Ask Leo! #504 – LastPass still secure, Partitioning, Changing mobile numbers, email providers, and more…


How do I change the mobile number associated with my Hotmail account?

How can I change my mobile number in my Hotmail/ account? I can't find any information about "mobile number" and I've had some problems with this account. I made this account 15 years ago and I can't remember the mobile number I gave back then.

The security features associated with Microsoft accounts – and almost any or email address is a Microsoft account – have been giving people fits lately.

Because account hacking has become such a massive problem, particularly with Hotmail accounts, Microsoft has tightened security quite a bit. And unfortunately, people are now finding that security codes are getting sent to phones and email addresses they no longer have.

Keeping that security information up to date is critical. I'll walk you through the steps to update it.

Continue Reading: How do I change the mobile number associated with my Hotmail account?

Should I partition my hard disk?

What are the benefits of a partitioned hard drive, or some practical uses of a partition?

Disk partitioning is one of those things where you find many conflicting opinions. Some will swear that proper partitioning aids performance, makes backing up easier and is just generally "better".

Others just opt to let Windows sort it all out, believing that improper partitioning might well prevent the file system – already optimized for both safety and performance – from operating in a maximally optimal way.

The truth is somewhere in between. I'm certain.

While I tend to fall into the latter camp, I'll look at some of the pros and cons to partitioning your hard drive, and make a recommendation if after all is said and done you're still not sure.

Continue Reading: Should I partition my hard disk?

What for-pay email providers do you recommend?

I get that you strongly recommend against using free email accounts for important stuff. But that, then, begs the question: which paid email providers with full features do you recommend?

A fair question. There are many approaches that I do recommend, depending on your specific situation.

I need to explain what I'm looking for, first. Then it's just possible we'll find that you already have what you need.

Continue Reading: What for-pay email providers do you recommend?


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Glossary Term


Like a pot of honey left out to trap a bear, a honeypot is a unprotected or partially protected machine set up to allow malicious software or activity to compromise it.

The idea is simple: by leaving a machine unprotected or vulnerable it is likely to be attacked in some way. The owners of the honeypot machine can then examine the specific attack, both source and technique, and build defenses against it.

The term is actually more general and can be applied to any machine left vulnerable to only specific treats, including other forms of malicious behaviour such as hacking. A government agency might place a machine with falsified information on it in a situation such that while it looked important and confidential they could monitor who attempts to break in, and how.

Honeypot can also be applied to email. Agencies monitoring spam, for example, might set up email addresses and make them public so as to monitor what kinds of spam emails are then sent. They can then monitor the characteristics of spam over time.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

What's an "Automatic (Delayed start)" Service?

Sandy Coulter writes:

First, I agree about Windows 8 being the fastest starting (and shutting down) OS ever. I find it very stable too, but due to unwarranted propaganda against it, usually by people who do not understand it, it is difficult to convince others. As for using delayed start, I have found no reason yet to use it in Win 8, but on my older XP machines I use a utility called WinPatrol that offers a delayed start feature. This has come in very handy when for some reason a tray icon fails to show or 2 startup programs or services are fighting with each other at the same time causing the hour glass to hang. Like Leo says, if it ain't broke don't fix it, but delayed start could be very handy in some circumstances.

About that Facebook test...

Derek writes:

Regarding footnote number 1, I hate those "you won't believe what happens next!" headlines and I normally will not click on them. It feels too much like I'm being manipulated.

Leo writes:

Only because you are being manipulated. And they exist because, sadly, they work. :-(

CHKDSK: What is it and how do I run it?

DBAsteve writes:

ENTER key & RETURN key mean the same thing *now*, as in *today*

I'm old enough to remember when the term was CARRIAGE RETURN & LINE FEED. Even the key was labeled CRLF. This harkens back to when terminals were more like typewriters (actually teletype machines). This predates PCs by decades.

If you look carefully at the ENTER key on most keyboards you will see an arrow and the tail of the arrow actually has a vertical component; which represents "go down and to the left"; just like the function on a typewriter.

Leo's Blog

Is LastPass Still Secure?

LastPass recently announced a couple of vulnerabilities. Although they've supposedly been fixed, does this mean I should stop using LastPass? Is it still secure?

LastPass is still secure.

Should you stop using it? No. In fact, let me be a little more clear: Hell No! Keep using LastPass.

I remain a strong believer in LastPass. The recently disclosed vulnerabilities – which indeed have been fixed – only affected a small percentage of users. Furthermore, there's absolutely no evidence that the vulnerabilities were ever actually used to compromise anything.

Rather than say nothing at all, LastPass chose to be open about the discovery. I don't want panicked over-reaction to punish them for doing the right thing.

Continue Reading: Is LastPass Still Secure?

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