Need a magnifiying glass? Use your smart phone!

magnificent-magnifier-logoDo you always have a magnifying glass handy when you need one? Me either. But I always have my smart phone with me, and I’m guessing you do too. A wonderful free Android app called Magnificent Magnifier turns your phone into a lighted magnifying glass!

With Magnificent Magnifier you can change power of the magnification and turn the light (your camera’s flash) on or off as needed. It’s pretty much as simple as that! You can download Magnificent Magnifier for free from the Google Play Store. [Continue Reading]

How to bypass the Windows Login screen

skip-login-screenIf you’re the only person who ever uses your computer you can have Windows boot straight to the Desktop or Start Screen without prompting you for a password.

It’s easy to set up and the instructions below will show you how to do it. Simply skip to the section with instructions for your particular Windows version.

Windows XP

1 – Click Start > Run.

2 – Type control userpasswords2 into the box and click Ok.

3  – Uncheck the box beside Users must enter a username and password to use this computer, then click Ok.[Continue Reading]

Q&A: Why is Windows 8 not using all of my RAM?

windows-8-logoQuestion from Rodney T: I have an Acer Aspire 5552G-7641 with 8GB of RAM. It came with Windows 7 which always showed the entire 8GB on the System Information screen.

My employer paid for a copy of Windows 8 so I backed up my data and wiped the hard drive, then installed Windows 8 (that was an ordeal in itself but I won’t go into it here lol).

Long story short, after installing Windows 8 the System Information screen is only showing 3GB of RAM even though the BIOS screen shows the full 8GB. Did I do something wrong?[Continue Reading]

Selling your smart phone? Wipe it clean first!

smart-phoneYou probably know how important it is to wipe all of your personal information from your computer’s hard drive before selling it or giving it away, but it’s just as important to wipe away every trace of your digital life from your smart phone before selling it as well. Here’s how:

1 – Back up your contacts and photos. You’ll find any number of backup apps to choose from in your phone’s app store.

2 – If your phone has a SIM card, remove it and keep it. The new owner can procure one of his/her own.

3 – Either remove and keep the SD card or wipe it clean by formatting it. You’ll find the format utility in the Storage section of your phone’s settings screen.

4 – Reset your phone back to its factory settings. Refer to this post for instructions.

Now that you have removed all of your personal information and photos, you can hand off your phone to its new owner with no worries.

The nasty Citadel Malware is now attacking password manager apps

scamI have never been all that keen on password manager apps because if a miscreant is able to compromise your master password, ALL of your passwords become available to the crook.

Not it seems that my paranoia concerning password managers was justified. The nasty Citadel malware that’s been compromising the websites of banks and other institutions of late has started attacking password manager apps via a special keylogger that’s built into the malicious code. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How can I prevent Dropbox from loading automatically when Windows starts up?

dropbox-logoQuestion from Manny P.:  I use Dropbox to store some of my files, but only with a couple of programs that I only use once or twice a week.

Since I don’t use it that often, I don’t want the Dropbox app to load every time I load Windows. I’ve disabled automatic startup with Autoruns, but it always starts up automatically the next time I start Windows.

How do I prevent Dropbox from loading automatically? I’d much prefer to load it manually when I actually need to use it. Thanks in advance for your help!

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to send an encrypted, self-destructing email

oneshareHave you ever wished you could send someone an email that would simply vanish after the recipient has read it?

Or perhaps you needed to send someone a piece of sensitive information (i.e. banking information, SSN, or passwords) and keep it away from prying eyes? Well, as luck would have it there’s a fast and easy way to do both at one time! is a secure, encrypted website that allows you to send encrypted messages to anyone in the world and have the message evaporate into thin air as soon as it is read. The message can only be read once, and since it’s encrypted end-to-end you won’t have to worry about your sensitive information getting hijacked somewhere along the way. And by the way, the service is completely free!

Here’s how it works:[Continue Reading]

Why you should use a Limited User Account in Windows

microsoft-windowsMicrosoft Windows allows two types of local user accounts, and in my opinion every PC should have one of each installed even if only one person will be using the computer.

A quick rundown of the differences between the two account types will make it easy to understand why:

1 – Administrator Account – An Administrator account on a Windows PC is very much like the Root account on a Unix/Linux machine.

In a nutshell, a user logged into an account with Administrator privileges can do pretty much anything on the computer. He/she can view every file on the system, change system-wide system settings, run all installed programs, add new programs, install new hardware and change the usernames and passwords of other users. [Continue Reading] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to