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Ask Leo! #428 – Staying Safe on the Internet, why progress bars suck, retrieving the Windows admin password and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Internet Safety: 8 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet

Viruses & Spyware & Worms ... oh my!

The very concept of "Internet Safety" is almost an oxymoron these days.

It seems like not a day goes by where we don't hear about some new kind of threat aimed at wreaking havoc across machines connected to the internet.

Anti-Microsoft sentiment coupled with the massive installed base make Microsoft products, and particularly Microsoft Windows, an irresistible target for hackers, and "script kiddies." In recent years, products like Adobe Reader, Java, Flash, Firefox, and more have come under attack as their popularity has increased. Even the Macintosh is no longer invulnerable.

Here are some things you can, and should, do to stay safe.

Continue reading: Internet Safety: 8 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet
http://ask-leo.com/C2374

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #91 - Progress bars, faster routers, administrator passwords, bad CDs, defragging and more...

Ever wonder why progress bars are so awful or what your administrator password might be? Will a router speed up your connection or a spam link infect a Mac? Do you need a firewall for Android or your browser to remember your Hotmail password? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #91 - Progress bars, faster routers, administrator passwords, bad CDs, defragging and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6278

Why are progress bars so awful?
Awful progress bars can drive us crazy, but there's a good reason for it. Progress bar software is difficult to write.
Continue reading: Why are progress bars so awful?
http://ask-leo.com/C6279

Why is my Hotmail login not being remembered?
Hotmail logins will not be remembered if cookies are deleted or turned off. Your computer's cookie settings need to be reset.
Continue reading: Why is my Hotmail login not being remembered?
http://ask-leo.com/C6280

I clicked on a bogus link in spam. What should I do?
If you clicked on a link in a spam email, you should immediately do a thorough scan of your computer. Unless you are not running a Windows machine.
Continue reading: I clicked on a bogus link in spam. What should I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C6281

How do I defrag my external drive?
You can defrag your external drive either directly from Windows Explorer or from the command prompt.
Continue reading: How do I defrag my external drive?
http://ask-leo.com/C6282

Will using a router improve my internet connection?
A router will not improve an internet connection speed, but it could be a necessary addition to your computer safety.
Continue reading: Will using a router improve my internet connection?
http://ask-leo.com/C6283

How do I determine, not reset, the Windows administrator password?
You will not be able to determine the administrator password on your computer because it is encrypted. There is a possible hack to reset it.
Continue reading: How do I determine, not reset, the Windows administrator password?
http://ask-leo.com/C6284

Do I need a firewall for my Android device?
Android firewalls are still not necessary. Both because of the way the device interacts with the outside and the (still slight) prevalence of targeted malware.
Continue reading: Do I need a firewall for my Android device?
http://ask-leo.com/C6285

Why won't my newly purchased game CD read in my DVD drive?
Problems reading CDs in a DVD drive could be because the CD is faulty or your drive is incompatible. There is an easy way to tell which it is.
Continue reading: Why won't my newly purchased game CD read in my DVD drive?
http://ask-leo.com/C6286

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

Phishing

Phishing is the attempt to represent one's self - typically via email - as someone or some organization that you are not for the purposes of maliciously acquiring sensitive information.

The most common examples are emails that are carefully crafted to appear as if they had come from a banking institution, directing the recipient to a web site which itself looks very much like the bank's official website. The catch is that the email is not from the actual bank, and the website is a forgery. By fooling the visitor into thinking that the site is legitimate the phishers can then obtain that persons login credentials when they attempt to log in to this fake site.

Some very poor, yet surprisingly successful, phishing attempts don't use web sites at all, but simply portray themselves in email as a major online service. The email requests that the recipient reply with account information often including username and password for some made up, yet important-sounding reason.

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.

*** Thoughts and Comments

I've mentioned Paperitis from my pals Audri and Jim Lanford (the folks behind scambusters.org) before.

They've put together a new "action plan", as they call it: How to Easily Clean Your Messy Desk & Reduce Clutter in Only 1 Hour - Today!.

You know I've been mostly paperless for quite some time, and am a strong believer in it - it's so much easier to search for things, and you can trivially back up your digital data.

"Mostly" paperless?

Yes. Well. 7 Reasons NOT to Go 100% Paperless

Reminder: Leo's 2013 Sabbatical starts on Friday. The biggest change you might notice is that there'll be no Friday newsletter - it'll be published once a week on Tuesdays only.

I'll also be turning off the "Ask A Question" form sometime tomorrow (Wednesday 30-Jan-2013).

There's more about my time off here.

Before I run away I wanted to make sure to update what I consider Ask Leo!'s single most important article. That's this week's Internet Safety: 8 Steps to Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet.

Besides an update, I think that article is so important that if you look you'll see I've done two things differently:

  • I've explicitly given permission for that article to be republished. If you have a newsletter or website or other venue, you're allowed to repost that article in its entirety (subject to a couple of conditions, laid out in the notes at the end of the article).

  • There's link to a PDF version of the article that you are welcome to download and share with friends, family, co-workers or whomever you feel needs to hear the Internet Safety message.

While I'm away you can help spread the word.

With that, I'll leave you in the hands of my capable assistants who'll be making sure that the newsletter continues once a week, and that the answercasts I've recorded in preparation for my sabbatical get published, and that everyone plays nice in website comments. Smile

See you in two months!

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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*** Administration

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