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Ask Leo! #434 – Forwarding email you shouldn’t, Apple viruses, full drives, Laundromat WiFi and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why shouldn't I forward this email asking me to "forward to everyone I know"?

I received an email with a disturbing story that seems like more people should know about. At the bottom, it even suggests that I forward it on to everyone I know. It seems such an important issue ... and yet I've been told that I shouldn't forward this kind of thing. Why not?

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I get that kind of email from time to time also. Over the years, I've developed a pretty good skeptical "nose" for sniffing this kind of thing out.

What is it I'm smelling?

A big pile of lies, frauds, and misinformation usually.

Continue reading: Why shouldn't I forward this email asking me to "forward to everyone I know"?
http://ask-leo.com/C2319

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #97 - Viruses for Macs, exotic characters, moving software, protecting WiFi from neighbors and more...

Wonder how you can protect your WiFi from neighbors or if losing connectivity means you are being hacked? Does your hard drive show full when it's not? Want to move software or think you can format camera memory? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #97 - Viruses for Macs, exotic characters, moving software, protecting WiFi from neighbors and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6338

Do Apple Computers get malware?
Apple computer viruses do exist, just not in large numbers... yet. Don't let a false sense of security get you into trouble.
Continue reading: Do Apple Computers get malware?
http://ask-leo.com/C6339

Is it possible to use exotic characters to make passwords stronger?
Exotic characters can make strong passwords... if the password field accepts them, and if you can type them in. There is a better way to get a stronger password.
Continue reading: Is it possible to use exotic characters to make passwords stronger?
http://ask-leo.com/C6340

Am I scanning for malware too often?
Scanning for malware regularly is a good idea. Whether or not you are doing it too much is a matter of opinion. What matters is that you are doing it!
Continue reading: Am I scanning for malware too often?
http://ask-leo.com/C6341

Why can't I format the memory in my camera to empty it?
Troubles emptying a camera memory card could be because the write-protect tab is toggled, or maybe it's time for a replacement.
Continue reading: Why can't I format the memory in my camera to empty it?
http://ask-leo.com/C6342

Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?
Moving Office to a new computer is best done with the original installation media. Other than that? You may have some problems.
Continue reading: Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?
http://ask-leo.com/C6343

If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?
Regularly losing internet connectivity does not indicate that your router is being hacked. Start by looking at connectivity issues.
Continue reading: If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?
http://ask-leo.com/C6344

How can I prevent neighbors from accessing the open WiFi hotspot I provide to my customers?
Preventing neighbors from accessing a WiFi hotspot with a posted password will be a little tricky. There is one solution that many motels use.
Continue reading: How can I prevent neighbors from accessing the open WiFi hotspot I provide to my customers?
http://ask-leo.com/C6345

Why is my 750GB external hard drive full when it has only 70GB on it?
An external hard dive is showing full though it has a small number of visible files. First we'll look for hidden files.
Continue reading: Why is my 750GB external hard drive full when it has only 70GB on it?
http://ask-leo.com/C6346

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Featured Comments

Classic Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows 8 and much more.

Paul Shivers writes:

Leo, thanks for the confirmation on my feelings about Windows 8! Once I realized the opening Metro screen was nothing more than a full screen "START" button, everything started to make sense! I have installed "Classic Shell" on my new Desktop and find Windows 8 to feel much more at home. My Sister-in-Law just got a new Laptop with Windows 8 and appreciates Classic Shell because she now has a Shutdown button immediately available from the "Desktop"!

*

Is a periodic password change a good thing?

Nathan writes:

I hate policies that require periodic password changes. They're idiotic, frustrating, inconvenient, and they actually worsen security. They make users write down passwords, use simpler passwords, use passwords that vary only by one character, and use the same (or a very similar) password on multiple systems. They drastically increase the number of calls made to the help desk to have forgotten passwords reset.

The height of stupidity is when an organization requires frequent password changes, but also allows horrible passwords. I have seen idiots design systems that force passwords to be changed every 30 days, but allow passwords like "hello1".

There are only two arguments in favor of forcing routine password changes:

1. An attacker could theoretically try brute forcing a user's password, and keep a (huge) database of the incorrect guesses. This would allow them to keep trying as long as they wanted. In reality, this doesn't seem to be a large risk.

2. If a user's password is discovered by any means, not forcing a password reset would allow the unauthorized access to continue indefinitely. In reality, this could be prevented using other security measures that should already be in place anyway (limiting access to certain times of the day, from certain IP addresses, multifactor authentication, etc.).

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'm on sabbatical this week. Today's newsletter contains a featured article which is a selection from The Best of Ask Leo!, and a new Answercast, pre-recorded before I left.

I'll be back on April 1st, 2013.

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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