account Phone Number?

Mobile numbers are an important component of Hotmail and Outlook.com security. I’ll review how to change the mobile number and keep it up to date.

How Do I Stop My Neighbor Using My IP Address?

If it’s certain a neighbor is using your IP address without permission, you need to take steps. But first you need to make sure.

How Do I Connect My Desktop to Open Wi-Fi Nearby?

Wi-Fi hotspots make for a convenient connection. To connect, you need proximity, a little hardware, and most important, permission.

“Chkdsk Cannot Run Because the Volume Is in Use by Another Process”

Chkdsk checks your disk for errors at a low level, requiring exclusive access to the disk to do so. “Chkdsk cannot run…” means it doesn’t have the exclusive access it needs.

Should I Use RAID for Backup?

RAID is a valuable technology for improving disk speed and fault tolerance, but it is in no way a replacement for backing up.

Restoring an Image Backup from One Computer to Another

The concept seems simple: take a system image of one machine, restore it to another, and avoid lengthy setup time. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Why Shouldn’t I Use the “Report Spam” or “Junk” Button?

The “Report Spam” and “Junk” buttons serve an important function in the war against spam. However, used improperly they can do more harm than good.

Phishing: How to Know It When You See It

Phishing is a way scammers trick you into providing personal and financial details. Phishing opens the door to identity theft and more.

How Do I Permanently Close My Account?

I often hear from people wanting to close an email account for one reason or another. The problem is that closing an email account is often the wrong solution to their real problem.

How Do I Protect Myself from Other Computers on My Local Network?

Many households have computers used for sensitive things sharing a network with less trustworthy users. Here’s how to increase your security.

Never Attribute to Malice . . .

Malicious intent is commonly understood to be the cause of technological trials and tribulations. It’s usually the wrong assumption to make.

What’s the Difference Between an Email Account, an Email Address, an Email Program, and an Email Service?

Terminology around email can be confusing. I’ll review some common and important terms.

How Should I Back Up an Encrypted Disk?

Backing up an encrypted hard drive shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s important to understand what you’ll get.

How Do I Update Drivers on My Computer?

Drivers are critically important components of your computer, but knowing how and when to update drivers isn’t as easy or as obvious as we might like.

5 Reasons Your Closed Email Account Sends Spam

Closing an email account is many people’s first reaction to seeing spam sent from their account. It rarely helps, if it’s even possible. I’ll explain.

My External HDD Shows Not Formatted — But It Has All My Data!

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.

How Pixels, DPI, Resolution, Picture Size, and File Size All Relate

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.