Recent Comments


Comment by Bill C on Geekly Update - 10 August 2022 (August 10, 2022 10:56 PM)
"I'll wait for the forehead scanner " Bob, The way things are going in DC these days.....It won't be long :(...
Comment by Lucy on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 10, 2022 09:49 PM)
I guess users of Yahoo! Mail or G-Mail are already using the cloud to "store" a lot of personal stuff in all their e-mails, even maybe without realizi...
Comment by Gary D. on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 10, 2022 07:43 PM)
So how can we be sure that Google, and/or other cloud storage providers, will permit us to access that data that we stored with them? I fear that som...
Comment by Frances on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 10, 2022 05:34 PM)
I don't use cloud services with one exception and I don't think it's worth setting one up for me. However, I'm not averse to the idea and I may yet de...
Comment by Jerry Wright on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 10, 2022 01:15 PM)
Great article but I got a chuckle out of the line, "Unless you live in a country with a totalitarian form of government". With all the recent develop...
Comment by Brian B on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 10, 2022 12:16 AM)
Just a little bit of quick research on cloud storage safety: 2012 Dropbox 68 million passwords 2014 Yahoo 500 million customer details 2014 iCloud Do...
Comment by Robert van Ruyssevelt on When Should You Call The Geek Squad? (August 9, 2022 11:54 PM)
I use a local small business with a "no fix no fee" deal. They have never failed to fix the problem and fees are reasonable ($100 - $150 depending on ...
Comment by Bob K on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 9, 2022 07:38 PM)
Hi Bob, As a rule, I believe you, but not this time. Not a chance that I would trust cloud storage. Not, now, not ever....
Comment by RandiO on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 9, 2022 06:59 PM)
Thanks once again, for keeping us abreast of technology, Bob Rankin, I am from the camp that believes in "Everything is as secure as possibly can be.....
Comment by Glen on How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage? (August 9, 2022 02:56 PM)
Hi Bob. I am a senior and have often thought about using cloud services. My biggest concern, however, was not about security (although that was a con...

Geekly Update - 10 August 2022

Are Tesla's self-driving cars mowing down children in crosswalks? Do you want Alexa to mimic the voices of your dead realtives? And have Amazon and Whole Foods teamed up to fulfill a biblical prophecy? 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 August 10, 2022 | Category: Tech-News


How Secure (and Private) is Cloud Storage?

Today I have an answer to those who say “I would NEVER put my files out there on some cloud server... they're much safer on my hard drive!” If you're thinking about using cloud services like file storage, online backup, webmail and document sharing, you may wonder about the safety and security of cloud computing. The parade of high-profile data breaches in the past year may have some people worried. So 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 August 08, 2022 | Category: Cloud


Will This Gadget Replace Your Landline?

In its advertising, Magic Jack appears to be a device that you can plug into your computer and fire the phone company. It sounds too good to be true. So is MagicJack a scam, or does it actually work? Can it really replace your landline, and eliminate your monthly phone bill?” Read on for the surprising answer, and some news about Magic Jack for those who may have considered it in the past...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 05, 2022 | Category: Telephony


Say Hello to Tello - Shrink Your Mobile Phone Bill

Competition is a good thing, because it spurs innovation. Competition among mobile phone service providers benefits consumers, as it drives prices lower and erodes the anachronistic tyranny of long-term contracts that effectively enslave us to entrenched carriers. On the flipside, one example of free enterprise at its finest is mobile service provider Tello. Let's take a look at how it works, and find out if it will help you save on your monthly phone bill...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 04, 2022 | Category: Mobile


When Should You Call The Geek Squad?

