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Articles written by Greg Cunningham

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Email fun facts

Email, as we know it, was invented by Ray Tomlinson in 1972 while working as a government contractor on the U. S. Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). He used the...

 

Fake tech support scams are on the rise

There are more crooks than ever running fake tech support scams. First it was phone calls, then poisoned pop-ups and hijacked advertising networks, and now social media. When (if) people start to...

 

New phone settings and fixing slow browsers

Hey, congratulations; you've got a new phone. You (or the helpful people at the store) activated your new phone and you're all logged in and ready to go. Before you go out and use your phone to shoot...

 

Watch out for 'mshelper'

In spite of the "ms" in the name, "mshelper" is malware that runs on a Mac "mshelper" is designed to hog all the resources (processor time, memory and hard disk) on a Mac. This can cause your Mac to...

 

Routers, Russians and the FBI

I cringe whenever complicated technical information makes it to USA TODAY and other mainstream media outlets. Not that there's anything wrong with USA TODAY or the other guys, they're just not...

 

Startin' on the Dock of the bay

To use your computer, you need to use either the Dock (macOS) or Start (Windows.) The Dock and Start are how you interact with your operating system and your applications. By default, they both work...

 

Useful software and tips

Network activity The network icon we've had since Windows 7 is useless because all it does is tell if you're connected to the internet or not, which you probably figured out because you've been...

 

Should you #DeleteFacebook?

Without turning this column into a link-fest, I'll try to summarize this whole kerfuffle about Facebook for you and give you some options. In 2014, a developer created a personality quiz for...

 

Your digital legacy and before Google

Part of being a grown-up is facing the fact we won't be here forever. Most people are familiar with wills and family trusts as instruments of helping your loved ones know what to do when you die....

 

Something(s) old and something new

Something old #1 – Fake tech support scams I know we've talked about this before, but the fake tech support scammers are still out there. You know that Microsoft, Apple, HP, the FBI or anyone else...

 

How (and why) to measure computer performance

How do we tell if a computer is fast or if it's faster than that computer over there? What's fast anyway? We need an objective way to measure a computer's speed overall, and it would be nice to break...

 

Switch from Chrome to Firefox

I've been a fan of Google's Chrome browser for years. When it first launched, it was fast and very configurable. The sync feature made it easy to have the same bookmarks on both my desktop and my...

 

Meltdown and Spectre, oh my!

It's unusual when extremely technical problems make the news, but by now you've probably heard about Meltdown and Spectre. Multiple teams of independent researchers have discovered (and named!) these...

 

Helping your new gadgets live a long life

Here are four things you can do to give your new gadget, whether it's a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, a long life. Keep it clean and protected Keeping dirt and grime out of your dev...

 

Jack-of-one-trade websites

These websites do one thing and do it well. You won't need them every day, but when you do, they can really save the day. GIPHY GIFs are those short video animations you see on the internet, GIPHY...

 

Keeping your accounts and devices safe

During this busy Christmas season, it can be more important than ever to protect your personal information. Whether you're shopping online, making travel arrangements, Uber-ing (is that a word?) aroun...

 

Web browsers and extensions

Are you still using Internet Explorer (IE)? If so, we need to talk. Are you tired of seeing "Web page not responding" errors? Tired of seeing "Could not connect to secure page" when you try to...

 

And now for something completely different

With apologies to Monty Python, I'm taking a break from the doom and gloom of tales about security breaches and giant corporations collecting and selling our data and identity theft. Let's start with...

 

Smart speakers: how to protect your privacy

Smart speakers are voice-controlled WiFi-connected devices that can be used as virtual asistants. They can look like a hockey puck, a large air freshener or a regular speaker. Amazon started things...

 

What's important when you're shopping for a computer

So, the time has come to replace your computer. You're ready to start looking at the Best Buy ads and checking out Costco and Amazon for deals. But deals on what? Computer descriptions often include...

 

Equifax Data Breach: What it is and what you should do

What is it? From the middle of May through the end of June, a data breach at Equifax allowed thieves to steal 143 million people's names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some...

 

Passwords - the bad news and the good news

First, the bad news. Back in 2003, Bill Burr, a manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), wrote a paper about computer passwords that eventually became the password mess...

 

Time to replace your computer? Used might be the way to go

But not a used computer like you’re probably thinking. I’m talking about a refurbished computer. You can buy a refurbished computer direct from the manufacturer, e.g., Dell, HP, Apple, etc., or...

 

Backing up your online accounts offline

The internet is a weird and wonderful place and has become something way beyond what anyone thought it could be and something no one could have predicted. From email to videos, to messaging, to...

 

Let's talk about cookies

Mmmm, cookies. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the delicious cookies you make in the kitchen. I’m talking about the cookies stored on your computer. Wait, what? How do these cookies get on my...

 

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