Articles tagged: Featured

Should I Repair or Replace My Computer?

Repair or replace can be a difficult decision. I’ll review a few factors to consider when deciding.

How I Avoid Social Media Algorithms

The goal of many social media companies is to keep you engaged as long as possible. You can avoid social media algorithms and take back (some) control.

How Does Facebook Track Me Even If I Don’t Have an Account?

Facebook can use standard web protocols to get an idea of what you’re doing online, even if you don’t have an account.

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.

Is Passwordless Authentication Safe?

Passwordless authentication removes the need for a password and replaces it with something else. But can that be secure?

My Favorite Question

My favorite question? You’ll never guess. Hint: it makes my job super easy, and you don’t want that.

I’m Suddenly Getting More Spam Emails. Should I Be Worried?

A sudden flood of additional spam is not unusual. I’ll look at why I think it happens, and when I start to worry.

What Is a TPM? And Why Do I Need One?

Windows 11 hardware requirements brought the TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, into the spotlight. I’ll touch on what it is, why your machine might not appear to have one, and what to do if it doesn’t.

Do Random Words Make Better Passwords?

As few as three random words make better passwords than strings of random characters — but not, perhaps, for the reasons you think.

Responses to Your Three Common Password Manager Objections

Password vaults are a common recommendation by security professionals to improve your online security. Why do so many resist?

A Data Breach Has My Data. What Do I Do?

Another day, another breach. What should you do if you’re involved?

7 Signs of Phishing to Watch For

A friend received a fairly convincing phishing attempt. I’ll cover the signs that showed it was bogus.

Why Am I Getting Email Sent to an Email Address Similar to Mine?

It’s not uncommon to get unexpected email sent to an email address similar to your own. I’ll review why that is and what to do about it.

My Keyboard Won’t Work after Windows Update. How Do I Fix It?

If your keyboard won’t work after a Windows Update, there’s a lengthy list of things to try to get it back.

Why Am I Still Getting Updates for Windows 7?

Windows Update can update more than just the Windows operating system. So keeping it up to date is still a good idea.

How Long Will Windows 10 Be Supported?

Exactly how long Windows 10 will be supported has changed since its original release. The original expectations were unrealistic at best.

No Email from LastPass? Dealing with Sign-In Problems

While travelling, I signed in to my LastPass account only to be told I needed to confirm an email message that never arrived — or so I thought.

Should I Update to Windows 11?

Windows 11 has been announced to much fanfare, hype, and confusion. Windows 11 certainly isn’t ready for prime time, and likely not ready for you.

How To Use Microsoft Word for Transcriptions

Microsoft Word online has the option to create transcriptions of audio recordings for Microsoft Office subscribers.

Did Microsoft Lie?

The release of Windows 11 proved the statement that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows to be wrong. But was it a lie?

How I Fixed a Failed Windows 10 Update

Windows Update generally works. Here’s the successful approach I took when it didn’t.

When Backups Might Not Save You from Ransomware

Ransomware is known for encrypting your data and holding it hostage. It turns out that it can do more that backups won’t protect against.

Someone Has My IP Address – Should I Be Scared?

If someone threatens you because they know your IP address, it’s an empty threat.

Should I Just Hire a Hacker to Recover My Account?

Desperation can lead you to consider hiring so-called “legit”, “ethical”, or “white-hat” hackers to regain control of a your account. Don’t do it.

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 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.

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.