How do I remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted?
Ending up with random software on your machine that you never really wanted in the first place is annoying as all heck.
And unfortunately, it's happening more and more. As I write this, I'd say that PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs – although there's rarely any "potentially" about it), rogue toolbars, and search engine hijacks are probably the fastest rising issues that I see in my inbox.
I'll talk a little about prevention, but first, let's walk through the steps that I recommend that you take when you suddenly realize that you've been saddled with software you didn't know you'd agreed to and never wanted.
Continue Reading: How do I remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted?
How Do I Get the Required Windows 8.1 Update?
I received a question that pointed me to an article on a reputable mainstream press site discussing the Windows 8.1 Update that Microsoft recently rolled out. The update will become the new baseline for Windows 8 and within a month or so, it'll be required in order to receive continued updates.
Their article's headline compared getting the update to the way Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP and it insisted that people need to take action now.
While there are some similarities, the headline was pure hyperbole.
In reality, you may not have to take any action at all. If you do, you'll probably want to take that action sooner rather than later, but it's not the end of the world if you're late.
Continue Reading: How Do I Get the Required Windows 8.1 Update?
Do you have a natural curiousity to learn about computers? A you worried about sharing someone else's internet connection? Wondering if one copy on a portable drive is safe, or if XP mode is a good idea? Afraid of your browser being hijacked? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)
How do I keep my browser from being hijacked?
Be careful where you download things, and know exactly what you're downloading. Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are becoming common.
Continue reading: How do I keep my browser from being hijacked?
Is it worth upgrading to get Windows XP Mode?
Installing a recently unsupported operating system so you can use an email program that hasn't been supported for years is something I'll advise against. There are safer ways to go.
Continue reading: Is it worth upgrading to get Windows XP Mode?
I'm using someone else's internet connection - am I at risk?
Without the proper security others will be able to access your computer and your files, and even watch what you do online. Fortunately, setting up basic security is easy.
Continue reading: I'm using someone else's internet connection - am I at risk?
Will backing up my computer backup my email?
In order to figure out how to back up your email you first have to figure out where it lives. It might be on your computer; it might be out on the internet.
Continue reading: Will backing up my computer backup my email?
How do I learn more about computers?
The biggest key to learning is to follow your own curiosity. So don't be afraid to poke around, read what you can, and ask questions.
Continue reading: How do I learn more about computers?
How do I protect the files on a portable hard drive?
The answer to this is simple. If it's only in one place... it's not backed up!
Continue reading: How do I protect the files on a portable hard drive?
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*** Last Issue's Articles
- Ask Leo! #492 - Heartbleed, Panic, Moore's Law and more...
- Why do I need to change passwords after HeartBleed?
- Whats the best way to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7?
- What does NTLDR is missing mean?
- Is there software that allows someone to track my emails and texts?
- Is Moore's Law over?
- Can I use Windows 8 ISO files I found on the internet?
- Can I delete old updates?
- Why I rarely panic
*** Featured Reader Comments
Perhaps, NSA was responsible for creating HeartBleed and then they lost control of it and code started running wild.
Again, I'm not a big believer in conspiracy theories. The code never started "running wild" - it was not a virus, it was a simple bug.
very [good] article, as we have come to expect. One question not answered: could a hacker have stolen info like credit card data from web sites? In this case, that data could still be used (and sold) for months to come even if a password to the web site is changed. Or in Google's case (Gmail) could a hacker have gained access to an email in which a bank account number or credit card number is written?
In theory the answer is yes to all of the above. In practice I have yet to hear of a single case where that's happened.
Parker Taylor writes:
Let me see if I understand correctly. If I click on the "LostPassword" link at a site where I have an account, and they actually email me my password, that is not good, but if they email me a link to enable me to reset my password or give a me a "hint"
I have provided previously, that is ok?
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I Don't Claim to be a Journalist
In recent months I've been thinking a lot about the news media and on into journalism in general.
It dawned on me that while Ask Leo! looks kind of like a "news" site – it's not. It also dawned on me that several sites and even other tech-support options that operate similarly to Ask Leo! are in fact written and run by actual real-life journalists, and others still are run by hobbyists.
Now none of that is a bad thing. A variety of experiences and opinions is a valuable thing.
But if I'm none of those, what am I?
Continue Reading: I Don't Claim to be a Journalist
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