Leo’s Answers #81 – June 8, 2007

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom

Hello

*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

How secure am I on a VPN?

I work at home with my computer. The folks at work recently told me to join their VPN. If I join, will they be able to see personal information on my computer? If they can, how to stop this?

Yes, they might possibly be able to see things on your computer. Naturally it depends on how you've set it up.

The good news, though, is that it should be possible to reestablish a decent level of security while still connecting to the VPN.

Continue reading: "How secure am I on a VPN?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_secure_am_i_on_a_vpn.html

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How do I get something to open automatically when I log in to Windows?

I have a laptop with XP and would like to have it boot and open my Palm desktop. I can't figure a way to get it added to msconfig's startup file, and I can no longer just go into autoexec.bat and add it. Any suggestions??

Of course!

MSConfig is a great tool to use to remove things from your computer's start-up, but it's not really intended to add things.

And while there are maybe a couple of dozen places where start-up things can be placed, there's really only two you probably need to know about when adding things of your own. And the great news is that they're very easy to change.

Continue reading: "How do I get something to open automatically when I log in to Windows?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_get_something_to_open_automatically_when_i_log_in_to_windows.html

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How do I use a printer that's on another machine on my network?

I have a wireless network with 2 computers ( A & B ) and a printer ( A1 & B1 ) physically connected to each computer. A is connected to A1 and B is connected to B1. My question is can I use computer A to print to printer B1 or computer B to print to printer A1? I do not want to make the printers wireless at all.

The short answer is yes.

Assuming that computer "A" and computer "B" can "see" each other across your network, it's actually a relatively simply matter to print on either printer from either machine.

Continue reading: "How do I use a printer that's on another machine on my network?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_use_a_printer_thats_on_another_machine_on_my_network.html

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What's the difference between "Run" and "Save" when downloading?

When downloading software or whatever, what is the difference between RUN and SAVE?

This is one of those things that I think a lot of people take for granted, but to many it's just so much magic.

So, a quick look at what it means when you choose between "Run" and "Save" when you download a file.

Continue reading: "What's the difference between "Run" and "Save" when downloading?"
http://ask-leo.com/whats_the_difference_between_run_and_save_when_downloading.html

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Why do these firewall tests say I've failed? Should I be worried?

I found several firewall testers on the net and Windows Firewall (+ Internet explorer on some of them) failed ALL of them. Is this legit? If so, what good is Windows Firewall? I used to use AVG, and McAfee, but they created so many processes and hogged so much time, everything slowed to a halt.

I don't know the specific tests you may be using, but in all honesty it doesn't surprise me.

It really depends on what they mean by "failed", and what you mean by "legit". The real question is do you have anything to worry about. Quite often those tests don't give you a straight answer. Even my favorite test tends to overstate the risk.

So, what to do?

Continue reading: "Why do these firewall tests say I've failed? Should I be worried?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_do_these_firewall_tests_say_ive_failed_should_i_be_worried.html

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Protecting Your Computer

There's no on-stop solution.

Continue reading: "Protecting Your Computer" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/protecting_your_computer.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Sometimes it's easy to think that concerns about spyware are so much paranoia. On the other hand, sometimes the paranoia is justified.

So just how sneaky can spyware be?

Suppose someone had an MSN instant message conversation on a computer that had spyware on it (unbeknownst to them). Could a hacker access these messages, without access to the computer that had the spyware on it, where the messages were sent from? In other words, from an unrelated computer source?

The scenario you outline is a little unclear, but the short answer is probably ...

Yes

Read more... So just how sneaky can spyware be?
http://ask-leo.com/so_just_how_sneaky_can_spyware_be.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

My HDTV saga continues in my personal blog.

I wear too many hats.

Most of you may know that I'm also "the" IT department for my wife's business. And by IT department, I mean on-site computer repair, web master, data processing manager, and whatever else you can think of that has to do with computers in a small business.

This week she launched a new product, and we simultaneously launched an improved home page for her web site.

Naturally, within an hour or two of the appointed launch time the website went down. No reason. Just "because".

It was quickly back up, of course, but it struck me that for a web server and site that had been running without a hiccup for perhaps a year or more, fate would choose that as the time for something apparently unrelated to happen.

Just thought you'd all appreciate knowing that this "stuff" happens to us all.

There's a reason computer programmers often list "profanity" as an additional computer-related language they're proficient in.

'till next time...

Leo

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