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Firefox Cool Features

June 2024 – Firefox offers some advanced privacy settings and the ability to remove some tracking information when copying an address.

Why Spam is Hard to Stop

May 2024 – Why doesn't your email provider's spam filter work better? Let's look under the hood at how scammers can obfuscate their phishing attacks.

Why I recommend DuckDuckGo Email Addresses

May 2024 – DuckDuckGo Offers an email forwarding service that will protect you from trackers and reduce your spam. It works well. The unique email addresses will become more and more useful in the coming years.

Getting Free and cheap Ebooks

May 2024 – Free E-books are not all they are cracked up to be, but cheap e-books are really much more available and prevalent than most people realize. Here's a deep dive into both free and inexpensive e-books.


April 2024 – Libby is the App used by many county library systems to allow you to immediately check out E-books. Here's how to use it.

Scam of the Month

March 2024 – Tax season, Tax scammers. Be very careful during tax season because miscreants are out to fleece you. They can come up on to of search results and appear legitimate. Here is an explanation and two good mitigation strategies.

Interesting Articles

March 2024 – Four articles that caught my interest recently. Historical photos, Google settles a $5 billion privacy suit, here's why. Police are getting our medical records without a warrant and the FBI warns of QR code scams.

Secure My Email

February 2024 – SecureMyEmail is the easiest and simplest way to send and receive secure email messages and attachments. This inexpensive service knocked my socks off, it is so easy for both the sender and recipient.

Incogni Update: Data Broker Cleanup

February 2024 – I'm updating my review of Incogni data broker removal service after using it for almost a year. I'm going to stick with it. I get much less email and phone spam.

Scam of the month

January 2024 – The FTC warns us about QR Code Scams. Be sure you know where the code is sending you before you go there. Here are two programs you can use to prevent being sent someplace nefarious.

Ad and tracking checkers

December 2023 – I ran a battery of tests on five browsers with and without my favorite ad blocker installed. Here are the results and recommendations.

Getting More From Firefox's Awesome Bar

November 2023 – Getting more from the Address bar in Firefox. This includes shortcuts to search bookmarks or history as well as finding in page.

Best VPNs

November 2023 – What is a VPN? Who should use one? Which ones are good? All this and more.

Kanopy - Free High-Quality TV and Movies

October 2023 – The library does more than just lend books. It also provides a full-blown streaming service with a wide selection of movies, classics, TV shows and documentaries. These are available for free with a library card. Here's how to start streaming programs and movies from your library's collection.

Global Privacy Control

October 2023 – Global Privacy Control (GPC) is a new standard being adopted by some states and by the European Union. It sends a signal from your browser to websites requesting that they don't sell or distribute your data. Here's how to turn it on.

Two Interesting Articles

October 2023 – America's new Cyber Trust Mark. What is it and why have they done it. Also, hackers are now selling your private information for as little as $15 because it leaks out of credit bureaus.

Setup Auto Reboot for your router

September 2023 – Why you should set your router to automatically reboot and how to do it.

Some Interesting Articles You Might Enjoy

September 2023 – Two articles about AI I found interesting and one about the mysterious Dark Patterns

Two Useful Firefox Features

August 2023 – Two Firefox features you might not know about: 1. How to tab back and forth through your tabs 2. How to take a screenshot of an entire webpage, regardless of length.

How to Wipe Your Router and Why you Should

July 2023 – We've recently learned that our routers contain substantive information about us and our networks. It is important to wipe your old router before re-cycling it.

Emailing Instructions for Check Writing

June 2023 – Many organizations have a President or other manager email a bookkeeper to write a check to someone. This is no longer a safe practice. Miscreants are sending bookkeepers emails and attached invoices that seem real. What is the proper policy?

Firefox Protection Dashboard

June 2023 – Firefox's new Protection Dashboard is an excellent tool for this browser. How do you use it and what will it do for you?

Passwords - The latest

June 2023 – Password cracking tools are getting better and better. They are progressing right along with other computer and Internet technology. Many passwords that were safe, are insecure now. Here's how they are cracking your passwords and what you need to do about it.

How Many Times Were You Pwned?

