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Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

Whether you want to store sensitive data on a USB drive, securely email it, or just add an additional layer of security on your hard drive, there are a variety of ways to protect your files with a password.

about 1 year ago - by  |  12 Replies

PCs are all about backwards compatibility, but this can lead to problems. Games designed for DOS or even just earlier versions of Windows may not work properly on modern versions of Windows without some tweaking.

about 1 year ago - by  |  6 Replies

Tablets are great devices to leave on a coffee table and share, but they’re intensely personal. They provide direct access to your email, signed-in apps, and even your Chrome browser history from your PC.

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If you let someone use your computer, they could gain access to your saved passwords, read your email, access all your files, and more. Instead of looking over their shoulder, just use your operating system’s guest account feature.

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Whether you’re building your own computer, installing new RAM, or upgrading your PC’s components, you’ll be opening it up and touching sensitive electronics components. While doing this, you should be careful of static electricity, which can harm your computer.

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Have you ever saved a password in your browser — Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or another one? Then your passwords are likely viewable by anyone with access to your computer while you’re logged in.

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People talk about their online accounts being “hacked,” but how exactly does this hacking happen? The reality is that accounts are hacked in fairly simple ways — attackers don’t use black magic.

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The Windows Task Manager is an important tool for every Windows user. It can show you why your computer is slow and help you deal with misbehaving and resource-hungry programs, whether they’re draining CPU, RAM, disk, or network resources.

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Android allows you to create app shortcuts, but you can also create special shortcuts that link directly to screens within an app. For example, shortcuts could link to the Navigation screen in Maps or any screen in the Settings app.

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We often fixate on smartphone battery life, but most laptops still don’t have all-day battery life. Rather than always using your laptop tethered to an outlet, here are some ways to squeeze more life from your laptop’s battery.

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Batteries need to be cared for properly — they’re a critical part of our mobile devices and battery technology hasn’t advanced as fast as other technologies. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of incorrect information about batteries out there.

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Windows installation disc-customizing tools are always useful. They allow you to add Windows updates to your installation media, streamline the installation process by filling in your product key and other information, and customize Windows’ default settings.

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Some people’s networked printers, cameras, routers, and other hardware devices are accessible from the Internet. There are even search engines designed to search such exposed devices. If your devices are secure, you won’t have to worry about this.

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It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file and realize you need it back. This guide will explain when you can get that file back and how to go about it.

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Google is now pushing Chrome packaged apps, but many Chrome apps are still shortcuts to websites. You can makeĀ  your own custom web apps that function as shortcuts if the website you want isn’t available in the Chrome Web Store.

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Sandboxing is an important security technique that isolates programs, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping on the rest of your computer. The software you use is already sandboxing much of the code you run every day.

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Browser extensions extend your web browser with additional features, modify web pages, and integrate your browser with the other services you use. This guide will introduce you to the world of browser extensions and help you get started.

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PC gaming isn’t quite as simple as console gaming. If you have a laptop with weak graphics hardware or an older PC, it’s important to check whether your computer can support a game before you spend your hard-earned cash.

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There are some things you can only do from the command line, even on Windows. Some of these tools don’t have graphical equivalents, while others are just plain faster to use than their graphical interfaces.

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Some slow-moving businesses and government agencies may not accept documents over email, forcing you to fax them in. If you are forced to send a fax, you can do it from your computer for free.

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Remote printing doesn’t have to be hard, whether you want to print to a printer down the hall or half-way around the world. We’ll cover some simple ways you can print without being directly connected to your printer.

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There was a time when we had to worry about manually updating desktop applications. Adobe Flash and Reader were full of security holes and didn’t update themselves, for example — but those days are largely behind us.

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The web is littered with traps for novice users when downloading software, from fake “Download” buttons that are actually advertisements to installers full of bundled toolbars and other junk software. Learning how to avoid the junk is an important skill.

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The Windows desktop is the sole platform without an app store-style software installation process. Smartphones, tablets, Macs, and Linux PCs all allow you to quickly install multiple programs — but this is more complicated on Windows.

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When you leave the country, you don’t just have to worry about different currencies and languages — you also have to worry about different plug shapes and electricity voltages. There’s no one standard socket shape or voltage.

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