A frustrated AskBob reader says: 'My computer is running REALLY slow, and I think it might have a virus. There's also a ticking sound inside the computer. I'm not very technical, so I'm thinking about calling the Geek Squad. Do you think that's a good idea?' Read on for my advice to this reader...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 03, 2022 | Category: Hardware


Here's Your Summer Reading List - Free Ebooks

For centuries, libraries have offered access to the printed wisdom (and folly) of humanity, but only to “authorized personnel” in the beginning. Most people had to travel and pay for books, and that was hard on budgets. But now the Internet makes available more good books, old and new, than one person can read in a lifetime. Ready to curl up in your favorite chair (or at the beach) with a good page turner? Here are some places where you can find quality reads free of charge...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 02, 2022 | Category: Reference


Don't Get Scammed on Craigslist (watch out for Schmeckpepers)

Craigslist is a free online classified ads service that's been around since 1995. It's a popular way to buy, sell, and trade goods or services locally. It's also used as a dating service, a job-hunting and recruiting tool, and much more. Lots of people use it every day for legitimate transactions, but if you're not careful, you could end up getting scammed by a Schmeckpeper. What's a Schmeckpeper? Read on for the answer, and learn about some Craigslist traps to avoid...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on August 01, 2022 | Category: Shopping


Telltale Signs Your Identity Been Stolen

A missing wallet or purse sets off an instant alarm, but many victims of identity theft don't realize it until months after the fact, when the damage has been done to their finances and credit. Nobody wants to be a victim of identity theft, but if you're lucky (or you know the signs), you'll quickly realize when your identity has been stolen. Here's what to look for if you're concerned about possible identity theft...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 28, 2022 | Category: Privacy


Defend Your Inbox With a Disposable Email Address

Have you ever visited a website that required your email address to make a purchase, create an account, play a game, or gain access to information? I'm sure you have, and in some cases you've probably done so hesitantly, thinking that you might be opening your inbox to a flood of spam. A disposable email address provides a handy solution to this and other privacy problems. Read on to learn more...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 21, 2022 | Category: Spam


Geekly Update - 20 July 2022

How is Netflix planning to punish password sharers? What's the best way to revive that 10-year-old PC or Mac gathering dust in the closet? Are you damaging your smartphone battery because of way you recharge it? And is this the end of the road for auto warranty robocalls? 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 20, 2022 | Category: Tech-News


How Private Is Your Inbox?

Do you ever get a creepy feeling that someone, somewhere is reading your email? If so, your suspicions probably focus on nefarious hackers on the dark web, or maybe shadowy figures in the government. But it's much more likely that an email voyeur is someone close to you. Your spouse, your boss, or a nosy parker who runs the computers at work may be peeking at your email messages. Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 18, 2022 | Category: Email


[ALERT] Smishing Scams On The Rise

Scammers and other cyber-crooks are endlessly adaptable, switching to new attack vectors as rapidly as users catch on to old ones. One of the “new” vectors is actually many years old, but it’s achieving some prominence now as mobile phones have become nearly ubiquitous and users have raised their guards against email phishing scams. Read on for the scoop, and how to protect yourself from “smishing” attacks...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 15, 2022 | Category: Mobile


Hard Drive Partitioning Myths, Mistakes, and My Advice...

Occasionally I get a reader question like this: “I just got a new computer with a big 2-terabyte hard drive and I'm wondering about hard drive partitioning strategies. A friend told me to create a very small C: partition for a swap file, put Windows on the D: drive, and create several other partitions for different types of data. That sounds complicated, so is this a good idea?” Read on for my advice on hard drive partitioning...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 14, 2022 | Category: Hard-Drives


Can Simply Opening an Email Trigger a Virus?

Is it possible to get a computer virus by simply opening an email? It's true that email has been and remains one of the most popular attack vectors. Hackers, spammers, scammers, phishers and other cyber-miscreants are all knocking on the door of your inbox. But is it really that easy to slip in, and wreak havoc on your computer? Let's find out...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 13, 2022 | Category: Email


Is Software Piracy a Victimless Crime?

An AskBob reader asks: “I know some of my friends are using commercial software without paying for it. They say it's no big deal to get pirated versions of games from 'warez' sites, and that I'm a fool to pay for Windows, Microsoft Office, and video games when I can download them for free. Software piracy seems like one of those 'victimless crimes', so why is it illegal?” Read on for my analysis...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on July 11, 2022 | Category: Software




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