June 2023 – HaveIbeenpwned is a valuable Internet resource that maintains a database of companies that had account breaches. They have 674 breaches and over 12 billion breached accounts! Here's how to use the site to check your email address.

A Better Way to Do One Time Passwords

May 2023 – This article recommended Twillio's Authy for the desktop, which was killed by Twillio. There is some general 2fa information that may be of interest, but not the recommendation of Authy.

NSA - How to secure your home network

May 2023 – The NSA has an excellent PDF pamphlet on how to secure a home or small business network. They give excellent advice.

Four Simple ways to preserve your privacy

April 2023 – Here are 4 simple ways to help preserve your privacy online. Each one is presented simply and with links you can use. All these methods are free.

Never Use the Same Password Again

April 2023 – Probably the worst security mistake beginners make is re-using their password. Databases are available online containing 22 billion usernames and passwords. Never use a password included in that database. Your username password combination are probably there more than once, so don't repeat them.

Will faster Internet be Useful?

April 2023 – How to determine your Internet speed needs to make sure you are not paying too much and are able to do what you want.

When Emails Fail to Send

March 2023 – Sometimes you send out emails, but they don't make it to their recipient. Here's what you need to do to get your emails sent, and also to fix the underlying problem.

DuckDuckGo AI search

March 2023 – DuckDuckGo is beginning to try and provide AI assisted searches. The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step. This is just a small step.

You.com search engine

February 2023 – You.com search engine is privacy centered, customizable and includes an AI Chatbot. Here's why I switched to it.

Thunderbird Rebuild

February 2023 – Thunderbird will soon have major improvements. Here's why and a preview of what to expect.


January 2023 – Is AI (artificial intelligence) the next electricity or the end of the world? How can you experiment with it? What can it do for you now? What are its benefits and problems? All this is in one short article!

Best articles of 2022

January 2023 – Here are the articles that I thought were the most important from last year. You might have missed one, or simply would like to review some.

How to check if a site is legitimate

December 2022 – Eleven signs to look for to determine if a new site is trustworthy. Then, a few links to services that allow you to find out how these signs apply to any website you choose.

Computer Generated Art

December 2022 – How you can use digital art or just play with this technology for free. The results can be amazing and useful. I include a site that allows you to play and make useful images for free.

Blocking Popup Messages

December 2022 – How to block the annoying pop-up messages on websites telling you they use cookies.

Backup batteries for routers

November 2022 – In addition to a backup battery for your computer, you can get a less expensive one for your modem and router. This can allow you to use the Internet for awhile if the electricity goes out.

Router safety

September 2022 – Routers stand between you and millions of nefarious characters who'd like to break into your computer. Here's the steps necessary to keep it secure.

Search Engine Reviews

September 2022 – I've used four privacy respecting search engines during the last month. Here's how I feel about them. Two will absolutely be with me for a long time, and a third is a contender.

Firefox total cookie protection

September 2022 – Firefox has created an excellent third party cookie prevention system which seems to be better than any of their competitors. Here's how it works.

Search engines

August 2022 – Don't limit yourself to a single search engine that spies on you. Use many search engines that don't spy on you. Some are better for some things, others work better for other things. Here are many good search engines and how to switch from one to another.

Proton Me

July 2022 – If you ever need secure email, file storage, file sharing, calendar or VPN then Proton should be checked out. They have a range of account prices from free to enterprise level. The free account will work for many and the $50/yr. account will satisfy most of the rest of my clients.

Global Privacy Control

June 2022 – What is the new Global Privacy Control header and how will it protect you? When will California begin prosecuting websites that don't enforce it? How can you make sure you are taking advantage of this new privacy tool?

Quack it

June 2022 – Don't google, quack.


June 2022 – Tresorit is potentially useful for anyone who wants to store and sometimes share files securely. If you fall into that camp, then you should understand what Tresorit offers. It provides this job very well.

Proton's CEO fights dictators and Big Tech

June 2022 – Proton is a big name in secure email, and is expanding out to a secure drive, VPN and calendar. Highly respected. Here its CEO, a former CERN particle physicist, talks about providing security for dissidents others.

