Here’s how to take charge of the information collected about you by technology companies. Like many people, you probably have online accounts with Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and companies. We all know that these businesses monitor and store certain data about our online activities. But exactly what information do they have? And how can you review, modify, and remove it? The process differs for each company, but the goal is the same. You want to be able to see what data is stored about you, clear any data you don’t want the companies to have, and restrict the type of data they can collect about you going forward. This can be a time-consuming task as the companies don’t make the process quick and simple. But you should still make an effort to review the information being collected about you. Let’s check out the steps for four of the top tech players. Microsoft Using a Microsoft Account is handy as it gives you one set of credentials for Windows, Office, Skype, and other Microsoft apps and services. But that also means Microsoft collects a lot of information about you. To review and modify all this data collection, sign into your Microsoft … Read More
There’s more to Microsoft than just Office, Outlook, and Edge. Here’s a look at other useful programs. You may use Microsoft Office, Outlook, Edge, Cortana, and other key Microsoft apps and programs. But those are just the main events. The folks in Redmond offer a variety of other products, especially for your mobile device. You can use Microsoft Office Lens to scan printed files and save them as Word documents or PDFs. You can use Microsoft Photos Companion to wirelessly send photos from your phone to your PC. You can use Microsoft Launcher on your Android device to tweak your home screen to make it more Microsoft-friendly. You can turn to Microsoft Translator when you need to translate something on the fly. And you can use Microsoft Authenticator to easily sign into your Microsoft Account. Let’s check out these helpful Microsoft apps. Microsoft Office Lens Need a way to scan printed documents via your mobile phone? The free Microsoft Office Lens app can serve that role. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
There’s more to Office 365 than just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You may have a subscription to Office 365 mostly to gain access to Word, Excel, and possibly PowerPoint. But there’s a lot more to an Office 365 plan than just the core Microsoft programs: You can use Office 365 to store and sync files on a hefty 1TB of OneDrive space. You can use Skype to make and receive phone calls and text messages in more than 60 countries with 60 free minutes each month. You can access your calendar and contacts. You can store up to 50GB of messages and file attachments in the online version of Outlook. And you can use most of these features and apps on a mobile device. Let’s go over some best practices for getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription. Choose Your Office 365 Subscription This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
With malware running amok and hacking of personal files at insane levels, now is not the time to get scared and panic. Now is the time to take steps to protect your data on your PC, external drives, and even in an actual hardware safe. Fortunately, there are numerous data protection hardware and software solutions for wherever you store your data and backups. Some are free, some are inexpensive, and some are pricey, but all make it easy to keep your files safe from thieving eyes Here’s a mixed bag of hardware products and software tools which I can recommend after a few weeks of hands-on testing. Datalocker’s Unique USB Flash Drive Comes Armed with Keypad and Display Security experts always advise us to copy or move sensitive data to external drives or the cloud. But even when you are not making a backup, saving confidential files to an external drive, be it a portable hard drive or a USB flash drive, is essential. But flash drives without some level of encryption are still as vulnerable to intrusion as logging on to a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. Enter Datalocker’s Sentry K300–an encrypted micro SSD drive with an onboard … Read More
We all know about good habits – exercise, brushing your teeth, putting your dirty dishes in the sink. Here are nine good habits I’ve picked up in 35 years of working with computers. Some of them I learned the hard way. Good Habit #1: Back Up Daily When I wrote PCWorld’s Answer Line column, I got several emails a week from desperate people who had lost their data. When I asked if they had a backup, the usual response was “I was going to get around to that.” Back up to an external drive, even if you’re backing up to the cloud. The first rule of computing: Never have only one copy of anything. Second rule: Each copy should be on a different storage device. Arguably, this may no longer need to be a habit. With online backup tools such as Carbonite, you can set up your backup and forget about it. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
How often do you receive an email in your Outlook inbox only to decide that you’ll deal with it another time? And how often do you forget to return to that email? Yep, that’s not unusual. Many of us get so much email that we often leave our inboxes filled to the brim with messages that go unattended and unanswered. There must be a way to categorize and flag certain emails so they remain on your radar. And there is, if you’re using Outlook. Microsoft’s desktop email program offers different ways to handle an email that you don’t want to face right away but still need to keep alive. You can tag a message with a name and color category so you can easily spot it and know how to respond to it. You can flag a follow-up to an email to nudge you to look at it on a specific day. And you can set a reminder on a message so you’re alerted about it at a specific date and time. The goal of these actions is to highlight important emails in some way so your attention is drawn or redrawn to them. Let’s check out how to set … Read More
Hackers know your tricks (or lack of them) when you merely tweak an easily guessable password. Changing a character or two in your password doesn’t make it any more secure. As the annual list of the worst passwords, as compiled by security and password management company, SplashData, reveals, most of us are either too lazy or collectively uncreative when it comes to making truly secure passwords. Computer users have only themselves to blame when they get hacked. “Our hope is that our Worst Passwords of the Year list will cause people to take steps to protect themselves online,” said SplashData CEO Morgan Slain. “These past two years have been particularly devastating for data security, with a number of well publicized hacks, attacks, ransoms, and even extortion attempts. Millions of records have been stolen. Even with the risks well known, many millions of people continue to use weak, easily-guessable passwords to protect their online information,” Slain notes. Here are the top 25 most-hacked passwords, by rank, password and whether or not their position on the chart has changed from 2016. You’ll note that numbers one and two are still reigning champs. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already … Read More
You can often best proofread your documents by hearing them spoken. You try your best to proofread your Microsoft Word documents, even tapping into the Grammar and Spelling checker to look for typos or other mistakes. But mistakes invariably sneak through. What is a good way to move beyond reading and re-reading? One handy trick is by hearing your document read aloud to you. Hearing a document often catches mistakes that the eye misses. And if you’re writing an article, a paper, a speech, or another document that needs to be just right, listening to that document can help you better refine and revise it. To hear your documents read aloud, you can call on the built-in Windows Text-to-Speech (TTS) feature. This feature lets you change the voice, control the volume, and select what you want to hear. Open a document in Microsoft Word that you want to hear read aloud. Click on the Review tab to display the Review Ribbon. Position your cursor at the top of your document or a specific spot where you want the speech to start. Click on the Read Aloud icon on the Ribbon. The Speech feature begins reading your document aloud, highlight each … Read More