Articles tagged: Featured

Just What Is a Hack?

Hack or hacking can mean several different things — both good and bad — depending on the context. I’ll review the most common definitions.

How Should I Back Up My Email?

Configuring a PC-based email program to use IMAP and have it constantly download email as a backup is a reasonable way to go.

How Long Will My SSD Last?

We keep hearing that SSDs and other flash-based drives wear out. Particularly when it comes to SSDs, there are ways you can see how close to wearing out your drive might be.

Your 6 Strongest Practical Password Techniques, Ranked

Six practical approaches to generating passwords, ranked from best to worst.

How Do I Contact Outlook.com Customer Service?

People ask every day how they can reach someone at Microsoft to help with Hotmail and Outlook.com problems. There is help.

What Do I Do About Websites Bugging Me About Notifications?

Responding to notification permissions is annoying. In some browsers, we can turn that off completely.

How Do I Make Sure I Don’t Have Malware?

It’s impossible to know your machine has no malware. What does that mean for your safety?

Extensions page in Microsoft Edge.

Can Browser Extensions See My Bank Account?

Browser extensions are often installed with little thought to the immense security risk they present.

Can’t I Just Copy Everything to Back Up?

It’s tempting to just use file-copy tools to back up what you think you need. But you can easily miss something very important.

The Easy-to-Avoid Two-Factor Loss Risk

Two-factor authentication is an important tool to keep accounts secure, but prepare for losing the second factor so you don’t lose your account.

Facebook Privacy Settings 2021

You can and should be aware of and control your Facebook privacy settings.

Yes, SMS Two-Factor Authentication is Broken; Use it Anyway

SMS messaging has some serious security vulnerabilities, but does that mean you should always avoid it? No.

Should I Worry About Old Lost Email Accounts?

That old account you lost probably won’t come back to haunt you, but it’s wise to take some action and keep your guard up.

Three Things to Try When Unsubscribe Doesn’t Work

When a legitimate email sender doesn’t respond to an “unsubscribe” request, they’re no longer legitimate. Here’s what to do.

What if My OneDrive is Too Big for My Hard Drive?

Cloud storage is ubiquitous, convenient, and BIG. There are options if OneDrive is too big for your hard drive.

What Should I Do About the Changes to LastPass Free?

LastPass is changing the terms of their free service. Find out if you’re affected, and what to do if you are.

Can Hotel Internet Traffic Be Sniffed?

Many hotels offer both wired and wireless internet, but with those hotel internet connections comes a security risk most folks don’t consider.

Why Is My Computer Crashing Randomly?

Random crashes are annoying and difficult to diagnose. I’ll review common causes and steps you can take to determine what’s happening on your computer.

Should I Avoid Windows Update? It Burned Me

After a bad experience with Windows Update, it’s tempting to bail on the idea completely. Unfortunately, that can leave your machine vulnerable to malware.

What’s Up with WhatsApp Terms of Service?

WhatsApp announced privacy policy changes requiring your agreement to continue using it. Has anything really changed?

Why Password Managers are Safer than the Alternatives

If you’re not using a password manager, you’re likely compromising your security more than necessary. Here’s why using one is safer.

You’re Just Not That Interesting (Except When You Are)

Worried about privacy? I believe we over-imagine the risks and at the same time are our own worst enemies.

Will Ransomware Encrypt Backups?

A full-image backup is still the best defense against ransomware. But what if your backup gets encrypted? I’ll look at the likelihood of that happening and make some recommendations.

How Do I Decrypt Files Encrypted by Ransomware?

Once your files are encrypted by ransomware, your options are few. If you’re not prepared, there are a few straws to grasp at.

Why You’re Being Warned About Windows 10 End of Service and What to Do About It

Windows 10 warns when it’s coming to “end of service”, but what does that mean if Windows 10 is always being updated?

What Do I Do About Adobe Flash End of Life in 2020?

Support for Adobe Flash will end at the end of 2020. The good news is that most sites have stopped needing it. For those that do, there’s really no alternative.

Facebook Hacked? What You Need to Do NOW!

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

How to Back Up Before a Windows 10 Upgrade

Always back up before a Windows 10 upgrade, update, or reinstall. Create a full system image backup of up your entire machine.

How Do I Report a Bug in Windows 10?

It’s easy to report a bug in Windows 10. The question is, is it worth your time?

My Email Is Hacked, How Do I Fix It? – 7 Things You Need to Do NOW!

If your email is hacked, there are several steps you need to take to fix it and prevent it from being hacked again.

Don’t Call Yourself Stupid

Some people call themselves “dumb” or “stupid” when it comes to computers. There’s little that frustrates me more.

Is Using the Cloud Safe?

As security compromises seem to happen regularly, many ask, “Is using the cloud safe?” It’s as safe as you make it.

Getting Rid of Bing in Windows Search

We can’t change the search engine used by Windows Search when searching the web, but we can avoid Bing by not having Windows Search search the web at all.

How Do I Remove Malware from Windows 10 in 2021?

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.

How to Remove PUPs and Other Unexpected Things From Your Computer

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.

What Security Software Do You Recommend? Basic Protection in Four Steps

My recommendations for specific security software and techniques to keep your computer, and yourself, safe.

Are You Asking Too Much of Your Computer?

It’s very common for our usage and expectations of our computers to grow over time. Unfortunately, that means we’ll eventually run into its limitations.

Should I Disconnect My Backup Drive When I’m Not Backing Up?

Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.

Stop Spreading Manure

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

Just What Is Common Sense?

‘Common sense’ is frequently suggested, often missing, and rarely defined. I’ll take a look at some of what I feel are the characteristics of common sense.

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.

How Do I Get Rid of Gmail Tabs? How to Regain Control and Find the Email Gmail Might Be Hiding From You

Gmail introduced a tabbed interface to automatically categorize email messages. Since their categorization often misses the mark, let’s turn it off.

Should I Use FAT32 or NTFS on a Flash Drive? The Differences, and a Third Alternative

File systems are commonly formatted as FAT32, NFTS, or exFAT. Which is best for your thumb drive?

Is There an Email Service that Doesn’t Require a Phone Number? My Recommended Approach, and Alternatives

There are legitimate reasons for not wanting to give your phone number to an email service. Let’s look at alternatives.

How Long Should I Keep My 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.

What If I Lose My Second Factor?

When you lose your second factor, there are two things to be concerned about: getting into your own account — for which you should be prepared — and someone else having access to your second factor — which isn’t as scary as it sounds.

Why Can’t Online Services Tell Me My Password? (If They Can, There’s Something Wrong)

It’s for your own protection, and the result of fascinating mathematical wizardry. And if they can tell you your password? They’re doing security wrong.

What Laptop Would You Buy for $1500? My Choice, and My Recommendation for You

This is a question I generally avoid answering, but I will anyway. The problem is I can’t really tell you what to purchase, since your needs are undoubtedly different than mine.

Can My Work Spy on My Home Computer? Three Ways You Might Be Letting Them In, and What To Do

Using a computer at work puts you at their mercy. It’s technically possible your workplace could spy on all your activities.

What to Do With an Old Computer You’ve Been Given – What I Did With Mine

When I’m given an old computer, there are a few things I do for the safety of the original owners, myself, and the planet.