Streaming speeds

May 2022 – How much speed do you need to stream video to your TV or to run your office? How can you purchase enough, but not waste money on too much?

Tracking Important information

April 2022 – Here's how to track all your software licenses, Unique passwords and other critical information. All your passwords should be unique.

Interesting Stuff

April 2022 – A space hotel could open in 2027! Also, how browser tracking is increasing what you pay for items.

You need 2 ways to send email

March 2022 – Sometimes your mail gets blocked by the recipient. This can happen to anyone. So, it is necessary to have a backup way to send email. Here's how.

Clean up Brave

March 2022 – Give Brave a cleaner look by removing the unwanted options from the taskbar and new tabs.

Best articles of 2021 part 2

February 2022 – Links to the five best articles from the last six months of 2021.

Opt out of advertising

February 2022 – How to opt out of some customized advertising in Windows and Android. Widen your privacy circle.

Duck.com email addresses

January 2022 – Free email addresses from DuckDuckGo will strip out any trackers and then forward the message to you. Just sign up for an address and point to your current email address.

Ublock Origin

December 2021 – A quick guide to the best ad and tracking blocker. It will reduce your Internet risks in under 5 minutes.

Everyone needs 2 browsers

December 2021 – If you don't have a backup browser, you will eventually get locked out of some site. These are my recommendations.

Victim training

November 2021 – Your bank and other trusted sources are training you to be a victim of malicious hackers. Here's how to escape their training and 90% of the attacks we are facing.

Firefox's new advertising, tracking, and search control

November 2021 – Firefox has added a new feature called Firefox suggest that allows them to have more control what you see and to force more ads on you. I explain it and show you how to turn it off.

Three categories of encryption:

September 2021 – How to quickly judge the type of encryption you are promised by vendors. Understanding E2EE and when it is important.

Interesting articles

September 2021 – 3 articles I found particularly interesting this month. What happens to some online accounts on your death? NY City's biometric privacy laws and and inside look at an industry that uses cell phone apps to track and unmask you.

Setting up Credit card processing

August 2021 – Setting up my account with Square to accept credit cards.

FBI Monitors phones of 10,000 people without a warrant

August 2021 – The FBI and Australian Government sold an Anon privacy phone and VPN service to people on the dark web for a few years. It enabled many drug busts and arrests, but bypassed American civil liberties.

Review of Asus Ax3000 router

August 2021 – Why I consider the Asus RT-ax3000 an excellent choice for a home or small business router.

How to turn off MS Newsfeed

July 2021 – Recently Microsoft stuck a newsfeed, advertising dashboard and embedded weather webpage onto your taskbar. Here's how to turn it off.

Buying a new router

July 2021 – What to look for when buying a new router and what all that jargon means.

A Novice leaves Godaddy and Gmail!

June 2021 – An older non-technical computer user describes how he moved his domain and email from Godaddy and Gmail to Runbox. What he did and what the experience was like.

Google Backup

June 2021 – A step by step guide to downloading a copy of your Gmail Emails from Google to your local computer. Also, how to view, search and print emails from your new local archive.

Critical Security considerations

June 2021 – What to consider and some tips to staying safe in our new cloud based world.

Switching from Chrome to Vivaldi

June 2021 – Directions for switching from Google's Chrome browser, to my favorite browser, Vivaldi.

Secure email services

June 2021 – Two secure email services and a discussion of the issues with secure email. Followed by some tips for those who only infrequently need secure email message transmission.

Email Options

May 2021 – A look at various email options and some recommendations for better services that respect your privacy.

What is a VPN good for?

May 2021 – What VPNs do and do not do, with two recommendations.

Interesting Articles

May 2021 – Articles on security and privacy invasions by Google and the lack of security for voting machines.

Two Ad-blocker tests

May 2021 – Two sites to test your ad-blockers.

The Best Password Managers

April 2021 – What types of password managers are there and which are best?

DuckDuckGo More features

March 2021 – DuckDuckGo, my preferred search engine, has lots of extra features. Here are some of them.

Stop Cookie warnings

March 2021 – How to stop those absurd warnings from sites explaining that they use cookies. We know it already!

