Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks

Why Did a Norton VP Say That Antivirus Was Dead? by Kelly Lynn

  Symantec, together with Norton, which it acquired, actually invented the antivirus product category back in the 80s. The two are still top names in paid computer security software today, getting customers to pay as much as $20 for each license. A statement made in a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal by Bryan Dye, Symantec's VP for Information Security, should be of interest to these customers. The VP is quoted as saying, "Antivirus is dead; we don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way." Symantec still sells antivirus. What could they possibly want, shooting down their own product? The problem with antivirus Antivirus software protects computers in two ways. The first is through stocking up on virus signatures. Each time an antivirus vendor discovers a new … Continue reading

Should You Begin Encrypting Your Email? by Kelly Lynn

  News reports about identity theft and government surveillance have meant that many people are now worried about their privacy on the Internet. Yet, most never get around to using secure technology as widely available as email encryption. Why do most people ignore email encryption Email encryption is commonly ignored for a simple reason -- it tends to be overly complicated to use both for the sender and the receiver. To begin, to send an encrypted email to someone, both you and the person receiving your email need a private key and a public key. You need to exchange the public key with one another and keep the private key to open emails that you receive. With such complexities involved, most people are understandably not interested. Why isn't there a … Continue reading

Staying Safe on Windows Store by Kelly Lynn

  Any app store is bound to contain a certain amount of spam - apps that offer little value. Microsoft Windows Store for Windows 8, though, has more than its fair share - it brims with them. What kind of spam does Windows Store have? Using the search function on Windows Store can be a challenge. Nearly any search for a popular app such as iTunes, VLC, Firefox, Candy Crush Saga or Adobe Flash tends to turn up dozens of similar results, all with the same branding and design as the original. Most of these results tend to be for useless programs. What do these apps do? The publishers of the spammy apps on Windows Store drum up business by copying the names and logos of the popular products. The … Continue reading

Great New Shortcuts for Windows 7 by Kelly Lynn

  Windows 7 introduced several shortcuts that were unavailable on previous versions of Windows. While the operating system has been around for five years now many users are still unaware of these useful tricks. Here are several pro shortcuts that everyone should know about. Folder shortcuts Shift- Ctrl-N : This combination creates a new folder, whatever Explorer window you may be in. Alt-Up : When you're in a folder, pressing the Alt-Up key combination will take you one level up. While it would be nice to have an Alt-Down shortcut, it wouldn't make sense -- while there's always only one way to go up in any folder, you may have more than one subfolder to drill down into. Windows wouldn't know which way to go lower down if you held … Continue reading

Uninstalling Bloatware on Windows 7 for a Smoother Experience by Kelly Lynn

  Windows 7 comes with a load of bloatware that most users either have little knowledge of or no use for. You can easily uninstall all this unnecessary software for a leaner, cleaner system. All you need to do is to search in the search box on the Start menu for Turn Windows features on or off . When you turn the utility on, you'll see a dialog box that allows you to pick the features to keep and the ones to get rid of. Here are ideas for several features that would make good candidates for uninstalling. The fun stuff Windows comes with a number of simple games built in -- Titans, Spider Solitaire, Purble Place, Free Cell and other well-known names. Since it's easy to find far better … Continue reading

More Nifty Tricks for Your Taskbar by Kelly Lynn

  The taskbar tricks in an earlier article talked about convenient keyboard shortcuts to use with the taskbar. Here are more shortcuts to try out, and an advanced tweak. Useful little keyboard shortcuts for the taskbar . When a program has a number of open instances, holding down the Control key while clicking repeatedly on its taskbar button allows you to cycle through all the instances. . If you want to pin a file to the jump list of the program that opens it, usually, you would open the file, right-click on the program's button on the taskbar, find the name of the file on the Recent segment of the jump list, and pin it. There's a much easier way, though -- you simply drag the file that you need … Continue reading

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for the Taskbar by Kelly Lynn

  As convenient as it is to use a mouse to point and click on anything that you want on your computer, it isn't as easy as simply tapping a couple of keys on the keyboard - if you know which keys to tap. To veteran computer users, the difference in convenience is as substantial as the one between using a remote to switch channels on a television, and actually getting up to do it by hand. The following tips focus on keyboard shortcuts to help you make the most of your taskbar. Win+number key If you have several programs pinned to your taskbar, it's easy to open any one of them with nothing more than your keyboard. Hold down the Windows key, find the position on the taskbar that … Continue reading

Tips to Help Make the Batteries in Your Devices Live Longer by Kelly Lynn

  Most of your electronic gadgets depend on rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology to stay powered. To make sure that you batteries stay usable and retain capacity for as long as possible, though, you need to follow a few basic rules. Don't leave your laptop plugged in If you're using your laptop, and you're near a power outlet, you would usually want to plug it in -- even if you had a full battery. Apple, though, recommends against keeping a laptop plugged in all the time. It isn't that your battery will overcharge -- it has circuitry to prevent that from happening. The problem is that never allowing a lithium-ion battery to discharge, can make it lose capacity. Even worse, keeping your laptop's battery at full charge while it's in the … Continue reading

Have You Looked into Updating the Bios on Your GPU? by Kelly Lynn

  Computer guides for gamers often talk about how important it is to gaming systems to have the latest drivers for their graphics cards. Keeping up makes sure that a card has every recent tweak for efficiency and compatibility. Not many guides, though, bring up BIOS updates for graphics cards. While a driver is software that you install on Windows to help it work with a piece of hardware like a graphics card, BIOS is even more basic -- it is software that resides right on the graphics card. When graphics card manufacturer releases a BIOS update, they do it to take care of issues far more basic than any driver could address. If the manufacturer of your graphics card has a GPU BIOS update, you should install it. Where … Continue reading

Solutions: Calibrating Your Laptop's Battery Meter and Pausing Windows Defender by Kelly Lynn

  Here are solutions to two simple challenges that you may face with your computer. Calibrating the battery on your laptop Age and exposure to heat tend to cause laptop batteries to lose some of their capacity over time. Sometimes, though, what seems like a problem with a worn-out battery turns out to be something else -- the ability of the battery's inbuilt meter to measure the battery's charge accurately. While a number of things can throw an inbuilt battery meter off, a battery that is never allowed to drain completely tends to be one of the most common reasons why inbuilt meters become inaccurate over time. To keep the battery's meter in good shape, you need to calibrate it at least once every three months. Some laptops come with … Continue reading