Recent Comments


Comment by William on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 09:52 PM)
DNA evidence is way more unreliable than you ever imagined. This podcast will tell you much more: https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2019/07/17/unrel...
Comment by Bob K. on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 08:29 PM)
Thank you, Bob, for this invaluable information. I try to stay away from anything that is "in vogue." Hence I don't do Facebook, and I don't shop on ...
Comment by Joseph on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 08:18 PM)
I took the DNA test with My Heritage since I was adopted..Yes. I know who my birth mother was and not the dad..Met four of my biological aunts and unc...
Comment by Clare on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 07:46 PM)
My dad was born to an unwed 17 yr old girl. He was adopted by an aunt Seventy years later,I tried to determine the identity of his father. My father...
Comment by Butch on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 05:23 PM)
'Populous of the United States" should read as "Populace...." ...
Comment by David on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 05:22 PM)
The first thing that came to mind when that stuff came out was that the government was trying to get DNA on everyone in the country. As an old guy, I'...
Comment by SharonH on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 04:59 PM)
My brother, wife and daughter had theirs done through 23 and Me. It was interesting. I'll eventually do mine. If people want to find out anything abou...
Comment by jim on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 04:35 PM)
Since my son and my daughter are very interested in geneology and they can't trace my side of the family since I was an at-birth adoption, they went t...
Comment by Roger on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 04:14 PM)
Cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Sales will continue to multiply and in a few years millions of samples of DNA will be in the DNA banks. Could cont...
Comment by Bart on Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online? (July 23, 2019 03:58 PM)
It's estimated that over half the caucasian population of the US can already be found using the ancestry and other genetic databases by applying sophi...

Is Someone Searching for Your DNA Online?

You might not think your relative’s genealogy hobby could bring you an hours-long interrogation by the FBI and a search warrant for your DNA. But that’s what happened to one film maker, and with the growing popularity of online DNA testing services, the odds of it happening to anyone are growing. Here's what you need to know, especially if you've submitted a DNA sample to Ancestry or 23andMe...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 23, 2019 | Category: Privacy


Is it Legal to Share Your Netflix Password?

Lots of people share their Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime account with family and friends. But is it a crime to share your video streaming password with friends and family? And will artificial intelligence soon put an end to freeloading on the popular streaming services? Read on to find out...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 22, 2019 | Category: Video


Can This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

Parking and traffic tickets are a nuisance, but a citation for speeding, running a stop sign, or driving while yakking it up on your cell phone can cost you big bucks. Most drivers just pay the fine because they don't understand the legal process. But there are some apps that can help you fight and win. Check out these apps and learn how you can use a bit of cyber to fight your ticket...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 19, 2019 | Category: Reference


Avoid These TEN Common Computing Mistakes

We prefer to blame hackers, cyber-criminals, and shoddy software, but the unpleasant truth is that most computer problems are caused by users. There are a few basic steps you can take to avoid malware infections, data loss, and performance issues. Too often, people try to save time or money by cutting corners, and they end up paying the price. Check out my list of common computing mistakes, and how to fix (or even better, avoid) them. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 18, 2019 | Category: Security


Geekly Update - 17 July 2019

Is Elon Musk working in a secret underground laboratory to create a computer chip that can be implanted in a human brain? Is AT&T tracking your movements and selling your location history to the highest bidder? Why is the newest MacBook Air slower than the previous model? And is it legal to add a flamethrower to your drone? Get answers in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 17, 2019 | Category: Tech-News


Wow, Free Online Photo Editors

A reader asks: 'What tool do you recommend for photo editing when you're away from your own computer and you don't have PhotoShop or something similar available?' It turns out there are quite a few online image and photo editors, and the features they offer are quite impressive. Check out these free web-based image editing tools that are just a click away...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 16, 2019 | Category: Photography


Hey, It's My (digital) Birthday!

Today I'm celebrating a birthday. It was 24 years ago, in July 1995, that The Internet Tourbus first rolled out into cyberspace. And ten years later, AskBobRankin.com was born. With thanks to awesome readers like you, I'll keep on keeping on, with my continuing guaranteed to make you better looking and 146% smarter. Read on!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 15, 2019 | Category: Personal


Is Cloud Storage Secure and Private?

Are you using cloud services like file storage, online backup, webmail and document sharing? Most people don't know much about the safety and security of cloud computing. The parade of high-profile data breaches in the past year has some people worried about the security of cloud services. Are your files and sensitive data safe and secure in the cloud, or are they vulnerable to hackers, snoopers and other threats? Here's the scoop on cloud storage security...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 11, 2019 | Category: Cloud


Geekly Update - 10 July 2019

Why is the co-founder of Apple warning people to get off of Facebook? Will smartphones disappear within five years? Does turning off location services make you invisible online? And can you tell the difference between an iPhone X and a Galaxy S10? Get answers in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and comment!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 10, 2019 | Category: Tech-News


ASCII Artwork - An Internet Treasure

Long before the graphical Web was invented, people were creating computer images that required no special hardware or software to view. ASCII art is composed only of plain text characters, and can be sent by e-mail without attachments. Take a stroll into Internet history, enjoy some ASCII art, and learn how to make your own...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 09, 2019 | Category: Reference


You Can't Take it With You (Digital Estate Planning)

Everyone knows the old cliche about death and taxes. Sooner or later, we'll all kick the bucket, buy the farm, or shed the mortal coil. But when you go, what will happen to your data and online accounts? That's where digital estate planning comes into play. Think of it as having a backup plan to give those left behind access to your data. Here’s what you need to know...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 08, 2019 | Category: Reference


Everything Google Knows About You (and How to Delete it)

Google provides a cornucopia of useful services: search, email, cloud storage, productivity tools, and much more. Virtually all of them are free for personal use, and not very expensive for businesses and other organizations. But free stuff comes with a price. Read and learn what's in your Google history, and how to limit what information is collected...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 05, 2019 | Category: Privacy


Free Graphic Design and Drawing Software

Buying a drawing or graphic design program makes sense if you draw or design graphics for a living. But for most of us, the need for such software comes seldom, and paying hundreds for a dust-collecting program is not very smart. Fortunately, there are plenty of good and free drawing, graphic design and photo editing programs available to help you create a logo, make a brochure, or touch up a photo. Here are some of the best...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 03, 2019 | Category: Software


Here's How to Search The Deep Web

There are over 130 trillion individual Web pages as of this writing. But that's only the very tip of the iceberg. Beyond what popular search engines offer up, there is a universe of information that's online and discoverable -- if you have the right skills and tools. Here's how to gain access to the rest of the Web...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 02, 2019 | Category: Search-Engines


[CLICK] Is That Link Safe?

Is there danger lurking in that link? Do you know how to tell right away if a website (or link) is going to lead you into a world of hurt? A single click can lead to an unwanted download, a malware infection, stolen login credentials, or identity theft. Here are some practical tips and tools you can use to click smarter...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 01, 2019 | Category: Security




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