Vivaldi 2 level tabs

March 2021 – The best browser just got better. When I middle click to open link in a new tab, Vivaldi now creates a second layer sub-tab! A great way to organize your browsing tabs.

Malicious ads in search results

March 2021 – Malicious ads sometimes appear in search results mimicking legitimate sites. They even appear to point to the correct sites. Here's how to avoid getting trapped.

Amazon privacy

February 2021 – You have a lot of control over what information Amazon makes available to others. Here's how to exercise it.

Layered Security for 2021

January 2021 – Protecting yourself and your office or home from Internet miscreants, requires a multi-level approach. There is no simple silver bullet. There are layers of risk management that need to be addressed.

Improvements in Ransomware distribution

January 2021 – We are seeing the advantages of specialization and division of labor play out brilliantly in the new ransomware market.

Check your privacy settings

January 2021 – As laws and regulations take effect, we are gaining some possible control over who tracks us, and shares our information with marketers. It is worthwhile to visit places that have your information and opt out of their merchandising you. Here's a headstart.

Excellent Vivaldi video

January 2021 – Excellent video review showing lots of outstanding Vivaldi features. It is from a marketing perspective, but works for anyone.

Best articles of 2020

December 2020 – A list of the best articles of 2020. These are the ones I think are most important.

Use DNS Filtering

December 2020 – DNS filtering blocks some potentially malicious sites from sneaking into your computer. It can also be used to block types of sites you do not want to access your system. Everyone should use it.

Browser games

October 2020 – Hidden games in modern browsers.

DuckDuckGo Bangs!

August 2020 – DuckDuckGo bangs are shortcuts to search within specific sites. Here are some popular ones and how to use them.

Cliqz died

August 2020 – Cliqz was one of my favorite browsers. They came with ad and tracker blocking built-in and were excellent on privacy. Based on the Mozilla Firefox engine. Sadly, they were unable to monetize their technology sufficiently and are closing their business. I am concerned that their browser will not continue to get the latest security updates from Firefox, so recommend people abandon it.

Vivaldi built-in adblocker

July 2020 – Vivaldi is my favorite browser. Now that they have a simple built-in adblocker and anti-tracker, I'm recommending it for everyone.

Brave for Android

April 2020 – Brave is currently my browser of choice for Android devices.

WiFi 6 Coming

February 2020 – The next generation of WiFi is coming and it will provide major improvements in many situations. Here's what to expect and when to expect it.

Think about their business model. part 2

February 2020 – Be careful and figure out the business model of software and services you use. Too often, they are tracking you or even installing malware.

Ctrl-Enter .com trick

January 2020 – This is a quick trick available with most browsers to enter websites quicker.

Best Articles of 2019

January 2020 – I've selected the best articles of 2019. Some answer problems my clients come to me with while others answer problems I wish they'd come to me with. Finally, there are three general security articles.

Fingerprinting protection

January 2020 – Device fingerprinting is increasingly used to track you on the web. No cookies are needed. What is it? How does it work? How can you protect yourself?

Germany chooses Firefox

December 2019 – The German Federal Office for Information Security tested 4 browsers, and endorsed Firefox for the best security for all German agencies.

IoT Security tips

December 2019 – Safety tips for a connected world. Four suggestions for improving your security.

Firefox and Cliqz offer DNS over HTTPS

November 2019 – Firefox and Cliqz browsers are offering improved security and privacy with DNS over HTTPS. Here is how to improve your security with a few simple clicks.

Virus total browser extension

September 2019 – The VirusTotal browser extension provides a quick and easy way to check a website or link.

Check their business model

August 2019 – When deciding what search engine or browser to use, consider their business model. I review various business models and which browsers and search engines use each one.

How to change your search engine

August 2019 – To help you move to a better, safer and more private search engine, I've provided instructions for changing the search engine default in most major browsers.

Alternatives to Google Chrome

July 2019 – Chrome is the least privacy respecting browser available and is declaring their intention to become even less secure and to dis-allow most ad-blockers. Ad-blockers are essential for safety on the Internet. Here are 5 superior alternatives.

