Ask Leo! #580 – Keeping the Neighbors Out, Cookies and Your Bank, Viruses on the Network, and more…

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Keeping the Neighbors Out

Continue Reading: Keeping the Neighbors Out


Does cleaning cookies force me to re-verify my bank log-in?

Hi, Leo. I believe that every time I run CCleaner, my bank doesn't recognize me anymore. I then have to go through a whole rigmarole to get on to my account. It's been suggested that the cause is that I've erased the cookie that my bank site has planted and therefore it doesn't recognize my PC anymore. How can I identify its cookies so that I can isolate it so that CCleaner will not erase it. If you don't agree, then what do you think is the problem?

I agree completely.

It's absolutely the case that banks and other systems make heavy use of cookies to aid you in the quest for security, or to just make it possible for you to go from one page to the next without having to log in for every single page.

So, yes, cleaning out cookies, especially if you're cleaning out all cookies, does exactly what you've described. It will force your bank (and you) to go through those extra steps.

Continue Reading: Does cleaning cookies force me to re-verify my bank log-in?

Can a virus spread over a local network?

I share my LAN with my mother; she's not always the most prudent about avoiding malware, no matter how much I try to drill into her head. Over time, and many, many virus cleanups, I've become worried about malware spreading through the LAN to my computer. Is this possible and if so, is there any way to avoid it besides the double-router method?

It is absolutely possible for malware to spread through your LAN to your computer.

In fact, I've heard horror stories of malware that makes it past one person's defenses to infect a single machine … and from that machine, move on to infect an entire small business's network.

In situations like yours, a two-router solution can be a fine approach to protecting your computers. But yes, it can be a little complex to set up, and there are side effects. Fortunately, there are simpler ways to avoid spreading malware.

Continue Reading: Can a virus spread over a local network?


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Glossary Term


A cookie is a collection of data ' typically small ' provided by a web page, downloaded by your browser, and stored on your machine. The next time your browser requests a page from that same domain, all cookies that were last provided by that domain are included with the page request.

For example, you visit for the first time. When the initial page is downloaded, included with that page might be some data in a cookie, which says "SeenFirstPage=1." That data ' the domain and its cookie "SeenFirstPage=1" ' is stored by your browser on your machine. The next time you visit any page on, your browser includes the "SeenFirstPage=1" cookie with the request. In this example, the site may then elect to perhaps present a different page, knowing you've seen the first page.

The actual contents and usage of cookies is not defined, and may be anything as defined by the website that uses them.

In practice, cookies are frequently used to store information that prevents people from needing to log in over and over for every single page on a site that a requires a log in (such as an email service), to maintain the state of a shopping cart when shopping in an online store, and to provide a more seamless experience on feature-rich web sites.

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

Featured Comments

Your Windows 10 Experience - Survey Results

Skeeter Sanders writes:

I downloaded and installed the Windows 10 upgrade onto my laptop, a Dell Latitude D360. One big problem I encountered was that Windows 10 cut off my laptop's wi-fi, making it impossible for me to access the Internet wirelessly. I learned that this was a common problem among those who downloaded Windows 10 to their laptops. So I reverted back to Windows 7 Pro SP1. I have no plans to install Win 10 on my laptop until the wi-fi accessibility issue is resolved.

How do I secure a hard drive before sending it in for repair?

Ron MVP writes:

I have seen a couple of suggestions close to mine, but not quite the same.

If you are talking about a corporate environment, then the standard should be that ALL work files, sensitive or not MUST only be stored on the corporate network. That way there is no sensitive data on computers that are in exposed work areas (assuming the servers have adequate physical protection) for hackers to be able to reach. And also, corporate IT is responsible for providing adequate backup of information on the servers.

If you are talking about a personal computer then my favorite solution is to create a separate "Data" partition. This makes it easier to target files for encryption. This is half way to using an external drive.

For home users particularly, they should look into make full use of the backup features available in Windows 8 and 10. Using the "FileHistory" tool to automatically save files to a local, but external (second) drive provides protection against physical drive death. Then using the Windows and OneDrive "Sync" feature you can have automatic 'Offsite" backup and a "3rd" copy of each file.

Here are some links to Win 8 and 10 specific backup articles:

Win10's hybrid backup system

With a combination of File History and OneDrive, your files are automatically saved to three separate locations: your primary data drive, your external File History drive, and your secure OneDrive offsite 'cloud' account - all in near-real time. This virtually guarantees that you'll never lose an important file again!

This one set of features is almost enough to encourage me to recommend that people upgrade to Win 10 . Win 10 now allows CONSUMERS to easily do a PROFESSIONAL grade total backup system.

Win 8/8.1 Total Backup System: File History + RecImg.EXE + Refresh + SlimImage - Wiki

Leo writes:

Unlike Fred Langa (author of the Windows Secrets article) I'm not a big fan of Windows 10's backup. That being said, it's better than no backup at all, and anything that gets people to actually back up is a good thing.

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! Backing Up With EaseUS Todo
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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Posted: December 29, 2015 in: 2015
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