SEARCH

FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK

We warned you at the beginning of the year that many of your browser extensions are spying on you, tracking what you are visiting, and even inserting ads into pages. These aren’t just no-name developers either: even Avast, one of the most trusted antivirus vendors was in on the game.

about 9 months ago - by  |  44 Replies

The FBI isn’t happy about the latest versions of iOS and Android using encryption by default. FBI director James Comey has been blasting both Apple and Google. Microsoft is never mentioned — but Windows 8.1 uses encryption by default, too.

about 9 months ago - by  |  19 Replies

iPads and iPhones give you control over how your kids can use your devices. You can quickly lock your device to a certain app before handing it over or lock down an entire device with comprehensive parental controls.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

You’ve probably heard all about how the Java browser plug-in is insecure. 91% of system compromises in 2013 were against that insecure Java plug-in. But Java isn’t the same thing as JavaScript — in fact, they’re not really related.

about 10 months ago - by  |  7 Replies

Never download a driver-updating utility. Like PC-cleaning programs, they try to charge you money for a service you don’t need. They do this by scaring you with threats of blue screens and system problems.

about 10 months ago - by  |  37 Replies

Do you get too many newsletters and other promotional emails? These emails aren’t technically “spam” — they’re from legitimate organizations. Thanks to the US CAN-SPAM act, every legitimate company offers a consistent way to unsubscribe from their newsletters.

about 10 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

You’ve probably given a few applications or websites access to your Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, or Microsoft account. Every application you’ve ever allowed keeps that access forever — or at least until you revoke it.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Reading your smartphone or tablet in the dark is probably bad for you. That’s unlikely to stop you, so beyond quitting cold turkey, what are the easiest ways to fix your bedtime reading device so it doesn’t put so much strain on your eyes?

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

If you’ve been eyeing the falling prices on spacious solid-state drives but putting off an upgrade because you don’t want the hassle of reinstalling everything, we here to help. Read on as we show you how to clone your old HDD onto a new HDD and get your entire system back up and running in under an hour; no reinstallation of Windows and all your apps necessary.

about 10 months ago - by  |  16 Replies

We recently explained why you should be using IMAP instead of POP3 for your email. If you still have old POP3 emails stored offline, you don’t have to abandon them — import your POP3 emails into an IMAP account.

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

If a website asks you to download a “codec,” “player,” or “browser update” to play a video, run the other way. You don’t actually need to download this sort of thing — the website is trying to infect your computer with malware.

about 10 months ago - by  |  16 Replies

It’s hard to wrap our minds around all these Internet catastrophes as they occur, and just as we thought the Internet was secure again after Heartbleed and Shellshock threatened to “end life as we know it,” out comes POODLE.

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Wireshark is the Swiss Army knife of network analysis tools. Whether you’re looking for peer-to-peer traffic on your network or just want to see what websites a specific IP address is accessing, Wireshark can work for you.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Minecraft runs just fine on Linux, but it’s probably not available for easy installation in your Linux distribution’s package manager. Here’s how to get your Linux system ready for Minecraft.

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Recently an email has been making the rounds, scaring people like my mom by claiming that the flashlight app on their smartphone is stealing their information and sending it to China. This, of course, isn’t exactly true, and for the iPhone’s built-in flashlight, is patently false.

about 10 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Ever tried to buy a Windows license from Amazon or Newegg? If only it was so simple. You’ll encounter cheaper System Builder (OEM) and more expensive Full Version (Retail) licenses. But the difference isn’t immediately apparent.

about 10 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Wireshark, a network analysis tool formerly known as Ethereal, captures packets in real time and display them in human-readable format. Wireshark includes filters, color-coding and other features that let you dig deep into network traffic and inspect individual packets.

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Java was responsible for 91 percent of all computer compromises in 2013. Most people not only have the Java browser plug-in enabled — they’re using an out-of-date, vulnerable version. Hey, Oracle — it’s time to disable that plug-in by default.

about 10 months ago - by  |  20 Replies

Java tries to install the terrible Ask Toolbar and other obnoxious junk — sorry, “sponsored software” — when you install it. Worse yet, Java bundles this junkware with security updates. This registry hack tells Java to never install that stuff.

about 10 months ago - by  |  22 Replies

The extremely useful Snap feature — introduced as “Aero Snap” in Windows 7 — is much-improved in Windows 10. Snap Assist, 2×2 snapping, and vertical snap features help make you more productive on the desktop.

about 10 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Last year, Google announced plans to lock down Chrome so that extensions can’t be side-loaded by crapware installers. Sadly they’ve found a way to trick users into installing lousy extensions, although in this case these spyware and adware extensions do exist in the Chrome Web Store.

about 10 months ago - by  |  40 Replies

iOS 8 added support for third-party keyboards. Now iPhone and iPad users can finally swap out their keyboards and use some of the same keyboards available on Android devices. Swipe-to-type is now an option for iPhone users, too.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

It’s a tale nearly as old as computers themselves. You pull your trusty old video game console or vintage 1980s computer and it’s yellow, greenish, or some combination there of instead of the gray or beige it once was. What gives? Why does your old tech turn yellow? And further, what can you do about it?

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

The default folder-merge behavior in Mac OS X is to erase the existing folder, deleting all its files rather than offering to merge them intelligently. Windows and Linux file managers have offered folder-merging for decades, but Macs still don’t.

about 10 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

A new focus on the desktop brings new keyboard shortcuts for desktop users, so rejoice! Here are all the new keyboard shortcuts you need to know in Windows 10.

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies