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Ask Leo! #329 – How long ISPs track you, joining a dating service, selecting the right playback device and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

How long do ISPs keep data on you?

ISPs can and often do keep records and logs of their customers' use of their systems. How detailed those logs might be, as well as how long they're kept, is anyone's guess. The ISPs and other service providers that can keep logs don't make public what is logged or for how long.

In this video from an Ask Leo! webinar , I'll discuss ISP and website logging and what you should assume about both.

Continue reading: How long do ISPs keep data on you?
http://ask-leo.com/C5079

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How did I get subscribed to this dating service?

Today, I had an email from a website called *****. I think they are an Indian dating agency. There was a message saying that a friend of mine (his name was included in the message) wanted to share photos with me. There was a box to press. I right-clicked and copied the URL, closed down my Outlook, and opened my browser and pasted the URL into the address bar. When the website came up, I realized it was a con and closed the browser down. Later today, I had another email from ***** congratulating me on becoming a member with my email address and password highlighted. My question is: In your opinion, would they/could they have opened an account using my email address, even though I didn't open the email in my Outlook? Or are they hoping that I will enter the site using those details (if only to delete the account) and that in some way, will verify the details and put me in more trouble? Any observations are appreciated, if you have time.

*

Well, I'll put it this way: you've probably already opened and verified your account with *****.

I'll explain how that happened and what steps you should take next.

Continue reading: How did I get subscribed to this dating service?
http://ask-leo.com/C5078

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How do I get sound out of the correct speakers in Windows 7 and Vista?

I recently bought a USB headset. I have a Windows Vista. My problem/question is: I plugged the headset into one of my front USB ports, followed the instructions that were in package, and the set worked. The speakers on the computer cut off, which is what I wanted. When I wanted to switch back on, I unplugged the headset and it went back to way it was.

But now, I cannot get the headset to work. What can I do?

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Windows has to make a guess as to what device you want the sound to play on.

When you first install a new sound device, like a USB headset, Windows might well be saying, "Well, this is new, so I guess we should play though it."

When you remove it, Windows has to choose which of the remaining devices that sound should play through and the speakers are often the one remaining device.

When you plug in that headset again, Windows gets kind of confused and in your case, it guesses wrong. No matter, you can tell it where to play sound.

Continue reading: How do I get sound out of the correct speakers in Windows 7 and Vista?
http://ask-leo.com/C5077

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*** Comments

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Just how dangerous is it out there?

carol putman writes:

Be grateful you are not old. We are continually told not to give out our SSA # to anyone and to us that includes SSL. Ignorance breeds fear and it is unlikely that most of us old people will ever fully understand the new technology that has been foisted upon us at this very vulnerable stage of our lives.

While I can understand not fully understanding new technology (heck, *I* don't fully understand it), I think you do yourself a disservice by believing that. In my opinion there's no reason someone who is "old" (for whatever definition of "old" you might like to apply) can't learn enough to navigate the web safely. Most often than not the difficult is not in the potential ability, but rather that "I'm too old to learn this" mindset - which more often than not is wrong. And sad.

-Leo

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Just how dangerous is it out there?

Mike writes:

So malware and vampires have something in common: they usually must be invited in.

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Why do some website pictures display so slowly?

SamG writes:

What about the processing speed of the servers? Some have to be older, slower.

It certainly can happen, but for most people the speed of their internet connection is the choke point for speed, and thus the size of the images really impacts most often.

-Leo

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Does changing or disabling the broadcast of my wireless SSID make me more secure?

John writes:

I had a customer who was getting redirected on Google searches. I was convinced it was the TDSS Rootkit but couldn't find it on his system. I eventually realized he was running his wireless router with the default user name and password and that it had been indeed been hacked during a previous malware infection. The customer had contacted me because he was convinced the first tech that cleaned his computer hadn't done a good job. The virus wasn't on his computer any more but had already changed his wireless router settings to redirect web searches. A simple fix: Reset router to factory settings and change default user name and password.

*** Thoughts and Comments

A couple of weeks ago I'd asked you what social media services you were using, and Facebook was the overwhelming winner. So, I'm there Smile.

New social media sites keep popping up, it seems, and I'm now giving Pinterest a whirl. Feel free to follow me there if you're already a user. (Sorry, but I simply don't have the time to send invitations if you're not already there. From what I can see, though, enough people are now members that you probably already know someone else who can get you that invite if needed.)

I can't promise I'll be there for long, or even predict how I'll use it (aside, perhaps, from sharing a few more Corgi pictures), but it's an interesting service that's apparently growing in popularity, and I want to check it out.

One thing that I note, however, is that by "pinning" something you apparently claim that you have the rights to share what you pin, or that you are in fact the copyright holder. Not only that but I'm told that by doing so you're once again giving this third party service the freedom to do whatever they want with items pinned. From what I understand it that means selling your work without you getting a penny.

You can imagine that I might be just a tad hesitant to upload a lot there until that kind of thing gets clarified, tested and/or ironed out.

It's actually a common problem with many social media services - if you read the terms of service in detail (and can stay awake doing so) you might be surprised at the rights you've given up by joining.

Yet another reason to be careful what you share...

'till next week...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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