There are several programs that will save your passwords and other critical private information — and they promise to be uncrackable too. We dutifully try as many as come in, and have come to the conclusion that you can do just as well on your own.
We recently wrote about the free programs, Avast and Bitdefender, just days before the new Avast 2014 came out. The new version is free and instructs you to burn a boot-disk on a CD or DVD. After all, it’s all well and good to have anti-virus protection, but what if your computer won’t start at all? Then you better have a boot disk ready. If you Google “create boot disk,” you can get instructions to burn one to CD or flash drive, but it’s nice that Avast prompts you to do it.
For a good free anti-virus, we’ve long recommended Avast. But PC Magazine recently gave their highest marks to another free program: BitDefender. Now along comes Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014, which bundles BitDefender with a lot of other useful programs. It’s $40, and there’s a free trial download from the web site: Ashampoo.com.
A pretty girl, very sweet looking, knocked on our door and said to Joy:”I have to get on the Internet. Can I use your password?” We didn’t know her and she wasn’t a neighbor, but she stood poised and ready with notebook and pen to take down our password.
Every day for two weeks we’ve gotten at least one call purporting to be from Citibank regarding our credit card. It’s one of those robot calls, with no one on the other end of the line, but providing a toll-free number to call about our account. Immediately, if not sooner…
Quite a few people seem upset over the possibility that their online activities are being tracked by the government. Yahoo acknowledges they have answered around 13,000 tracking requests from the feds in the last six months, and Facebook and Microsoft have similar numbers. Google’s “Chrome” browser has an “incognito mode,” but warns that you could be under “surveillance by secret agents.” (Can you imagine what a boring job that must be?) Mozilla Firefox has denounced government tracking and offers add-ons, such as “DoNotTrackMe,” to cover your embarrassing parts. In an upcoming release, they’ll block the most intrusive tracking cookies by default.
Yahoo mail recently started forcing users to upgrade to a new version, or stop using Yahoo. This came off as pushy and a little scary for some of our readers. The supposed benefits are faster email, less spam, and an easier-to-use design. But not everybody is on board. The biggest complaint concerns Yahoo’s new policy of scanning your email messages so they can target ads. Google’s Gmail has done this since its beginning, and it doesn’t bother us. It’s just robots selecting the ads, and we’d rather see relevant than irrelevant ones. Savvy folks point out that if you don’t like your email being scanned, you should stop using your grocery savings card, which also tracks usage. And be wary […]
A reader asked about all those “permissions” requested by phone and tablet apps during installation. What do they want?
Are they recording us without our knowledge? Taking our picture? Reading our contacts and sending unsolicited emails to our friends? “Even paranoiacs have enemies,” the reader said, using one of Bob’s favorite lines.