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A few security lessons from the Target breach

The Target breach points out some facts of life on the Web: We’re all targets (pun intended) of cyber thieves. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves. Here’s how to protect yourself from the next big breach.

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Keep a healthy PC: A routine-maintenance guide

As with all devices, regular maintenance will keep your Windows PC operating smoothly through the years. Here are the essential tasks that can help PC users — of all levels — maintain strong, secure, and stable systems.

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The best of LangaList Plus from 2013

Subscribers to the paid version of Windows Secrets are familiar with Fred Langa’s weekly LangaList Plus. This week, everyone can enjoy the best of the 2013 columns. These Q & A sessions are for computer users of all levels. Many paid Windows Secrets readers save these articles for future troubleshooting reference.

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Securing XP PCs after Microsoft drops support

All good things must come to an end; in less than four months, Microsoft will officially end support for Windows XP. Here are the steps I’ll take to ensure that my remaining XP machines are as secure as they can be.

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Pre-encryption makes cloud-based storage safer

I must confess: Until recently, I deeply distrusted the security of cloud-storage services such as SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. But now, thanks to pre-encryption software, I’m now comfortably using several cloud services — with no worries about the security and privacy of my files.

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MS adds more options to Office 365 Home Premium

No matter how you measure it, Office 365 Home Premium has defied the odds and become a surprising success. This quick overview of Microsoft’s for-rent Office suite for home users tells why — and reveals new features available to you any day now.

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A hands-on look at Microsoft’s new Xbox One

Microsoft is out to conquer your living room with the new Xbox One entertainment system. Now marketed as a multimedia system, Microsoft’s newest console has winning capabilities — but also some worrisome failures.

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Botnet innovation: Resistance is (nearly) futile

Since their inception, botnets have been one of the more difficult threats to neutralize, and new and innovative techniques are making this malware even more difficult to stop.

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‘PC settings’ gets major makeover in Win8.1

Microsoft made a host of changes to the commands and options on Windows 8.1′s PC settings page, adding new functions and moving or renaming others. The result is a better user experience — but one that’s undeniably confusing at first. Here’s a guide to the most important changes.

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Moving up to Windows 8.1 without an MS account

Microsoft makes it difficult — but not impossible — to run Windows 8.1 without a Microsoft account. There are ways around Redmond’s demands, but only if you know the right path. Plus, solving other problems with the Win8.1 upgrade.

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