Firefox Tracking Protection

July 2019 – Firefox has new and excellent tracking protection. Here's how to use it.

Alternatives to Google Search

July 2019 – Google search, though dominant, is becoming worse and worse. They are factoring more and more irrelevant weights into your results, substantially weakening them. They also track you. Here are lots of superior options.

Video: Google Search Malware

July 2019 – This video shows an actual screen capture of the malware attack through an advertising search result. This is a common attack and it is good to know what it looks like. It is a video of the attack. You will not be in any danger.

IoT attacks increase

June 2019 – Attacks against IoT (Internet of Things) devices accelerates. Avoid them if possible. If not, buy from a company that takes security seriously and updates their firmware.

Online Credit card skimmers

June 2019 – Digital card skimmers breached thousands of online retailers in the last year. They've sold millions of customer card information. Here's how they work.

More Facebook Villainy

June 2019 – Facebook might be the biggest threat yet to online security. Here's a rundown of their recent detestable acts.

Credential Stuffing

May 2019 – Credential stuffing is the large scale, automated attempt to match leaked usernames and passwords to hundreds of potential sites.

Avoid Malvertising

April 2019 – Malvertising (malware embedded in advertising) is one of the most common vectors used by hackers to attack your computer. This article explains malvertising and why you must use an ad-blocker to protect yourself from these attacks.

Using AdGuard

April 2019 – Adguard is an excellent option for blocking ads, and protecting you from malware sites, tracking and pop-ups. Here's a look at the product and some setup advice.

Stopping Notification requests

April 2019 – How to stop websites from offering to send you notifications.

Cliqz and Brave now allow add-ons

February 2019 – Cliqz and Brave now allow most add-ons. They do some restriction but not a lot. Brave remains significantly more secure and private than Chrome, but Cliqz is only marginally better than a well protected FireFox.

Syncing Notes between devices

February 2019 – If you'd like to automatically have your notes or other writing synchronized on all your devices, there are some excellent options.

Fabulous Cookie Control

February 2019 – Wonderful Cookie control program. Easy and reliable. Improves safety and privacy.

When Websites don't work

January 2019 – Sometimes you go to a webpage and it doesn't work right. The most common reason for this problem is that you have some security measure which is blocking it. This article will explain how to find these issues and quickly adjust your settings so you can do your work.

Monitor your email address for breaches

January 2019 – Mozilla.org has started a new service to allow you to monitor your email addresses to see if they were included in a breach. I suggest using it.

TunnelBear security audit 2018

January 2019 – Tunnelbear has completed its 2nd annual security audit and published the results. Third party security audits are important for determining whether a VPN is actually improving our security and privacy.

Thunderbird, using a master password

January 2019 – Use a master password to encrypt and protect your email passwords. A how to guide for Thunderbird and Intellect.

Microsoft giving up on Edge

January 2019 – Microsoft gives up trying to create their own HTML rendering engine.

Google Security Checkup

December 2018 – Google will examine your accounts for some behaviors related to your device security and inform you of possible issues. This is a good thing to do occasionally.


December 2018 – Vivaldi is my new favorite browser. It is not focused on security like Cliqz or Brave, but it is much more private than Chrome. It is based on the Chrome open source project, so it renders pages like Chrome. However it offers lots of features that I can't get elsewhere and is very customizable. For those of you who might what something extra out of a browser, it is worth checking out. Think of it as an advanced tool, rather than a simple appliance.

EFF article about Chrome Tracking

December 2018 – EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) makes the case against using Chrome as your browser because of their heavy tracking.

WiFi 6 coming in 2019

November 2018 – Wifi 6 is coming. It will be faster and better able to handle congested environments. It will also improve battery life.

Alternative browsers

November 2018 – There are good reasons for using "alternative browsers". I present the cases for and against as well as examples to improve privacy and security.

Firefox Privacy enhancement

November 2018 – Firefox 63 has added improved and simplified tracking prevention

Don't use Chrome

October 2018 – Chrome users have more trackers watching them than those who use other browsers. I make the case to switch to another browser if you use Chrome. If not, how to make it less privacy invading.

