Ask Leo! #505 – Legal Help, Unanswered Support Emails, The Event Viewer Scam and more…


Who do I contact for legal help?

My ex-girlfriend's sister is hacking my email and phone from Brazil. Who do I contact for legal help since I know who it is?

I get questions like this all the time.

Individuals' accounts have been hacked and they want to know who did it, or they already believe they know. And with that knowledge they want to do something. Typically, they want to see the offender get punished in some way.

Sadly, life on the internet just isn't that easy.

Continue Reading: Who do I contact for legal help?

How do I Choose a Good Domain Name?

I would like to know how to choose efficient personal email domain name. Do I concentrate on "before the @" or the ‘dot com" area? And, if I then own that domain name, what happens if the place I am paying yearly to goes out of business? Do I then lose that name?

Good on you for investigating this approach. When you own your own domain name, you'll have an email address for life…or at least for as long as you own that domain.

You raise some important questions.

Continue Reading: How do I Choose a Good Domain Name?

I got a call from Microsoft and allowed them access to my computer. What do I do now?

A family member got scammed by a telephone call from someone saying that they were from Microsoft, calling because of PC error reports. Unfortunately, remote access was given. What should be done to prevent further compromise of the PC data? Help!

Note: MS scanner and a Norton scan were done and showed no problems. Remote access software files were removed manually from PC. Could the scammer again access the PC data? Data is backed up to the external drive (not plugged in at the time of the scam). Can the same files/data be safely loaded on to a new HD/computer?

As you point out, it's a scam. Microsoft doesn't call people because of errors on their computers. Neither do ISPs, security companies, or pretty much anyone else who might have some role of internet authority.

To quote Admiral Akbar: "It's a trap!"

In recent years (yes, years) I've been getting lots of reports of this scam and its variants. Fortunately, many people are rightfully suspicious and cut it off before it goes too far.

Unfortunately, your family member having fallen for the scam puts you in a difficult and dangerous position.

To start with, let's not hook up that external hard drive just yet.

Continue Reading: I got a call from Microsoft and allowed them access to my computer. What do I do now?


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Glossary Term


CPU is an acronym for Central Processing Unit, which is the chip that is often referred to as the "brain" of a computer.

"CPU" is often used to incorrectly refer to the entire computer itself or the desktop box. In reality, the term CPU specifically refers to an integrated circuit or "chip" that resides on or is connected to the computer's motherboard inside.

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Featured Comments

What for-pay email providers do you recommend?

Phil writes:

Hi Leo. Thanks for this update on a fine article. One thing threw me though and that was your comment regarding Gmail - "even when using Gmail 'properly' you are taking responsibility for your email. First and foremost that means you need to be backing up your email and contacts yourself, regularly, in case of loss."

My question is, do we really need to back up our Gmail account? Although in my case I have very little in there I have always believed that, whatever else Google does with my data, at least it won't LOSE it! Haha. But you suggest otherwise?

And PS - I enjoyed your observation dated 22 Jan 2011!!!! Thanks.

Leo writes:

ABSOLUTELY. More things can go wrong than Google losing your data. For example account hacks are common. Even if you do get your account back, if the hacker has deleted your email you will not be able to get it back. And of course there are the mistakes we make ourselves (oops! I didn't really mean to delete that.... :-) ).

Mary writes:

I learned the hard way a LONG time ago if I did not want to need to change email addresses, have my own domain. I have had the lowest cost level they offer @ TRK Web Hosting with good service & support for close to 10 years. It has been well worth the small cost and if I want more muscle, I can easily upgrade.

If the owner is ever seriously injured, I would probably not be able to access my home page and/or new emails but ALL except hard spam of my emails are downloaded into Thunderbird. I back that up nightly using Mozbackup.

I have changed ISP's at least 8-10 times in as many years, one time because the ISP closed down.

I do keep one GMail account as a backup I seldom use. One time I needed to use it was when I sent an email to an AOL subscriber, it was bounced when it came from my domain. Using GMail, it went through.

Connie Delaney writes:

Couldn't agree more Mary. And on top of that, you can actually switch your domain to different web hosts if you ever have problems. All you have to do is make sure you maintain control of your domain name and you are good to go for as long as you wish. You definitely get what you pay for!

Leo's Blog

Why Don't Companies Answer My Email?

I got an email the other day from someone who was frustrated that in a couple of cases where he'd sent emails to particular sites informing them of issues he was having, he never got a response.

Now, to speak for myself, I can't reply to every email, I just don't have time. (Though I did answer this one.) And, to be brutally honest, email's not the best way to contact me with a question – the ask a question page is.

But I know it's a common problem – you need help, want to report an issue with a site or service, you send email and …


Let's examine some of the reasons that might result in your receiving no response.

Continue Reading: Why Don't Companies Answer My Email?

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