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There’s some 81 million unique IP addresses that expose UPnP functionality from the internet, and more than 6900 different devices are potentially vulnerable, at least, to being hacked from the outside. This means, theoretically, that your router could end up being hacked to forward ports from the outside world, which leaves you open to more hacking.

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Email viruses are real, but computers aren’t infected just by opening emails anymore. Just opening an email to view it is safe – although attachments can still be dangerous to open.

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If you are regularly seeing the “Whoa! Google Chrome has crashed” message, there is likely a problem on your system. An occasional crash can happen, but regular crashes are probably caused by something you can fix.

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Firefox can crash for a variety of reasons, but you can quickly fix most crashes with Firefox’s Safe Mode and Reset features. However, even these tricks won’t fix every crash.

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Previously, we have covered what VPNs are and how you can easily connect to them in Windows. Android also supports VPNs – if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can easily connect it to a VPN.

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Hard drives use S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) to gauge their own reliability and determine if they’re failing.  You can view your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. data and see if it has started to develop problems.

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If Windows won’t boot, recovering your files can be a headache.  You do not have to pull the hard drive or use a Linux live CD – you can use a Windows installer disc to quickly back up your files.

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For years, Java has been the top source of browser exploits. Even after a recent emergency patch, Java is still vulnerable. To protect ourselves, we should assume that Java is always going to be vulnerable.

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Google’s Chrome Web Store offers a variety of themes for Chrome, which include background images for your new tab page and custom colors. Even better — you can create your own theme in just a few minutes.

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We’ve covered virtual private networks and when you might want to use them before. Connecting to a VPN is easy, as Windows and most other operating systems offer built-in VPN support.

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A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.

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The NTFS file system used by Windows has a built-in compression feature known as NTFS compression. With a few clicks, you can compress files, making them take up less space on your hard drive. Best of all, you can still access the files normally.

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Open home Wi-Fi networks are still too common. The situation has improved as wireless router manufacturers began shipping with wireless passwords enabled by default, but there are still too many unsecured Wi-Fi networks out there.

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The Professional edition of Windows 8 comes with “downgrade rights.” If you’re not happy with Windows 8 on a new computer, you can downgrade it to Windows 7 for free – as long as you have Windows 8 Pro.

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Computer repair places like Best Buy’s Geek Squad do a lot of things that you can easily do yourself. Instead of paying for a pricy malware removal or computer tune-up, you can do it yourself.

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You’ve got WEP encryption enabled, your network’s SSID is hidden, and you’ve enabled MAC address filtering so no one else can connect. Your Wi-Fi network is secure, right? Not really.

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Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, and all the other web services out there can be accessed by various applications and other services. Here’s a couple of links that you can use to quickly remove anything that has access.

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If you’re looking to purchase Windows 8, there are two main editions you need to concern yourself with: Windows 8 (similar to the Home edition in previous versions of Windows) and Windows 8 Pro.

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We’ve written about rooting your Android smartphones and tablets before, but why don’t they come rooted? Google argues that rooting is a mistake for security reasons, as it subverts Android’s security model.

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We at How-To Geek appreciate all our readers and hope you have learned new and interesting things from our many articles. We’ve collected the top 25 articles published on How-To Geek in 2012.

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In a world where you can have 3D scenes rendered in real time as your smartphone’s background, plain black wallpapers aren’t the most eye-catching option. However, they can offer battery life improvements over colored wallpapers on some displays.

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Installing RAM should be as simple as placing the new RAM into the slots and powering on your computer. However, a number of issues – both hardware and software related – can cause problems when installing new RAM.

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One of the noticeable changes in Windows 8 was the exclusion of the Wireless Profile manager that was included in Windows 7. While there are a lot of third-party tools to change the priority of the networks you connect to, we’re going to show you how to do it natively in Windows 8.

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Routers protect their web interfaces, where you can configure their networking, parental control, and port forwarding settings, with a username and password. These default passwords can be changed to protect the router’s settings.

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Two-factor authentication, also known as 2-step verification, provides additional security for your online accounts. Even if someone discovers your password, they’ll need a special one-time code to log in after you enable two-factor authentication on these services.

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