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+.

The reality is that password database compromises are a concern, no matter how a company may try to spin it. But there are a few things you can do to insulate yourself, no matter how bad a company’s security practices are.

about 5 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

Windows 10’s built-in Game DVR feature helps you record your gameplay, capture screenshots, and share them online. But it can interfere with your game’s performance, too. Background recording requires some of your GPU power, and some gamers will want all the GPU power they can get.

about 6 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Hotspot 2.0 networks are a new wireless standard designed to make it easier and more secure to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots. They’re supported in the latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.9 or newer, Android 6.0 or newer, and iOS 7 or newer.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

After axing Flash for Linux in 2012, Adobe revived the Flash plugin for Firefox and other browsers on Linux in 2016. But Ubuntu still installs the old version of Flash by default, unless you go out of your way to get the new one.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Password managers like LastPass are the most secure way to generate and store passwords for all your favorite sites. And, if you want to make them a little easier to use, you can log into your LastPass vault instantaneously using just your fingerprint.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

In most states, Comcast now imposes a 1TB per month data cap on your Internet connection. You’ll want to keep an eye on your data usage meter, especially if you have no idea how much data you regularly use every month.

about 6 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Modern PCs that shipped with Windows 8 or 10 have a feature called Secure Boot enabled by default. It keeps your system secure, but you may need to disable Secure Boot to run certain versions of Linux and older versions of Windows. Here’s how to see if Secure Boot is enabled on your PC.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

A Linux live USB drive is normally a blank slate each time you boot it. You can boot it up, install programs, save files, and change settings. But, as soon as you reboot, all your changes are wiped away and you’re back to a fresh system. This can be useful, but if you want a system that picks up where you left off, you can create a live USB with persistent storage.

about 6 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

When it comes to hard drives, everyone seems to have a horror story about one brand or another that failed them. But are some brands really more reliable than others?

about 6 months ago - by  |  26 Replies

Web browsers normally save your private data—history, cookies, searches, downloads, and more—and only delete it when you ask. If you are constantly clearing it, you can have any browser automatically clear private data when you close it.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Getting a good PDF viewer is easier than ever. Modern web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge can all read PDFs out of the box, so you may not even need one. But if you want a separate PDF viewer, perhaps for the advanced PDF features some documents require, we have some options.

about 6 months ago - by  |  21 Replies

LinkedIn allows you to delete your account, completely erasing your profile from the website. If you’d rather leave your account open and just make those annoying emails stop, you can put a stop to LinkedIn’s emails—but this is the truly nuclear option.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

On some volumes, you may see a new folder called FOUND.000 with a file in it using the .CHK extension. Here’s where those come from, and what they’re for.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Deleting your Amazon account is the only way to completely erase your purchase history. If you want to delete your account for good, here’s how to give yourself a clean slate.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Most of our browser data isn’t too important—cookies expire, and histories eventually get cleared. Bookmarks are different, though, which is why browsers allow you to import and export your bookmarks—ideal for creating backups and migrating between browsers.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Web apps have been replacing desktop apps for everything from email and document-editing to playing videos and music. You don’t have to keep your web apps confined to a browser window—they can become first-class citizens on your desktop.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

The lost+found folder is a part of Linux, macOS, and other UNIX-like operating systems. Each file system—that is, each partition—has its own lost+found directory. You’ll find recovered bits of corrupted files here.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows PCs should shut down fairly quickly—unless there’s a problem causing a shutdown delay. Here’s how to make your computer shut down faster.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows uses a paging file, also known as a page file, as additional virtual memory when your RAM fills up. Windows can clear your page file every time you shut down, ensuring no sensitive data is left in the page file on the drive.

about 6 months ago - by  |  Comments (0)

On every Windows drive—even external USB drives—you’ll find a “System Volume Information” folder. You’ll only see it if you have Windows set to show hidden files and folders, but it’s always there. So what is it for?

about 6 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

When you shut down your computer, Windows doesn’t shut down immediately. Instead, it gives running applications and services some time to close first. You can control how long Windows waits—and whether it automatically closes running applications or not.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Phone call scams are too common. But they’re easier to spot than you might think. If someone calls you and claims to be from the IRS, your bank, Microsoft, or any other company or government agency, it’s probably a scam. Companies and government agencies will almost never call you out of nowhere.

about 6 months ago - by  |  Comments (0)

Want to leave Twitter behind? You can permanently delete your account, erasing all your tweets, followers, favorites, and other data. It will vanish from Twitter almost immediately, and will be fully wiped from Twitter’s servers in 30 days.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Modern robocalls aren’t just telemarketers trying to sell you something. They’re often scammers trying to trick you into parting with your money or identity information. So how do you stop them from coming in?

about 6 months ago - by  |  32 Replies

Product keys are becoming less and less common these days, but if you have a piece of software on your computer—and can’t find its product key—this simple program can help you extract it.

about 6 months ago - by  |  6 Replies