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Ask Leo! #411 – Sites you download unknowingly, women versus men versus young versus old, realtime scanning and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

What are all these domain references in my router log?

My DSL modem/router (ActionTec) I use keeps a web log. I've never liked the idea of ANYone keeping track of my computer, and I DO route that log to /dev/null. That, of course, does not mean the events are not HAPPENING, though.

My question: What ARE these things? I can understand 'double.click.com' and such..but d.turn..choices.truse.com...i1.wp.com.. The last list listed as a site 'maintained' by four DNS servers. OK. Doing WHAT? It's a 73.xxx.xxx.xxx site.

Anyway, there are pages and PAGES of sites my machine accesses and most I would probably prefer are NOT accessed.

Although...there is a good lot of 'leo' stuff listed there, too. Still, how can 'kona.kontera.com' matter to me?

TOO MUCH STUFF!!

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Yep, surfing the web's a complex operation these days and your browser is busy fetching information from sites all over the internet.

The vast majority of it is for two district reasons: displaying you the content you want and displaying the advertising that pays for it all.

I'll show you how to determine who owns those domain names ... sometimes, that's enough to determine what they're up to. I'll also run down the list of domains that are currently involved in displaying a single page on Ask Leo! and show you the tool I use to figure it out.

Continue reading: What are all these domain references in my router log?
http://ask-leo.com/C6075

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*** Answercast

Answercast #74 - Cleaning up icons, learning social correctness, real-time anti-malware, Recycle Bin storage and more...

Ever wonder how many anti-malware programs you really need and if you should run them in real time? Do you try to store files in the Recycle Bin or think that certain types of people just can't learn computers? Want to custom design icons or record streaming video? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #74 - Cleaning up icons, learning social correctness, real-time anti-malware, Recycle Bin storage and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6076

My program crashes when I drag the cursor too fast to copy something. How do I fix that?
Fast mouse movement causing a crash could be a symptom of several things. But first, we need to determine exactly what is crashing.
Continue reading: My program crashes when I drag the cursor too fast to copy something. How do I fix that?
http://ask-leo.com/C6077

How can I remove the shortcut arrow from a desktop icon?
Desktop icons with shortcut arrows indicate that you are not acting on the program itself, but on a shortcut to the program. The arrow can be removed or made transparent.
Continue reading: How can I remove the shortcut arrow from a desktop icon?
http://ask-leo.com/C6078

How do I record a streaming video?
Recording streaming video has both legal and technical difficulties. We'll take a look at how to do it and the ramifications around both issues.
Continue reading: How do I record a streaming video?
http://ask-leo.com/C6079

Is "Defender" enough, or do I need additional anti-malware tools?
Multiple anti-virus programs should not be running real-time scans together. They might conflict. I look at what you really need running on your computer.
Continue reading: Is "Defender" enough, or do I need additional anti-malware tools?
http://ask-leo.com/C6080

Is real-time anti-malware scanning really needed?
Stopping real-time anti-virus scans opens you up for sudden virus attacks that you don't see coming. Sometimes, email scans are a different problem.
Continue reading: Is real-time anti-malware scanning really needed?
http://ask-leo.com/C6081

Is there an age or gender component to being comfortable with technology?
Many people are not comfortable with technology. Judging their lack of knowledge and experience through stereotypes is not a good idea!
Continue reading: Is there an age or gender component to being comfortable with technology?
http://ask-leo.com/C6082

Can I trust a failed flash drive if I reformat it?
Failing flash drives can be compensated for with regular backups. But you can avoid the issue entirely if it's inexpensive and easy to replace.
Continue reading: Can I trust a failed flash drive if I reformat it?
http://ask-leo.com/C6083

Can compressing files reduce the chances of its being infected?
Compressing files for security can give you just a little bit of gain if done with proper compression software. A better strategy is to have a good security process in place
Continue reading: Can compressing files reduce the chances of its being infected?
http://ask-leo.com/C6084

Did we learn anything from the recent email scandal?
Hiding emails online in the Drafts folder does not add a layer of security. It can still be accessed by the authorities.
Continue reading: Did we learn anything from the recent email scandal?
http://ask-leo.com/C6085

Is there a downside to storing files in Recycle Bin?
Storing files in the Recycle Bin is not the proper way to organize a computer! It's better to create a system of folders and keep them there.
Continue reading: Is there a downside to storing files in Recycle Bin?
http://ask-leo.com/C6086

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*** Comments

Should I upgrade to Windows 8?

