How do I use an open Wi-Fi hotspot safely?
I've returned to the same coffee shop where I was a few months ago when I noticed that my email had been hijacked/hacked. This time, I'm using my phone, but the last time when I noticed the hack, I was using my computer and doing email over an open-internet, free Wi-Fi network.
Do you think that could be the source of the problem or just a coincidence? I'm still afraid to do email from here.
It definitely could have been. Unfortunately, it's hard to say for sure, and it could have been something else unrelated.
As we can't really diagnose the past, let's look ahead instead.
It absolutely can be safe to send and receive email from a coffee shop or any other location that provides unsecured or "open" Wi-Fi. In fact, I do it all the time.
But you do have to make sure to follow some very important practices to ensure your safety.
Continue Reading: How do I use an open Wi-Fi hotspot safely?
Answercast #156 - SD card backups, repair discs, paying for XP support and more...
Do you believe advertisements for XP support, or want to backup to an SD card? Want to use a VPN at home, or download videos? Wondering about new anti-spam policies? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)
Should I backup to an SD Card?
I see the appeal of slipping a little SD card into the slot of your computer for backups, but the safety of your precious data on that card has me worried!
Continue reading: Should I backup to an SD Card?
Is there any reason to use a VPN at home?
If you are secured behind your own router in your own home a VPN service is probably not necessary. Though there are a few scenarios where you may want to consider it.
Continue reading: Is there any reason to use a VPN at home?
What repair discs do I need?
You may not need every kind of rescue disc possible, but you should certainly have one from your backup program.
Continue reading: What repair discs do I need?
Does downloading use the same amount of bandwidth as just watching a Youtube video?
Streaming video sites often have some special features that make the answer more complicated than it would seem. I'll explain what's happening in each of these cases.
Continue reading: Does downloading use the same amount of bandwidth as just watching a Youtube video?
Are offers for continued XP support and security legitimate or worthwhile?
Offering security is one thing. If they are actually offering XP bug support, I would be immediately suspicious.
Continue reading: Are offers for continued XP support and security legitimate or worthwhile?
What's this new anti-spam policy about, and how will it affect me?
At first blush the new policies look like a good thing... until they start hitting email discussion groups and creating all sorts of havoc! Bottom line: blame spammers.
Continue reading: What's this new anti-spam policy about, and how will it affect me?
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*** Last Issue's Articles
- Ask Leo! #494 - More Software Engineers Needed, Speeding up Computers, Misleading Advertising and more...
- Is There Room in the World for New Software Engineers?
- I got two identical spam messages from two friends. Which of us has been hacked?
- Can spyware see what you did before the spyware was installed?
- How can I make my computer run faster?
- Who's responsible for monitoring misleading advertising?
- Do I need more than one browser? Why?
- Can we no longer view websites without getting popups?
- Why does my account keep sending out spam?
*** Featured Reader Comments
Can we no longer view websites without getting popups?
The info in your "Foistware" section above nails it on the head. Worth a re-read. For those who really don't want ads, running Firefox with the well-known "Adblock Plus" add-on is very effective (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/).
And for the record, I'm opposed to using adblockers. Why? Because they hurt the good players as well as the bad. Ask Leo! depends on advertising for its existence. If enough people block ads, Ask Leo! goes away. That's not some kind of statement of principles, it's just that if the money dries up I can't run the site. This is true for hundreds of other good sites that are harmed by adblockers.
Is There Room in the World for New Software Engineers?
Robert Thomas writes:
A friend who runs a software and website company says Americans will price themselves out of the software engineering market. There are millions of Indians and others who can be hired right on the internet for jobs large and small for a fraction of the price of an American. Is this true? If so, why doesn't every company do it?
I think a more important difference is the quality of education and the quality of engineers coming out of school. Companies will pay top-dollar for truly good engineers, regardless of where on the planet they happen to be.
*** Leo's Blog
How I Deal With Inexplicable Change
Something I've said for a long time is that your approach to change – particularly change that's out of your control – is one of the biggest factors that will determine just how successful you are at using technology. The better you can handle change, the happier you'll be. I'm absolutely convinced of it.
Note that I'm not saying you need to like all change. Not all change is good.
I'm currently working on my next book, Saved! Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup, and I'm running into some changes that are so incomprehensible it's making me think "WTH Microsoft?!"
Let me explain how I avoid ulcers in this ever-changing world of technology.
Continue Reading: How I Deal With Inexplicable Change
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