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Friday, April 17, 2015

1585. Edit Microsoft Office Documents

I don’t have Microsoft Office installed on my home computer but I sometimes need to be able to create and edit documents. Is there some free way to do that?

Although a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 which allows you to create and work on documents locally is only a small amount of money per month, we understand that not everyone wants to pay that amount of money. 

Microsoft understands this too and provided for free the Microsoft Office online tools. Using these tools you can get most of the features of Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point without paying a penny and it’s all available on line for free. You can’t do everything you would do with the local applications but most people don’t need to. If you don’t want to use Microsoft’s products there are other tools you can use as well including OpenOffice and a few other free office clones.  We have information about these tools with a link on our website, Check it out if you want to work with office documents online for free.

1583. Delete Files Securely

I’m contemplating giving my old computer to a friend. I’m worried about the existing content on the hard drive. How can I securely delete files on the Windows PC so that no one can see my file history or anything on my drive?

This isn’t just an issue when you give your computer away, anytime you delete a file on a Windows computer, all you are actually doing is marking the file as space that can be used for some other thing but all of the content of the file is still there on your hard drive. If you are worried about deleting a file and making it so that no one can ever know that it was ever there you need to take some extra steps. 

In the case of giving your computer away you want to completely wipe the drive and remove everything that was on it. To do that you need some special tools. You might think that just deleting the files or formatting the hard drive would be enough but it’s not. Anyone with the right set of knowledge can recover your data. 

So, you need to look at the link on our website which shows a number of different tools you can use for completely wiping an old hard drive or solid state drive and the tools you need are slightly different. In any case make sure you understand the fact that just deleting or reformatting your hard drive isn’t enough to completely remove the data on your device.

1582. Using a Public Computer Safely

When I’m traveling I often find public computers available for my use in hotels and other locations. I feel a little queasy about using computers just sitting there in hotel lobbies and airports. Are there any precautions I should take when using public computers like these?
If we had the option, we’d prefer not to use public computers at all. Sure, they’re sitting there, all tempting and everything, but you’re just asking for trouble if you use one for anything other than casual Web browsing. You have no idea what they’ve been used for previously, and have no idea who has touched it before you got there (and we’re not even considering the germs and stuff)! In the worst-case scenario, someone could have installed a key logging utility that tracks and transmits every keystroke you enter, waiting for you to enter a crucial password and then steal the information that you enter.
Computer viruses spread easily, and can infect a USB drive that you plug in. It’s all too easy to attach a USB drive, get infected with a virus, and then attach that same drive to your own computer and propagate the virus. You’ll probably want to be slightly circumspect about using your USB devices with a public computer.
The only time Ken has used a public computer at a hotel is to print a boarding pass (back in the days when printed boarding passes were “a thing”). Even then, using the public computer was a little worrisome, as you have to enter your airline password to print the boarding pass. We have a few suggestions, if you find that you must use a public computer.
First, you want to ensure that subsequent users of the computer can’t tell where you’ve been, and what data you’ve entered. To make this happen, make sure you use the browser’s “in cognito” or “anonymous” mode, so that the browser doesn’t add any of your browsing history to its stored history, and doesn’t save any cookies. In addition, take a moment and clear the browser’s cache and cookies once you’re done—the steps to do this are specific to the browser, but generally you can find the option to clear these in the Internet options for the specific browser.

There are other precautions you might want to take, as well. For a more complete list, check out the article here:

1581. Sync Windows 8 Settings using OneDrive

I use Windows 8 on my home computer and my work computer and I would like to synchronize my settings such as my desktop background on both computers. Is there a way to do this?

Windows 8 is really configured for just this sort of thing. All the settings you might make on one computer can easily be transferred to another using the built-in sync settings. There is an article on our website that shows you how you can set this up and actually it is turned on by default as long as you log into Windows using your Microsoft account. 

Then, your information will be synchronized using Microsoft’s OneDrive. There are a lot of settings you can change that change what items you will actually synchronize and those are pointed out in the article we point to on our website. So check it out, this is easy to set up and it makes it really nice for moving from one computer to another.

1580, Cancel AOL Internet Service

I've been paying for internet service through AOL for as long as I can remember. The price has gone up and up and up, and this month, they raised it again. What can I do about this?

I’ve been paying for internet service through AOL for as long as I can remember. The price has gone up and up and up. This month they raised it again. What can I do about this?

You are not alone in paying AOL for your service, a lot of people monthly give AOL money. The problem is you are paying for something you’re probably not using. If you are giving AOL money you are actually paying for dial-up connection. If you use anything besides dial-up connection there is no reason to give AOL money at all. If you need the dial up connection that is using your normal telephone line then yes, there is not much you can do about it because there aren’t that many providers now for dial-up internet service. 

But if you have DSL or cable or some other way of connecting to the internet you need to contact AOL immediately and turn off that payment. We have included a link on our website that shows where you can go to do that, but do it right away because you are wasting money giving AOL money unless you are using their dial-up service.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

1586. Dealing with Microsoft Accout Password vs Email Password

I am really confused about my Windows password and my email password. I use my email account to log into Windows but when I use that same password to log into my email it doesn't work. It's as if they are two different accounts. What's going on here?

Well they are two different accounts. Your are just using the one user ID for accessing two different systems.  

With the introduction of Windows 8 this password thing has become even more confusing. If you have a Windows 8 computer or if you have gone to the Windows store you have a new user ID very much like your Apple credentials to access your account at the Apple store. 

But Microsoft has added some new things like that same user that you have to access the Microsoft store can be used to log into your Windows 8 computer. This is a nice feature so if you are logged onto your computer you are automatically able to access the MS store.

If Microsoft is hosting your email using Office 365, then that account can also be used to log into your computer.

You could then change the password at the Store and not change the email password. Now you have two different passwords for the same userID. I recommend if you change one accounts password you change the other. 

All of this gives me more justification to strongly recommend having a good password manager.

But another approach is to have a website you can go to and reset your Microsoft account., but remember to log into your email and change that password.

1587. Resetting Your AppleID Password

I am in rel trouble now. I can't remember my password for my ApplID on my iPhone and iPad. I can't download any applications and I can't get any updates. How can I reset my AppleID and password so I can get back to work using my devices?

Fortunately Apple has thought you might forget your ID Ken and they put together a good solid procedure to gain back your Apple access. We have detail instructions on our website. But I will do a quick walk through.

  1. Go to My Apple ID and select Reset your password.
  2. Enter your Apple ID, then click Next. If you don't remember your Apple ID or email address, choose Forgot your Apple ID.
  3. After you enter your Apple ID, there are three ways you can change your password:

Answer your security questions

  1. Select “Answer security questions,” then click Next.
  2. Select your birth date, then click Next.
  3. Answer your security questions.
  4. Set a new password and select Reset Password.

Use email authentication

  1. Select Email authentication, then click Next. Apple will send the email to your primary or rescue email address.
  2. Open the email and select the link to change your password.
  3. When the My Apple ID page opens, set a new password and select Reset Password.
Use these steps if you didn't get the email or can't find it.

Use two-step verification

  1. Enter your Recovery Key.
  2. Choose a trusted device. We'll send your device a verification code.
  3. Enter the verification code.
  4. Set a new password and select Reset Password.
If you permanently lost your recovery key or access to your trusted device, you can't change your password.