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Ask Leo! #512 – Absolute Security, Dangers of ZIP Files, Losing Your Email account and more…

Featured

How to Backup Your Photos and Never Lose them Again

(This is a chapter from my forthcoming book tentatively titled "The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety".)

Digital photography has changed the landscape dramatically. Everyone with a smartphone has a camera , and they're using them right and left to snap photos and videos like crazy. Add to that numerous digital cameras from inexpensive to professional, and you've got a lot of digital media being created every day.

And a lot of it isn't getting backed up.

Let's remember the goal: never have only a single copy of your photographs.

If there's only a single copy, it's not backed up.

Continue Reading: How to Backup Your Photos and Never Lose them Again
http://askleo.com/16005

Why Spammers Love ZIP Files and How You Need to Stay Safe

I suppose most folks will be getting unsolicited spam to try to get your details. I'm getting financial questions and attachments with a .zip extension. What is .zip?

The ZIP file is the spammer's – or rather the phisher's – best friend.

ZIP files are everywhere, and have a lot of very valid uses. Unfortunately with that ubiquity comes the potential for abuse.

And that's exactly what spammers like to do.

Continue Reading: Why Spammers Love ZIP Files and How You Need to Stay Safe
http://askleo.com/16017

Could someone reopen my closed email account?

I have terminated my Yahoo account. There's a clause in the form that says that after 90 days my user ID can be made available to others. Does that mean that if someone then snaps up my old user name they could start impersonating me? Would he see everyone on my contact list? Would my old contacts see him and think I was back on-line?

Could that person try and impersonate you? Yes.

Will it be easy? Maybe.

Would that person see everyone on your contact list? No.

This actually applies to all the services, not just Yahoo. The "90 days" part might change, but the basics would still apply.

Continue Reading: Could someone reopen my closed email account?
http://askleo.com/2991

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Previous Issue

Glossary Term

home page

The term home page has two distinct and only semi-related meanings:

1) The page of a web site that is displayed when no specific page is specified. For example the page that you see when you visit http://askleo.com is its home page. This is typically referred to as the website's home page.

2) The page that is displayed by default when you start a web browser without specifying a specific page to be displayed. For example when you run Internet Explorer (perhaps by just clicking on its icon) it typically displays a default page fetched from the internet. This is referred to as "your" home page, and every web browser allows you to configure that default page to be whatever you wish.

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

Featured Comments

Hey! The World Didn't End!

Dan C. writes:

Good and balanced article as usual. But you guys may be amazed to know that Windows XP is still being fully supported, and won't really be out of support until 2019. A simple 3-line registry patch unlocks previously hidden updated in Windows update for POS 2009 and other embedded versions of XP. I've been using it with great success so far for customers who are still on XP for one reason or another. So the supposed end of support in April was entirely arbitrary and politically motivated--there was nothing technically preventing Microsoft from continuing XP support. XP will continue to be used for years on existing computers until either the underlying hardware wears out or they become too slow for a user's needs.

Leo writes:

To be clear, it's not a registry patch to simply enable updates in XP. As I understand it it's a registry patch that fools XP into thinking it's XP embedded version - a slightly different version of XP. Not all the updates may apply to regular XP, and it's not guaranteed that they won't eventually break it. Use at your own risk. It's fine while it works, but make certain you're backing up for the day when it might not.

Old Man writes:

Leo is right on this. What is currently going around on the Web is not a patch, it is a hack changing the version type.

To give a reasonable example, it is like reporting XP Home as being XP Pro. Some updates will work, some will be ignored, but some could really mess things up. At least that's what I read in a couple of articles on technical sites. I was thinking about making the hack, but after reading the details, I decided it really wasn't worth the risk.

As Leo said, it may work, or it may make your system unusable (backup, backup).

Werner writes:

There should be government regulation that oblige companies like Microsoft to provide support for their products after they get replaced by newer versions. Not everybody has the means to buy new versions whenever Microsoft or others decide its time to make money with new versions that nobody asks for, instead they could upgrade there products against a small fee and let users decide if they are happy with older versions or not.

Leo Besemer writes:

"A government regulation". @Werner - which government were you thinking of? Yeah, thought already you forgot that we are in a worldwide forum. Anyhow - if MS would support XP 'forever', are you willing to pay for the extra cost? They would need people to keep XP up-to-date, and those people want wages, an office, a desk etc. For the record, in Europe car parts are usually stored for about 30 years. But that 'only' asks for a large storage facility - hardly comparable to updating software to react to hackers finding new ways to break in.

Leo's Blog

Security: It's a Spectrum, Not a State

I often get questions that amount to "if I do X will that make me secure?".

Well, no. No matter what "X" is, it will not make you (or your computer, your accounts, your whatever) secure.

You can get more secure, but there's no such thing as absolute security.

And that confuses many.

Continue Reading: Security: It's a Spectrum, Not a State
http://askleo.com/16029

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