Ask Leo! #590 – Security, Skepticism, Backing Up, and more…

Leo's Blog

In Search of Perfect Security

Continue Reading: In Search of Perfect Security
https://askleo.com/21748

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It Pays to be Skeptical

A message pops up on your computer, warning you that malware has been detected.

What do you do?

The answer's not as clear as you might think.

In fact, no matter what you choose do, it could be the wrong thing, depending on the circumstances.

Continue Reading: It Pays to be Skeptical
https://askleo.com/21535

How Do I Back Up My Computer?

How do I "back up" my computer? I am sure my question is ridiculous to you, but I honestly have no clue what I should be doing.

Your question isn't ridiculous at all. In fact, I'm certain it's one reason so many people don't back up: they simply don't know how.

For something as critically important as backing up, that's more than a little scary. I hear from people who've lost important and valuable information all the time. Whether it's from malware, hardware failure, account hacks or other disasters, a backup could easily prevent such loss.

First, let's look at what it means to back up a computer, and what your options are. Then, I'll share some guidelines and tell you what I recommend for average users.

Continue Reading: How Do I Back Up My Computer?
https://askleo.com/6643

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Glossary Term

TLS

TLS is an acronym for Transport Layer Security.

The term TLS is commonly used interchangeably with SSL – or in combination, such as TLS/SSL.

TLS, like SSL, is a communications protocol intended to to secure a point-to-point connection in two ways:

* Confirm that the connection is to the intended entity.
* Encrypt the data being exchanged to prevent eavesdropping.

Technically, TLS is based on SSL, and can for the most part be considered a newer version thereof. TLS and SSL are not interoperable, but TLS does have the ability to downgrade, if needed, to the older, slightly less secure SSL protocol.

In most cases, the term SSL is still used to refer to secure connections, but in fact, the underlying protocol used is most commonly TLS.

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

Featured Comments

How Do I Back Up My Computer?

Tom Gullette writes:

Well it finally happened Leo, after decades of computing on too many pc's and laptops to count, I experienced a HD crash. This was my first foray into SSD's (a Samsung 850 EVO 250 gB). Only 1 year old and working fine the day before, turned PC off and no boot the next morning. No recovery/repair tool would see the disc. If it had not been for reading your newsletters over the years I would have been in big trouble. Needless to had I had a backup! I purchased and installed a replacement, booted the previously created Windows Repair disc and successfully restored an only 2 week old Windows 7 backup image - yay! Thanks Leo for the constant preaching on having a backup!!

The Death of the Security Question

Ray Smith writes:

While security questions do represent a weakness, it's a relatively minor weakness, IMO. Security questions nowadays are used only really used to authenticate password reset requests, with the reset links being then sent via email or text. Consequently, so long as the accounts/devices to which the reset links are properly secured - in other words, protected by a strong password - it doesn't matter too much whether or not somebody knows or can guess the answer to a security question.

Leo writes:

That's kind of my point - systems are moving away from security questions. They're rarely used - as you say only in account recovery. Even then many systems no longer use them at all. I believe that's because they were not secure enough in practice.

Checking and repairing a disk with CHKDSK

Isaac S writes:

Hi Leo, I am currently doing a chkdsk /f /r :C Since my brand new laptop is somehow having 100% disc usage, it's a Dell Inspiron 15 5559 i7 1 TB memory, 16gb ram (idk if any of that helps). I actually was experiencing the same problem of 100% disk usage with the a laptop I bought last week, so i exchanged that for a new one, thinking maybe that specific one had a problem. I'm yet again experiencing the same disk usage problem, and just like with the last laptop this one has its scan stuck at 10%. I called Dell support when I was having problems with the last laptop and they figured the hardware is ok and that Windows 10 was installed incorrectly and I need a clean install. Well know that I'm having the same exact problem I was wondering what you thought about this problem of disk usage, and if I should wait out this scan or stop it now.

Leo writes:

CHKDSK won't fix disk usage issues. I'd have you find out what's taking up all that space: Where's my disk space going?

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