Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Topics relating to The Internet in general, including issues around security, usage, manners and more.
Being given access to a Google Docs document associates your email address with the right to read the document. Does it matter? And how long is this association?
Reverse phone number lookup services can be good. They might not be able to find unlisted numbers and should offer a refund.
With faster connections being the norm, it's quite possible to listen to streaming audio over the internet for long periods of time. But should you?
P2P programs have a bad reputation because of the content they're often used with. But P2P technology is legal and useful for legal purposes as well.
Legitimate work-at-home sites probably do exist. Finding them is the trick. However, you may want to look at making money online in a different way.
Dropbox recently announced that you could send a web-accessible public link to anything anywhere in your Dropbox. I'll look at the security implications.
Blocking ad animations is tricky because there are so many formats an advertiser can use to display the animation. You may need to vote with your feet.
In case you need to test your website, there are ways that you can fake the DNS IP lookup to be able to do so. We'll take a look at how that's done.
There isn't a concept of a "sent mail folder" when filling out forms on a web page, so there is nothing to retrieve.
When purchasing software in a store you get a box and a CD or DVD. If you download your software you should take extra steps to save your purchase.
We'll look at a few ways that might be possible, but unlikely, to undelete the History.
While it's not typically easy, your internet traffic can be monitored at or near your router. I'll look at how this might be done.
There are assorted ways that an IP address might be linked to or associated with an illegal or malicious web site. I'll look at some of the scenarios.
Getting an ISP to help in tracking internet activity is difficult, as internet providers adhere to strict privacy guidelines. There may be other options.
Web sites get a lot of information from your Google searches, but that doesn't mean that web sites can monitor every Google search you do.
Choosing an ISP can be difficult. ISPs definitely vary in level of service and quality. If the internet is important to you, so is choosing the right ISP.
What constitutes a download depends on why you are trying to define it. Are you concerned with the files that end up on your computer or with the bandwidth being used?
Https encrypts your data without knowing what it is: that includes email, banking information, or any type of data.
Free downloads are a lucrative way to get games, programs, and other things at no cost. But sometimes free downloads carry a very heavy cost in the form of spyware, viruses and more.
Legally downloading music files gets surprisingly complex. There are many sources, both legal and not, and they're difficult to distinguish.
The HTML font size in a page's encoding can get in the way of things like "view larger". There are ways to bypass this bad HTML font size setting.
Digital photos often include information which may help establish their origin, but it's information that's also easily altered or removed.
Many web pages are designed to a minimum width which is often wider than some older screens or settings. There are a few alternatives.
Making a little money from your website isn't all that hard, however making lots of money requires a lot of hard work.
It's not unheard of for kids or not-such-good-friends to post someone's number as a prank or perhaps it was just a mistake: but what can you do?
When downloading software from the internet you should choose "Save" to keep a copy of your download. If you haven't, I'll look at how to save anyway.
You can block floating ads from websites with your hosts file, but you should first consider if that is really a good idea.
Blocking pornography isn't always as simple as we'd like. However OpenDNS provides one of the easier solutions, particularly for an entire network.
When you visit the Google search engine and start typing, you'll likely see a dropdown list of search terms. Those might be history, or something else.
Sometimes you just want to clear what you've searched for from the browser's history. These steps clear that information in Internet Explorer 7.
Connecting to the internet while traveling can be difficult, but not insurmountable. Connecting to the internet while traveling will, however, require a few extra precautions.
Assuming your intent is legal - or at least moral - it's not hard to copy content from a web page that attempts to prevent it.
SSH and SFTP Public Key Authentication requires that you create a public/private key pair. We'll look at how to create, and then use, those keys.
Deleting Google history takes a few steps, depending on what Google history you mean. Here are step-by-step instructions for deleting Google history.
Follow these steps to delete your browser's history.
Ebooks are commonly distributed as simple PDF files which you can download and then read on your computer using any of several free PDF readers.
