Scottrade offering clients free identity protection services after being hacked

scottrade-logoInvestment firm Scottrade has announced that hackers have breached a database containing the personal information of approximately 4.6 million of their clients.

The company is claiming that the affected clients’ social security numbers and various other sensitive types of information doesn’t appear to have been compromised even though that info is contained in the breached database. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Are free Anti-Virus programs really just as good as the paid versions?

freeQuestion from Hailley G:  Hi Rick. I’ve been reading your blog for a good while now and I’ve noticed that you always recommend using free anti-virus software instead of one of the expensive paid programs.

I really like the idea of using free software whenever possible, but I want to make sure my laptop is protected from all the nasty viruses that are out there these days.

My question: Are the free antivirus programs really just as good as the ones you pay for?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Pentium…Core i3…Core i5…Core i7… Intel CPUs explained.

intel-core-i5-logoI receive lots of emails from readers asking me to explain confusing tech terms in simple, easy to understand English.

Well, truth be told, it’s not always that easy to explain some terminology in a way that a non-geek (I admit it, I am one!) can easily understand what it means.

That being said, I do try my best whenever I can. Other times I feel it’s best to enlist the help of an expert who can better explain the whys and wherefores of a particular topic. And this is one of those times. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can I bookmark the ‘Downloads’ folder in all of my web browsers?

ctrl-jQuestion from Lacie R.:  Hi Rick. This might seem like a crazy situation to you, but I use three different web browsers, all at the same time: Firefox for Facebook, Chrome for Gmail and Internet Explorer for everything else.

The problem I have is remembering how to find the downloads folder for each browser.

Is there any way to bookmark the Downloads folders in my browsers so I can open them really fast and without having to think about it lol? Thanks!

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Why ‘bigger is better’ when shopping for a smart phone

samsung-galaxy-note-iiWhen it comes to smart phones, most of us simply accept as fact that we have to choose between size and convenience. But do we really have to? I really don’t think so.

While it’s true that larger phones are a bit more difficult to carry around and use when making a voice call, I believe that for most people that’s a sensible trade-off to make.

Why? Allow me to explain…

If you take a moment to think about the way most of us use them nowadays, smart phones aren’t simply phones that can also browse the web. They are actually portable computers that also allow us to make voice calls. And they’re pretty powerful computers at that! [Continue Reading]

Review: Dell XPS13 Ultrabook Laptop

dell-xps-13-angle-viewThese days most people seem to be looking for the thinnest, lightest and most powerful laptop they can find.

If you happen to be one of them, the sleek new Dell XPS13 Ultrabook just might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Thanks to its virtually borderless super-thin bezel, this attractive ultrabook has one of the smallest footprints you’re likely to find in a laptop with a 13.3 inch screen. And it weighs in at just 2.8 pounds!

But don’t let the small size and weight of this machine fool you. This is one powerful laptop! Check out this quick run-down of the specs: [Continue Reading]

Scam alert: Don’t buy a ‘cookie cutter’ Amazon affiliate website

scamIf you’ve been using the Internet for a while you’re probably aware of the fantastic Amazon Associates affiliate program that allows bloggers to make money by helping folks find great deals on items at the Amazon website.

In my opinion, there is no better affiliate program in the world because Amazon makes it easy to earn commissions on great products that most buyers end up loving in the end. That’s why I participate in the program myself.

Unfortunately, any time a company comes up with a great idea for helping people do better in life, there are always scammers waiting in the wings to take advantage of people who just want to make an honest living. [Continue Reading]

Review: Writing and Publishing Your First Book: From First Idea to Overnight Marketing Success!

writing-and-publishing-your-first-bookThanks to modern technology and the Internet, it has never been easier or less expensive to get your thoughts into written form and into the hands of thousands of readers. But if you’ve never published a book before, the process can still be confusing and intimidating.

With his comprehensive eBook Writing and Publishing Your First Book: From First Idea to Overnight Marketing Success!, author Gerry Marrs walks you through the process, step-by-step, from concept to publication.

Gerry is an excellent teacher and mentor, and he leaves no stone unturned as he guides you through the entire process of self-publishing your first eBook in the fastest and simplest way possible. [Continue Reading]

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