Understanding Email

October 2018 – There are four basic ways to get Email. Choosing the best one for you. WebMail POP3 IMAP Microsoft Exchange

Using Adblock Plus

October 2018 – Why you should use an adblocker. One of the best is Adblock Plus. Here's how to use it.

Using Privacy Badger

October 2018 – Privacy Badgeer will help prevent trackers from following you around the web and collecting and sharing what you do.

Checking File Downloads

September 2018 – Sites are imitating legitimate sites and providing good software, but with adware attached. So, for example, keepass.fr is not the real keepass.info site and could provide a malware infected version of Keepass. How to protect yourself. Tips for protecting yourself including the use of VirusTotal.

Adding Fields to Keepass

September 2018 – Adding custom fields, like account numbers, to Keepass entries.

Spideroak has fantastic unlimited offer. This week only!

August 2018 – Spideroak One backup has a fantastic unlimited promo available this week only.

Our connected world

July 2018 – Along with the benefits of a connected world, comes many dangers. Every device we connect to the Internet needs to receive frequent security updates. Do yours?

Internet Archive

July 2018 – Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. It includes the Wayback Machine and hundreds of collections of categories of sites and media. All items are free to download, view or listen to.

VPNFilter Botnet

July 2018 – The VPNFilter botnet is one of the biggest so far. It could be the most sophisticated. Here's how it works and what to do to protect yourself.

Work Remotely

May 2018 – A good, secure, inexpensive way to use your office computer from anywhere. Work from home or while traveling, safely and conveniently.

Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report

May 2018 – Summary of Symantec's 2018 threat analysis report for 2017. Trends in Ransomware, Crypto Currency mining and Supply Chain attacks are highlighted.

Check your router

May 2018 – More problems have been found with UPnP open and facing the Internet on routers. Here's how to check your router.

Terms of Service

April 2018 – Learn about the terms of service you have agreed to.

Tech terms you should know: Captcha

April 2018 – Captcha and reCaptcha and how Google is working with it. What are captchas and what is Google's Recaptcha and what does it capture?

Current biggest security threat - Malvertising

March 2018 – Currently, the biggest security threat for my clients is malvertising. Malvertising attacks get into your computer while hiding in advertising on legitimate websites. A recent report on a single gang of criminals gives you an idea what the hundreds or thousands of criminal malvertising gangs can do.

64-bit Browsers

March 2018 – 64 bit versions of browsers are faster, more secure and more stable. A 64 bit version is now available for Firefox and Cliqz.

Never click on any unsolicited email link

February 2018 – This is the one true foolproof way to avoid all spam phishing attacks. Use the technique to never fall prey to a phishing attack ever.

Quad9 Update

January 2018 – Quad9 update: Alternate DNS address and new Portland Server cluster for even faster service.

Who owns your stuff?

January 2018 – Who owns the books you buy from Amazon, Audible or Kobo? I chatted with their support. Here are the answers I got and suggestions for leaving your collections to your heirs.

The Single best Online Safety Tip

December 2017 – Best online safety advice: Never respond to ANY advertisement. Use a non-advertising search engine and find it yourself.

Quad9 for added security

December 2017 – Quad9 is a simple way and free way to enhance your online security by using a privacy and security focused DNS service.

Update Router Firmware

December 2017 – Updating online devices is important. One of the most important is to update your router. Useful information.

A better way to pay some bills

December 2017 – Online banking has a new better way to pay some bills. Send money to people for free.

Alternative Search Engines

November 2017 – Though Google dominates search, there are many different and better search engines. Here are some excellent search engines that respect your privacy and provide equivalent or sometimes better results than you'll get from either Google or Bing.

Searx: Search Heaven

November 2017 – Searx is an open source privacy protecting search engine that provides better results than you will get from Google or Bing. It pulls information from as many as 70 different engines.

Here Are the Best Gmail Shortcuts

October 2017 – Gmail has lots of keyboard shortcuts that make using it within your browser faster and easier.

Showtime was mining with your computer!

October 2017 – Showtime hijacks your computer to do cryptocurrency mining!

