Ask Leo! #496 – Giving Away Your Privacy, Heartbleed and your Router, Port 80, Security Breaches and more…

*** Survey

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I was blown away by the number of people responding to my survey about your greatest technology challenge last month. I'm very grateful to you for taking the time.

I've done a preliminary summary and because I got so many responses, I'd like to both validate some of the high-level information that I extracted, as well as dive just a little deeper.

I'd really appreciate it if you could respond to this short follow-up survey.

I know it'll take me a little time to digest the results, but I promise I'll report back on the big take-aways and how it might impact Ask Leo!'s future.

Again, thank you very much.


*** Featured

How can I find out what program keeps popping up in my taskbar and disappearing before I can click on it?

How can I find out what program keeps popping up in my taskbar and disappearing before I can click on it?

I've seen ‘em too. You really start to wonder what the program is, and before you can even reach for your mouse, it's gone. Or even if you do manage to click on it, it disappears from view.

There are several techniques I use to track these guys down. Not all work in all cases, but between them all I can usually figure it out pretty quickly.

I'll share a couple of places to look, and I also want to mention one technique that's perhaps not all that obvious, but actually quite handy.

Continue Reading: How can I find out what program keeps popping up in my taskbar and disappearing before I can click on it?

Why are there websites in my browser history that I've never been to?

I periodically clean my browser history, but after a while website entries begin to appear in it that I've never actually been to. Some of these sites look quite disturbing, and are not sites that I would ever go to. Why would these entries appear? Do I have spyware or a virus?

This is a question I get relatively often, and it's usually nothing to worry about.

Certainly viruses or spyware are a possibility. Of late I'd also call out "Foistware" – the software that often appears on your system unexpectedly after installing something else.

However there are also more benign scenarios. It's possible your browser may simply be doing a good job protecting you.

Continue Reading: Why are there websites in my browser history that I've never been to?

*** Answercast

Answercast #157 - Heartbleed in routers, email recovery, slow websites, Port 80 and more...

Do you worry about Heartbleed attacking your router? Is being forced to set a recovery email a bad thing? Wonder about Port 80 or how to close email sessions? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

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

Should I worry about Heartbleed affecting my router?
Heartbleed did not affect all versions of open SSL. So first we should check if we even need to worry.

Continue reading: Should I worry about Heartbleed affecting my router?

Why do I need another email address to access my account?
This is a system designed to help you recover your email account if something should go wrong... and things go wrong more often than you would like to think!

Continue reading: Why do I need another email address to access my account?

How can big services still have security breaches?
When you think about the complexity of today's systems it's kind of amazing, really, that we don't have more breaches!

Continue reading: How can big services still have security breaches?

Why do some web pages never finish loading?
The little wheel on web pages can certainly get stuck spinning. Websites, these days, are so complex that sorting out the cause will take some digging.

Continue reading: Why do some web pages never finish loading?

Just what is Port 80?
To understand how ports work, we need to step back just a little and first understand what happens when computers attempt to communicate with each other on the internet.

Continue reading: Just what is Port 80?

How do I force my email account to close on another device?
There are possibilities here that are, perhaps, even more unsavory than having someone you know reading your mail. So first things first!

Continue reading: How do I force my email account to close on another device?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Featured Reader Comments

How I Deal With Inexplicable Change

Ken in San Jose writes:

Your article is appropriate. Just recently Yahoo changed it's "My Yahoo" Homepage and Email formats, which I hate. After some ranting and searching for a way to return to the previous format, I took a deep breath and accepted the new format. I still hate the new format, but since nothing I say or do will make a difference, take a deep breath and move on. What's the prayer, "give me strength change the things I can change, patience to accept the things I can not change, and the wisdom to know the difference".

Why does my account keep sending out spam?

Bob writes:

It's as if someone sent out a bunch of envelopes through the Postal Service, with your return address printed on them. Most people would think it was a letter from you, until they saw the advertisement inside. Some people would notice the postmark wasn't from your town, just like some people would look in the email headers, and recognize that an email didn't come from your mail server.

How I Deal With Inexplicable Change

Connie Delaney writes:

The thing that helped me the most with Windows 8 was learning to "Just type" when on the tiled interface. I can almost always find what I want. It's good for my brain too because it makes me remember the names of programs.

Are offers for continued XP support and security legitimate or worthwhile?

Mike writes:

There's stubbornly hanging onto the old and outdated, and there's simply being pragmatic. My old XP computer is not my primary machine, but it is a convenience having access to the network in another part of the house. It's maxed out at 2GB RAM and pretty slow---not a candidate for upgrade. Just trying to keep it safe while it's still usable.

I replaced MSSE with free Bitdefender, which doesn't seem to hog resources, and I run Firefox Sandboxed. So far, that's good enough.

How do I learn more about computers?

Dea writes:

Hi Everyone... i've been away and just got back to my computer. Thanks for all your input.

I am an "old lady".... looking forward to my 89th birthday in August. I have had a computer for many years (and an iPod touch 5, Kindles in many versions, and a smart TV with Fios). My current computer is a custom All in One, Windows 7.

I have the books. I used to subscribe to PC Magazine but stopped when they changed their format and direction. I have folders of notes and links to all kinds of information and use and refer to it all a lot. Google and i are very good friends and Siri too. Actually, Google Rocks even tho i do use Firefox and Safari sometimes.

What i want is more than just knowing how to use Win 7 which i am mastering as i go along. I guess i want to be a 25 year old who can go to school and learn how everything works and what the odd words and numbers and symbols mean when i open a menu with soooo many items none of which look like anything i can unscramble. For example, I want to be able to open the StartUp menu and know what is safe to delete and what needs to be there... not because i don't have room there or because it's taking too long to start up but because i want to know what it all means.

Leo's advice/suggestions are great. I intend to follow through and investigate. Leo has always from way back been my first source of information: i look forward to the newsletter, own his book, got backed up because he is so adamant about backup, etc. Then i go to google. So thanks again. I really appreciate your time and effort in writing. i hope there will be more. If i finally find what i'm looking for, i sure will post it. Onward.

*** Leo's Blog

Giving Away Our Privacy

I had to remind folks out on my Facebook Fan Page again the other day not to post personal information. (I delete posts that contain that kind of stuff, as I do in comments on Ask Leo! articles.) It got me to thinking a little.

On one hand we rail against the supposed loss of privacy posed by the various services we use and companies behind them, not to mention concerns that various governments might be doing some kind of snooping.

And yet, we give away our private information – posting it publicly even – without hesitation.

Continue Reading: Giving Away Our Privacy

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*** Leo's Books

Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Backing Up 101 Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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