It depends on where you're doing your search. Different search engines have different approaches to specifying "negative matches."
While you cannot find the specific owner of an IP address, I'll look at a few tools to see what IP-related information you can get.
When megaupload.com was taken offline, many users' files were rendered inaccessible. If a service provider goes away, it's clear that you can lose your data.
I am not a fan of download accelerators for many, many different reasons. Sometimes, they are a means for putting more advertising in front of your face!
Pop-up ads show on webpages using a variety of technologies and may obscure the link that turns it off. There are a few immediate things to look for.
It should be completely transparent. Without knowing exactly why you consider it to be annoying, I'm going to recommend that you leave it set.
Your web access can be easily sniffed when you're in a public WiFi hotspot. Logins on web sites that don't use https are vulnerable to sniffing. We'll look at one technique to avoid this.
Deception online is trivially easy with today's technologies. There's more snake-oil on the internet than ever before - how do you know what's legit?
Your internet browser's history function is where you can retrieve old websites and places visited.
It is not necessarily simple to do this, but personal searches can be set up with Google's CSE (Custom Search Engine) function.
Sharing sensitive documents over the internet is both common and commonly done wrong. I'll look at the pitfalls and alternatives.
Download accelerators use a number of techniques to make downloads appear faster and more resilient. I'll cover the most common ways accelerators work.
There are many tools to search for interesting keywords. Combined them with an RSS reader and you can easily stay up to date on topics you care about.
Many applications that you run and even some websites that you visit can inadvertently expose your online status to your friends.
Technical information on the internet can be updated quickly, so it can be more current than textbooks, but you need to carefully analyze the sources.
The internet is everywhere and yet - using it to access your own files isn't as obvious as you might like. I'll look at some options.
Sometimes not being able to access certain web sites boils down to a simple network configuration tweak that I'll detail here.
Paypal is perhaps the largest online payment processing service. With that size come issues and problems. Should you avoid Paypal because of them?
IE (Internet Explorer) is frequently configured to make a "clicking" sound when you move from page to page. Here's how to turn IE's click sound off, or change it.
If odd things happen when you start Internet Explorer, one of the first places to look is spyware.
https is an important part of keeping your data safe, but it's only a part. It's important to understand what it means and what it doesn't mean.
Anonymous web surfing is quite possible, with the aid of an anonymization service. There are several implications to anonymous web surfing, though. One is that anyone can use it.
Torrent files by themselves are pretty benign. It's the files they point to that may hold copyrights and legal implications.
Torrent files are used by bitTorrent file sharing and downloading technology. Are they illegal? No. But something else might be.
'The Cloud' is the latest buzzword for internet-based services. Before diving in, it's important to understand a few things about cloud security.
Sharing files with family and friends is made easy with Dropbox.
PDF format allows documents to be viewed across many different types of computers and operating systems, and look the same everywhere.
mwsbar.dll is a toolbar for Internet Explorer commonly part of "My Web Search". Getting rid of mwsbar.dll, or references to it, isn't terribly difficult.
An old problem finds a home on new technology: cyber bullying and other internet related harassment seems to be on the rise. What's a parent to do?
The ability to search well is a key skill that can make the internet a much more useful resource. I'll cover basics as well as a couple of tricks.
Depending on how secure your computer already is, you may or may not want to switch to Firefox as an internet browser.
Being harassed or bullied online is frighteningly common. While threats are rarely carried out by these cowards, it can still be very unsettling.
Survey's popping up on a website could be the result of programming on that site - or something more sinister.
It's not uncommon for more than one person to have the same name. What do you do if you don't approve of what the other person does?
Toolbars in Internet Explorer can be handy, but each means less room for web pages. We look at steps to get rid of most toolbars in Internet Explorer.
Root certificates are a critical part of how encrypted connections like https validate the site you're connecting to. Updates happen periodically.
Online harassment is common problem, and exceptionally prevalent among children. We'll review some of the issues and steps to be taken.