Tunnelbear VPN Service security audit

September 2017 – Tunnelbear VPN has demonstrated industry leadership, security consciousness, and transparency with their decision to pay for an external audit and publish the results. This is an excellent VPN service choice.

Firefox File Share

September 2017 – Firefox excellent secure simple free file sharing service was discontinued

Clean up your Google App Permissions

August 2017 – Over the years we give more and more apps permission account for something. Occasionally you should and clean up the ones that don't make sense.

Add Folders to your Bookmark bar

August 2017 – Putting folders on your bookmarks bar gives you immediate access to many bookmarks in an easy to find quick to access way.

Don't save passwords in browsers

July 2017 – Letting your browser save passwords for you is a bad idea. It is either very inconvenient or it is insecure. This article shows how various browsers handle saving your passwords and why you shouldn't let them.

18 Security cameras insecure

July 2017 – Security flaws in OEM Security camera maker used by many different companies. They are not getting patched.

Interesting educational places to visit

June 2017 – Four sites to visit to expand your horizons with free courses and more.

Privacy and tracking

May 2017 – A look at three mechanisms for tracking us on the Internet as well as an explanation of various types of cookies. Many links to privacy testing services are provided.


April 2017 – A review of who and what is tracking you and what you can do about it.

Qwant: A great privacy search engine

April 2017 – Qwant is a fantastic privacy search engine which does not track you or record your searches.

Will a VPN solve my privacy issues?

April 2017 – Will a VPN solve privacy and tracking issues. What is a VPN? What is it good for?

Cliqz Browser

March 2017 – Cliqz is a new safer, faster privacy protecting, ad-blocking browser based on the Mozilla Open Source project. It has received funding from Mozilla and is very fast and stable.

Improving Wifi connection

March 2017 – This simple technique improved my WiFi reception at my Roku box 20 fold. How to reduce interference on the 2.4 GHz channels.

Critical Chrome Problem

February 2017 – Chrome has a vulnerability where your vital address and credit card information can be stolen. Here is the fix.

Revealing Fake Amazon Reviews

February 2017 – This site let's you check for possible fake product reviews on Amazon. Very useful.


January 2017 – Podcasts are an excellent way to listen to what you want when you want. Podcast Republic is an excellent podcast player and it has a fantastic car mode.

IOT - Security Risks

December 2016 – Massive botnets consisting of security cameras, routers, printers and even refrigerators are attacking legitimate sites and bringing them down. What the problem is and why it will not stop soon.

Nice Mozilla Add-on

December 2016 – Part of Mozilla's appeal is the huge add-on eco-system that has developed for the products. This add-on works for both Firefox and Thunderbird and makes the programs easier to use. It is a better scrollbar.

NSA's Upstream Surveillance Explained Simply

December 2016 – A short history of FISA and upstream surveillance in short cartoon format from the ACLU

Podesta's Mistakes - Let me count the ways

November 2016 – Podesta's DNC email hack was shocking because of the total lack of basic security understanding exposed. He violated so many simple rules. Here's what you can learn from his bad example.

Web of Trust - Untrustworthy

November 2016 – The Web of Trust browser add-on, has been found to be selling personally identifiable information on users. Furthermore, there might be serious bugs that aren't addressed. I've removed it. Here's why and an alternative.

Yahoo Earns 5 Strikes

October 2016 – Yahoo has earned 5 strikes. It is time to consider perhaps they should be out. They have lost my trust.

SpiderOak New Pricing

October 2016 – Spideroak has new pricing

Wordpress Security issues

September 2016 – Wordpress and other simple website creation tools are not a panacea that will allow you to quickly make a website and forget about it. You will need to maintain it and update your site's security, or risk having your clients sucked into a miscreant's lair.

Speed Tests

September 2016 – Here are three sites to check your Internet speed. Very useful for setting up WiFi and determining whether you are getting the speed your are paying for from your ISP

Wireless Networking basics

July 2016 – This article explains wireless routers. Why you want one, and how to choose them. We look at dual band, the 2.4 and 5 GHz spectrums and selecting one.

Router Setup Instructions

July 2016 – These instructions show you how to fill in the Router setup form and describe what each item means and why it is important.

