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Ask Leo! #467 – Making New Hotmail Accounts, Getting Infected Anyway, How SSL Works and more…

*** Featured

How do I make a new Hotmail account? Or Outlook.com account?

How do I make a new Hotmail account?

Hotmail was replaced with Outlook.com. You probably already know this; that's where you now go to access your Hotmail email.

You can create your new new email account using Outlook.com – and maybe even make it a Hotmail.com email address.

But first, there's a step that is apparently not quite as obvious to as many people as we might expect.

Continue Reading: How do I make a new Hotmail account? Or Outlook.com account?
http://askleo.com/?p=2797

I run anti-virus software. Why do I still sometimes get infected?

I have AVG virus protection always on and have the Windows firewall enabled. Why do I still get infected with some Trojan horses? I check for updates every day so I am sure I am up-to-date.

That's a very good question. Most people believe that they're totally protected because they have an anti-malware program.

Unfortunately, that's simply not true.

The answer is partly the nature of anti-malware software…

… and partly the nature of "the race."

Continue Reading: I run anti-virus software. Why do I still sometimes get infected?
http://askleo.com/?p=2175

*** Answercast

Answercast #130 - encryption, password managers and more...

Ever wonder how to backup continuously or how encryption works? Do you know if you can be hacked while offline? Frustrated at websites blocking your password manager? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen
Listen Now!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)

How can I backup my data more-or-less continuously?
With hardware failures, accidental deletions, and more, it's easy to lose files as you are working on them. What's the easiest way to backup your computer as you go?

Continue reading: How can I backup my data more-or-less continuously?
http://askleo.com?p=11522

How can I prove that I didn't send a particular email?
So much information in email can be spoofed that it's difficult to prove where an email came from unless you look at the headers.

Continue reading: How can I prove that I didn't send a particular email?
http://askleo.com?p=11525

How does website or VPN encryption work?
Using a bunch of mathematical magic, a key pair is generated. But that's just where the fun starts.

Continue reading: How does website or VPN encryption work?
http://askleo.com?p=11531

Why did I get this additional driver utility?
More frequently, unwanted software is included in the download package of things you actually want. Preventing these programs from being installed is easy; getting rid of them may not be.

Continue reading: Why did I get this additional driver utility?
http://askleo.com?p=11534

Can my computer be hacked if I'm offline at an internet café?

Internet café hackers can get at you in a number of different ways, but how much do you really need to worry?

Continue reading: Can my computer be hacked if I'm offline at an internet café?
http://askleo.com?p=11537

Why are sites making it difficult for password managers?
Long passwords are your top-line of defense in internet security. Don't let any trends steer you in the other direction.

Continue reading: Why are sites making it difficult for password managers?
http://askleo.com?p=11540

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

encryption - public key

Public-key encryption is a special case of asymmetric encryption where one key of a key pair is made public while the matching key remains private or secret.

In asymmetric encryption, data encrypted with one key of a key pair can only be decrypted with the other key of that same pair.

Keeping one key of the pair secret and allowing the other to be public enables you to do two very interesting things:

  • If you know someone's public key (an example PGP key), you can encrypt data using that key, thus guaranteeing that only the person who holds the secret key can decrypt the data. This becomes a secure way to send digital data to only that person.

  • You can verify that data encrypted with a private key originated from a specific person by successfully decrypting it with their public key. The decryption would only be successful if it had been encrypted with the matching private key. This actually forms the basis for digital signatures.

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.

*** Featured Reader Comments

How the internet is breaking journalism (and what it means to you)

Jack writes:

I have been victimized by this sort of thing and upbraided for it justly. Normally, I will not forward stuff I get that is only full of political opinions and is sent to get someone riled up one way or another. But I failed recently and spent a lot of time removing the fire from a note before I forwarded it. The note was false to begin with.

So, I have relearned a valuable lesson. I will try henceforth to screen everything I get to see if it is true or not before I forward it. If it is political in nature, usually it is biased and sometimes outright lies and will not change the mind of the recipient.

Thanks for the reminder. It was unbelievably well-timed.

John H writes:

Real Journalism ended when Walter Cronkite retired. :-(

Ken Berkman writes:

Good article but really! Do you think it has ever been different? Do you think the newspapers and magazines of old were better? I can recall witnessing a minor confrontation at my college some fifty-five years ago. The news wires contained a story that had little to do with what I witnessed. I lost my innocence!

On the positive side, if you do want to dig into a story, it is much easier now than ever before. You can usually find contrary views about almost any situation.

In summary, it has always been necessary to be skeptical. Remember the sinking of the Maine? Or the Gulf of Tonkin? It takes work to be an informed citizen. I have the impression that most Americans are not up to it.

Thanks for all your work.

Reverend Jim writes:

While I enjoyed the insightful comments, my first reaction was, "I wonder if this is true...". Like many people, my inbox is regularly populated with emails from friends starting with "you won't believe this but...". Many are harmless like "amazing paintings look like photographs" (they WERE photographs), however, many are not. Proctor & Gamble is owned by Muslims, small Scandinavian island village regularly slaughters whales for sport... Not to mention the blatantly false and alarmingly frequent political smear emails. I am usually very thorough in fact checking (Snopes is a good start) and responding to the sender with corrections (and sources). Invariably I get a response accusing me of being pedantic.

Unfortunately, the first response of someone getting one of these "true facts" emails is to forward it to their friends. I can't see this changing but I will continue to annoy people by not being part of the problem. Who was it who said that lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for?

By the way, a duck's quack DOES echo.

Do I Need to Stop Using Microsoft Security Essentials?

Fred writes:

I agree with you 100% Leo. I know you and Bob Rankin don't agree on this matter but MSE has worked for me for many years just fine thank you.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Reminder!

I've made the difficult decision to raise the prices on my ebooks currently available at the Ask Leo! Store.

It'll happen later this week. You still have the chance to pick up copies before the price increase.

I've just returned from a conference (held this time in Golden, Colorado). While there, Bob Rankin and I had a chance to "discuss" our differing opinions on Microsoft Security Essentials. You can see the discussion in progress:

Leo and Bob discussing MSE

Smile

This highlights another important point about information you find on the internet: there are almost alway a variety of opinions and interpretations.

While I disagree with Bob's take on MSE specifically, I still respect and hold Bob in very high regard, and have no problem recommending Ask Bob Rankin as another good source for tech help. (And his alternatives to MSE, should you go that route, are not only solid, but in fact overlap some of my own alternative suggestions as well.)

What matters most is that you have information you can use to stay safe and use your technology effectively.

Till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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