A vulnerability has been discovered in the DNS servers providing a critical part of internet infrastructure. It's easy to test and easy to work around.
Internet Connection Sharing connects multiple computers to the internet through a single computer. Internet Connection Sharing is much like a router.
TCP/IP currently has a limit of 4 billion IP addresses, and that's not enough. IPv6 blows away this limitation.
Avoiding websites that are questionable or suspicious is common advice from internet security gurus - but just what does that mean?
Contextual advertising uses on-site clues and additional information to place ads that are likely to be useful to site visitors, or to you.
Small business use of FTP can make a lot of sense, but it's not something you want to host yourself in most cases. I'll give a recommendation.
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing technology.
A good inexpensive VoIP can be hooked up in several ways to a fast internet connection. We look at a few popular VoIP services.
An "Internal Server Error" is an error that's happened within the web server attempting to show you an HTML page. It's typically a server-side problem out of your control
Ebooks are a popular publishing mechanism that allow you to purchase and instantly download a book to your computer. We'll look at what and how.
'Permalink' is a term that's become more visible in recent years with the rise of blogs and blogging software. But what does 'permalink' really mean?
One great use of the internet is historical preservation. There are several ways to post an email chronicle, but each requires a little work.
Advertisements, just like in newspapers or magazines, are nothing more than rented space on a page and should never be confused with recommendations.
Your browser may add a number to your downloaded file name to avoid collisions if you download the a file of the same name more than once.
Downloading a file from the internet is easy - typically just a click or two. But knowing, and controling, where a download goes is a little more effort.
Electronic Greeting Cards, or ecards, seem like a nice idea, but often end up giving the recipient more than intended, in the form of spam or worse.
Internet and on-line petitions seem like a quick and easy way to make a statement. Unfortunately at best they're ineffectual, and at worst they do real harm.
Understanding certificates in your browser is tricky and deleting them not recommended. They are "by definition" supposed to be secure.
With all of today's technology, one would think that it would be easy to track down the owners of "illegal" sites. It's much more complicated than that.
Not being able to access certain web sites isn't that uncommon. Unfortunately there are many possible reasons.
The download you want may be surrounded by often misleading offers of ... more downloads. It's incredibly important to know which one you really want.
One of the very first things that I would be concerned about is your print-to-PDF technology. I'd be concerned that it was downloaded from a questionable site.
Many web services have inactivity time outs that will log you out after a while. I'll look at why, how, and why typing might not count as activity.
When you connect to your ISP you are connecting directly to the internet. You can bypass your ISP, if you like, but only to choose another ISP to do the same.
Link encoding can take on many forms, some of which are normal while others can be manipulated to deceive. I'll look at what you need to watch out for.
The "www" in website addresses is now typically optional, but there was once a reason as to why they were required in URLs.
Streaming audio over the Internet is an easy way to enjoy music and other programs. Streaming audio can, however, expose flaws in some media players.
Video flicker can happen for various reasons when viewing on-line videos. I'll look at some issues viewing video on-line, including video flicker.
Occasionally 'Back' won't work, and will simply land you back where you were, effectively doing nothing. There are reasons, and there workarounds.
Clicking a link on a search engine's results page will take you to the site listed, but often through a not-so-obvious path. I'll explain.
When a PDF is printed, even though it may be standard sized pages, the printer may add margins. You can adjust this behavior when you print.
There are many reasons why pictures don't show on websites. Some you can control, but others are problems with the websites themselves.
Spammers harvest email via a variety of means. One of the most common is to simply surf the web and look for anything that might be an email address.
A web site's automatic sign-in may suddenly stop working when cookies are deleted from your machine.
A reader left a snide remark about one of my recommendations, but it actually raised an important point about recommendations you might find online – there are many opportunities for abuse.
BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing technology, is often suspect in computer problems. It's not BitTorrent at fault, but the files being shared.