Ask Leo! #407 – Do you need a Windows Password? Learning Linux, archiving newsletters, disposable email addresses and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

If I have nothing to hide, do I still need a Windows password?

I have nothing on my machine that is personal, revealing, or that I would be particularly concerned for anyone else knowing. Is there a valid, serious reason to use a password? My machine is live and open to the internet 24/7. Am I putting myself or my data in any jeopardy?

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Possibly, maybe.

There are two issues that factor into this.

One: how likely it is that someone will access your machine in a way that a password would have stopped them.

Two: how much personal information is really on the machine, and whether you'd care if it were stolen or made public.

Only one of those two is really under your control and even then, only if you've really thought it through.

Continue reading: If I have nothing to hide, do I still need a Windows password?
http://ask-leo.com/C6033

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*** Answercast

Answercast #70 - Crashing YouTube, synchronizing time, disposable emails, disappearing browsers and more...

Ever wonder if a disposable email would add security, or why time doesn't seem to sync? Need to learn Linux or figure out why a browser disappears? Want to copy-protect files or keep your credit card safe? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #70 - Crashing YouTube, synchronizing time, disposable emails, disappearing browsers and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6027

Can my credit card information be read remotely?
Credit card theft "out of pocket" is possible with a new technology. And yes, foil in a wallet is a way to "foil" the thieves.
Continue reading: Can my credit card information be read remotely?
http://ask-leo.com/C6028

Is there a better way to learn Linux than from a book?
Learning Linux is best done right on the internet with a copy of it in-hand so you can explore and play.
Continue reading: Is there a better way to learn Linux than from a book?
http://ask-leo.com/C6029

What's the best way to archive an email newsletter I receive?
Organize email by using folders - and if you're feeling motivated, see about setting up rules to transfer email to the folder automatically.
Continue reading: What's the best way to archive an email newsletter I receive?
http://ask-leo.com/C6030

Why might my computer crash half way through playing a YouTube video?
Monitor going black while watching online video could indicate video drivers, overheating, or even screen saving settings.
Continue reading: Why might my computer crash half way through playing a YouTube video?
http://ask-leo.com/C6031

Why does Outlook still download deleted Gmail messages?
Downloading deleted email is a mystery! Perhaps it's not really deleted and you need to check some settings.
Continue reading: Why does Outlook still download deleted Gmail messages?
http://ask-leo.com/C6032

Why isn't the time on my computer the same as that on my self-synchronizing watch?
Time settings on electronic devices should be able to sync accurately, but for some reason, they don't. All I can say is I feel your pain!
Continue reading: Why isn't the time on my computer the same as that on my self-synchronizing watch?
http://ask-leo.com/C6034

My browser disappears while typing an email. How do I fix that?
"Desktop suddenly appears" means that a window has crashed. My belief is that this is a browser issue.
Continue reading: My browser disappears while typing an email. How do I fix that?
http://ask-leo.com/C6035

How do I copy-protect the text on my website?
Copy protecting websites is difficult and I believe there is no practical, technical solution.
Continue reading: How do I copy-protect the text on my website?
http://ask-leo.com/C6036

Do disposable email addresses really add any security?
Disposable email addresses are not a security measure in the sense of securing these accounts. They are a convenience and a spam management tool.
Continue reading: Do disposable email addresses really add any security?
http://ask-leo.com/C6037

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

My credit card has been compromised three times recently due to fraud. How can I avoid this happening again?

Jim Hand writes:

I use PayPal and have for about 12 years and never had a problem. Ever. As more and more places accept PayPal it becomes more convenient. They don't give your card number to the vendor. They reimburse themselves either from the card you provide them or from a bank account you set-up to provide funds.

I do regularly get phishing emails telling me something has been added to or done with my PayPal account and it wants me to log in to approve or disapprove it or change something. I NEVER click a link I get in an email no matter what it's for. I ALWAYS open a web browser, enter the site into the address bar and log in the long way.

I have a couple tricks for that such as I use one of the 7 emails my ISP gives me exclusively for banking and financial related activities. That's all I use it for. I use another for bill pay. Another is for forums and social things. There's my 'professional' address, my shopping email, and my casual correspondence one. When I get a phishing email and it's not sent to that financial only email address, I know immediately it's bogus. If I get SPAM I know by the address where it's likely coming from.

I also use RoboForm for my password manager and it's very secure and IMHO the best password manager on the market. I use both the RoboForm2Go and the regular RoboForm on my home PC. The portable version, RoboForm2Go is installed on a flash drive. When I use it on another computer it starts up and when I'm done and close it, it cleans all traces of itself leaving nothing behind. Since it automatically fills in user names and passwords, there is no typing those in so a key logger is useless, even the hardware kind that connect between a keyboard and the plug on the computer. I have my flash drive's contents locked and encrypted and my file with my passwords are also in a locked folder on the drive. RoboForm added an online version called Roboform Everywhere or something like that but it is a yearly subscription.

Remember, when you use a credit card at any establishment where you hand it to somebody and it leaves your sight you are at risk. A friend had his card number stolen on a trip to Vegas. The only place he used it was at his hotel. A local restaurant has a waitress who was copying down numbers when she'd take the cards in her little black bill folder to the back to run them. A local liquor store used to make employees put a piece of paper over a credit card and rub it with a pencil to take an impression that was stapled to the register receipt. After they did the books they threw them in the trash which ended up in a dumpster out back. My card number was stolen that way and I didn't know until CDW called because my $6,000.00 worth of computers and components ordered against the card was on hold because the expiration date on the card that was used was wrong.

The point is that it may not be you but who you do business with.

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How do I retrieve pictures from a machine that won't boot?

Kara writes:

Hi Everyone!

I actually submitted this question and I'm so thankful for the response! It took me a while to get the adapter I needed (shipping error... long story!), but I finally received it, pulled out the hard drive and hooked it up to my machine. It worked like a charm! All the pictures and other important documents have been removed, copied to a Seagate external drive and handed over to my cousins (my aunt's daughters).

We are so thrilled to get these pictures off of this machine! Thank you so much to Leo for answering my question and for the great discussion that resulted.

Kara

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Is Microsoft shutting down Messenger?

Kevin writes:

Interesting article Leo In my particular case I remember using Messenger to 2 people 4 or more years ago. As I found it quite childish and have since stopped using it and have used only Skype which I rather like !. Have just checked my laptop and found that Messenger is not currently installed. However I cannot remember exactly what I did with it at the time, although probably did delete. Do remember what E-mail address I used then but as to passwords (If required ?), have not a clue. Question : As it now looks to me that from very soon, I am going to have messenger whether I want to or not, and further that I might have to log into Skye through my Microsoft Account, will I have to set up a new Messenger account or will the old one still be hovering somewhere in the background ??. Or best of all can I just continue on with Skype and ignore the change ??

You're not getting Messenger whether you want it or not. It's the other direction: messenger users are getting Skype. I think you can safely ignore all the Messenger stuff if you're happy with just Skype.

-Leo

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Should I use Facebook to login to other sites when offered?

Mark J writes:

I know the Facebook login is legitimate and I've used it on a few sites that I know and trust, but sometimes there's a site I don't know so well. There's a chance that they could offer you to log on through Facebook and send you to a Phishing web site which looks like Facebook and steal your Facebook login.

*** Leo Recommends

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.

Continue reading: TrueCrypt - Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption
http://ask-leo.com/C3444

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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