What’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?

For some, this answer will seem both obvious and somewhat odd for me to address at all.

For others, however, there’s an extremely important lesson here. I’ve come to the conclusion that this concept needs some serious clarification.

And it’s not just about what happens here at the Ask Leo! website, but rather how people view the content that they see everywhere on the internet.

You need to recognize advertisements.

Read moreWhat’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?

Malwarebytes Anti-malware Removes Malware that Others Don’t


Was it an oversight that you left Malwarebytes out of your list software in What software do you use?


That article was about software that I use frequently and have installed on most or all of my Windows-based PCs.

I do recommend Malwarebytes Anti-malware often – almost daily, in fact. But I don’t run it that often myself.

To understand why I might actually recommend something that I don’t use frequently, we need to understand Malwarebyte’s role and how it fits into my view of the war against malware.

Read moreMalwarebytes Anti-malware Removes Malware that Others Don’t

Why you should never blindly trust an online recommendation (even mine)


From: Billy Bob Macrium

Mr. Leo, your check is in the mail 🙂

I recently got that as a comment to my article How do I restore a backup to a smaller hard drive?. Presumably, the commenter believes that my reasons for recommending Macrium Reflect are somehow financially motivated and is trying to make some kind of snide remark to make his point.

(For the record, there are two completely separate reasons why the implication is wrong – more on that in a moment.)

I’ll admit that it irritated me. No one likes having their ethics questioned.

Read moreWhy you should never blindly trust an online recommendation (even mine)

TrueCrypt – Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption

TrueCrypt comes up frequently in Ask Leo! answers. Many people are concerned about things like privacy, identity and data theft, particularly on computers or on portable devices where they might not always have total physical control of the media.

Someone might gain access to sensitive data stored on your computer.

Encrypting your data renders that access useless, even when your computer or your thumbdrive falls into the wrong hands.

And TrueCrypt makes it not only easy, but nearly un-crackable.

IMPORTANT On September 30, 2015, it was reported that a serious security vulnerability had been discovered in TrueCrypt. Not a fault in its encryption, but rather a more traditional vulnerability that malicious software could use to gain administrative privileges on your Windows machine.

Since TrueCrypt development has halted and no fix is likely forthcoming, I can no longer recommend its use.

My tentative understanding is that VeraCrypt is a free, compatible, and supported alternative, based on a fork of the original TrueCrypt code. And yes, these most recent vulnerabilities are supposedly fixed therein.

IMPORTANT: On May 26th, 2014 TrueCrypt development was abruptly and somewhat mysteriously halted. While I still use and recommend TrueCrypt, please also read Is TrueCrypt Dead? for what happened, and any late-breaking updates.

Read moreTrueCrypt – Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption