Ask Leo! #334 – Turning off MSE, the difference between deleting and DELETING, Google Alerts and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

What difference does multiple-overwrite delete really make?

CCleaner is one of my utilities for periodic "tuning" of my PC, but in a recent version upgrade, I discovered that in my haste, I had not looked at the options in a drop box that give several choices of file deletion overwrites. I have always used the simple overwrite (one pass), but I would be interested to know if using CCleaner's other pass options would significantly affect either the time or the security of my computer. One pass, three, seven or thirty five; is one or the other better? Or does it even matter?


For most folks, it doesn't matter at all.

However, for a select few, it's actually pretty important.

It all boils down to how important your data is, how likely it is that someone else would want to access it, and how much effort (and money) they're willing to spend to get it.

The bottom line is that there's deleting, and then there's DELETING.

I'll explain what I mean.

Continue reading: What difference does multiple-overwrite delete really make?

* * *

How do I temporarily turn off Microsoft Security Essentials for an install?

Leo, I have Microsoft Security Essentials. I want to install software that requires that I temporarily turn off my anti-virus while installing. How do I do this?


It's not uncommon for setup or installation programs to suggestion that you turn off your anti-malware scanning tools so that the installation can proceed with as few hiccups as possible.

The problem they're trying to avoid are unnecessary "false positives" - reports of malware activity when there is in fact none - as well as occasional outright failures when anti-malware software interferes with the setup process.

I'll show you how to do that in Microsoft Security Essentials, but first, I'll discuss whether it's really necessary.

Continue reading: How do I temporarily turn off Microsoft Security Essentials for an install?

* * *

Google Alerts

Google Alerts are an under-appreciated feature provided by Google that let you monitor for new occurrence of search terms, getting notified either in email or as an RSS feed.

In this video clip from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss how a Google Alerts can be used to stay on top of new pages published about almost any topic almost anywhere on the web.

Continue reading: Google Alerts

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


A rootkit is a virus that uses specific techniques to infiltrate your computer's operating system to make it nearly impossible to find. For example, a rootkit virus may exist as a file on your system, but it specifically fools all of the file listing services in the operating system so as to remove itself from the listing of files.

Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Leo Recommends

What Security Software do you recommend?

As you might imagine, I get these questions in various forms all the time. As a result, I do have recommendations in various articles all over Ask Leo!.

Here's the short version that sums it all up.

Continue reading: What Security Software do you recommend?

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2012,
Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC

Posted: March 6, 2012 in: 2012
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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.