John Servis writes:

I've heard that W8 comes with no Media Player? You have to buy one, or install it as an app? Also, the availability of apps is limited because MS wants consumers to purchase Their apps. Sounds like another company out there we're all familiar with? Makes building a Media PC more difficult and expensive. Since you used to work for MS Leo, any insight on the reasoning behind this decision on their part?

This is incorrect on a couple of counts.

Windows 8 includes a media player. It does not include Media Center because the software used to decode DVDs required a license for every copy of Windows sold, and most people didn't use Windows to play DVDs. You can purchase Media Center separately if you so decide.

Windows 8 runs all Windows apps regardless of where they come from, just like Windows 7 before. There is no change to app availability. What you describe sounds like Windows RT, which is the version of Windows for the current Microsoft Surface tablet and any other tablets based on ARM processors. It does not run existing Windows apps because it's a completely different processor. All apps for Windows RT come through Microsoft's store.
*Important:* Windows RT is NOT NOT NOT Windows 8.

-Leo

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Should I upgrade to Windows 8?

Rick Sos writes:

After reading all the negative stuff about Windows 8 I hated it before I even laid eyes on it. Last week a friend brought her new laptop over so I could put some shortcuts on the desktop and dump Norton. After a bunch of hair pulling and scratching and cursing I clued in. Oh so this is how it works. And bingo !! There were no more problems. It was fast and worked just great. After playing with it for a few days I'm a little p*ssed at myself for making a judgment before trying it. It's like driving a somebody elses car you have to learn where they put the controls. (MS. guys should be shot for that one.) lol.

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Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW

Rama dev writes:

@Leo et al.

Thank you for this well written and detailed tutorial on how to save what's savable and prevent future episodes of the same type.

Thankfully I am not affected by this type of attack in person, but I am helping a friend deal with her (no-backup, no-POP) gmail account having been:

1). Hacked
2). Contacts & email messages (10 yrs.) harvested & spammed
3). Contacts & email messages (10 yrs.) DELETED (very ugly)
4). Set to have all e.mail forwarded to a hacker controlled secondary account (xyz@ymail.com instead of xyz@gmail.com - so spoofing the old address visually in a way)
5). Language set to Hebrew

I have gained access to the account and was able to reset the language and stop the further forwarding of any mail.

Thanks to this tutorial, to avoid collateral damage, I also checked and changed passwords to connected accounts (Fb, PP, credit cards etc.) which seemed untouched.

My reason for commenting is to see if Leo or any commenters have any wisdom on what to do about getting any of the "permanently" delete items back in one way or the other (Google or hacker). I.e. all messages were but into the trash which was then emptied by the hacker.

I have read about a couple of tech journalists being able to get help from google directly to recoup this type of data lost in a similar way. Do mere mortals have a chance at all to have the GOOG to do some retrieval tricks before the data is actually overwritten on all their servers?

Beyond that I was thinking about anything that might help in sleuthing out the hackers using the xyz@ymail account and gmail's "recent access" data: Nigeria (41.220.69.124), if this is indeed where they accessed the account from.

Is it possible for a mere mortal to track the access to the ymail.com address to see if it matches the Nigerial ip address and perhaps pin this down further. Do any of you have friends in low places?

How about writing to the hackers at the ymail address with some kind of message to get the lost data back. Rough and tough, Interpol threats, humble, begging?

Let me know what you think or know, and if you have any pertinent ideas please.

Thanks again to Leo for the completeness of this piece.

Unless you have friends in high places (and I do not) I know of no way to get anything back in a case like this. It's why I harp so hard on backing up.
Locating the hackers is pointless. Unless you are or have engaged law enforcement there's nothing that you could do to get that information, or do anything with it if you did.
I also believe that any attempt to contact the hackers is, honestly, just asking for trouble. It's not like they're doing to return anything because they're suddenly going to be nice and take pity on you. Besides, they probably didn't save it, they more likely just deleted it and have nothing to give back to you. It's more likely that they'll try to extort more money from you instead.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

refdesk.com - A Comprehensive, Free and Family-friendly Internet Reference Portal

There are reference sites, and then there's refdesk.com.

I was always fascinated by the reference desk at my school or local library. There were always hundreds of books, encyclopedias and other materials that you could find in that one special place.

Refdesk.com is the internet version of exactly that. Just like the library version, I could spend hours browsing the various materials that refdesk.com points to.

Continue reading: refdesk.com - A Comprehensive, Free and Family-friendly Internet Reference Portal
http://ask-leo.com/C2542

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