Ask Leo! #553 – Changing Passwords, Canceling Windows 10, Losing Your Phone, and more…


How do I change my LastPass master password?

As I write this, the folks at LastPass recently announced that they saw unexplained traffic on their network and could potentially have seen some of their internal data compromised. It's important to note that no user accounts have been hacked, and no unencrypted user account information has been compromised.

However, to err on the side of caution, they are recommending that we all change our master passwords.

Here's how you do that.

Continue Reading: How do I change my LastPass master password?

Is changing my password enough?

I regularly hear from people who've had their email or other online account compromised, are able to recover access to it, and change their password, only to have the account stolen again almost immediately.

The problem is actually quite simple, but the solution is a bit of work.

First, you have to realize that while someone else has access to your account, they have access to everything related to that account.

As a result, changing your password just isn't enough. You need to do more.

Continue Reading: Is changing my password enough?

How do I cancel my Windows 10 update?

I reserved my Windows 10 update right after the icon appeared on my computer. After reading your article about it, I'd like to cancel my reservation. How do I do that?

You're not alone.

Many people jumped at the Windows 10 icon when it appeared, thinking they would get Windows 10 immediately. In reality, of course, it's only a reservation for a download that will occur when the product is released.

Realizing this, and for a variety of other reasons, many people are electing to cancel the reservation and wait to get Windows 10 until sometime well after its release.

How to cancel is not obvious, and there's a bit of trick.

Continue Reading: How do I cancel my Windows 10 update?

Are you ready to lose your phone?

Continue Reading: Are you ready to lose your phone?


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Glossary Term

two factor authentication

Two factor authentication is a mechanism for verifying identity that relies on two different types of things, both of which must be correct, in order to allow access.

Traditionally authentication has been in the form of something you know: i.e. a password, and perhaps the accompanying answers to a set of security questions. Since this is simply based on knowledge (if you know your password you must be authorized to access this account) it's easily transferred from one person to another – intentionally or otherwise.

The most common form of two-factor authentication adds something you have to the requirements – you must prove that you are in possession of something specific, something that is completely unique to you and of which there is only one.

A popular implementation of this is in the form of key chain fobs or smartphone applications such as Google Authenticator which present a 6 digit number that changes every 30 seconds. That 6 digit number is generated by a cryptographic algorithm and is tied to your account in such a way that only your device has the correct number for your account at any point in time. Because the algorithm used to generate the number is based on a form of cryptography it's not possible to predict the numbers that would be displayed without the secret keys held by the authentication system.

You then simply "prove" you have your phone or key chain fob by entering the number displayed on it when requested.

Another factor that can be used is something you are, which typically boils down to facial recognition, fingerprint scanning or other biometric measurement.

While each can be used in isolation – something you know, something you have or something you are – as the very common "single factor authentication", requiring more than one increases security dramatically. While two-factor authentication naturally requires two, it's actually a subset of "multi-factor authentication" which can require two or more.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
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Featured Comments

How do YOU use your computer for FUN?

Leo writes:

There have been SO MANY great responses to this posts, I'm going to have to collect some of my favorites into a separate post! Thanks everyone! :-)

Why do services like Google and Microsoft ask for a phone number?

George writes:

And why is so important to them to have your phone number,that they deny their services because you don`t want to give it to them?

call me paranoid ,but they indeed have an agenda

Leo writes:

IMO: Their "agenda" is keeping your account secure.

How do I get into my Hotmail/ account if I don't have the recovery phone or email any more?

Ravichandra writes:


From past two years I have not used and now I want to open my hot mail account. Its telling could not recognise please help to recover my account.

Thank you.


Leo writes:

Two years is too long. It's probably been closed and cannot be recovered.

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Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
Just Do This: Back Up! The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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