Setup a Guest network

March 2016 – Gain better security by setting up a guest network for your guests and Internet connected devices like Roku, Xbox or Nest.

Firefox: Smart Keyword searches

March 2016 – Firefox allows you to create shortcut abbreviations to access searches on most sites.

Understanding Modems and Routers

February 2016 – What is a modem and what is a router. What do they do? Which ones should you buy?

FireFox Tips

January 2016 – Some great tips for more effectively using Firefox Browser.

Disable Flash Always On

December 2015 – Flash is dangerous. Having it running and ready to activate at all times is a mistake. Force it to "ask to activate".

Online clocks and timers

September 2015 – Here is where you can find online clocks and timers

Android: Lightning Browser

September 2015 – This is the best Android browser I've found by far. It is very fast and safe. It has all the features I want, but remains small. Possibly best of all, it does not crash as much as any of the other 10 browsers I have tried.

Adblockers are necessary

August 2015 – When you go to most news websites about 40% of the data they send you is advertising. This slows your browsing down and increases your cell data fees. But even worse, there is often malware embedded in their advertising. Adblockers are necessary for safe and fast Internet access.

Window 10 Wifi Sense

August 2015 – Wifi sense makes no sense and should be stopped. This article explains the differences between the fantasy and the reality of this kind of childish nonsense.

Recommended Windows Programs

July 2015 – My recommended Programs for Windows with links to get them.

Check out your Google History

June 2015 – Google allows you to see and control much of the information they keep on you. Here's how to check it out.

Firefox: Restoring previous sessions

June 2015 – How to close Firefox and then re-open with all the previous tags intact (or reincarnated).

Google I/O a glimpse into the future

June 2015 – Google I/O gives you a glimpse into where computing is headed. The Verge provided a nice 10 minute video summary of Google's 2015 I/O conference.

Use Mailwasher Pro to stop spam

May 2015 – Mailwasher Pro is an excellent spam blocking tool used by over 8 million people. It has been around for 14 years and is very well refined.

Setting up Share Rooms with Spideroak

March 2015 – Spideroak Backup makes it very easy to share even very large files securely and very easily. Here's how.

SpiderOak New Pricing

February 2015 – Spideroak has changed their pricing structure, providing a lower cost less storage option and a higher cost more storage option, but eliminating the current $100/yr for 100 GB option. Current users with current accounts do not need to change and their option will be honored.

Lenovo Installs Superfish Malware on New Laptops

February 2015 – Lenovo installed very dangerous malware on new laptops from Septmeber 2014 to February 2015. Here's what it is. How to test for it and how to remove it.

Using Google as a backup for sending E-Mail

December 2014 – How to setup Google as an alternative email sender, just in case of emergency. If your standard SMTP server goes down, you'll still be able to send email.

How to turn off Chrome's Always on

December 2014 – The Chrome browser is set to always be running. It keeps running even after you've closed the browser. Here is how to have Chrome close when you close the browser.

Google Account Recovery

December 2014 – How does Google handle account recovery (when someone claims to have lost their password) and what you should do to check your settings.

Firefox Shortcut keys

October 2014 – There are a few shortcut keys that make working with the Firefox browser a lot better. Here are my favorites.

Certificate Revocation

October 2014 – What is certificate revocation? How does it work? Why you should change the Firefox Default.

Google Drops storage costs

June 2014 – Google Drive offers an excellent inexpensive option for archiving files that do not need to be kept private.

Google Compares Broadband Vendors

June 2014 – Google evaluates how well your area's Broadband vendors really work. How often do they need to buffer your YouTube streams?

Check your mobile Browser

June 2014 – A site to check whether your browser is implementing SSL (TLS) properly.

Chromebooks, The Computer Appliance

April 2014 – Chromebooks begin a new generation of easy to use, fast, low maintenance and inexpensive computer appliances. Some of the benefits and limitations are discussed.

How to use the OCS Website

April 2014 – The OCS Website, http://steveshank.com is a valuable resource. Here's how to get the most out of it.

Hover Before You Click

April 2014 – How to check out links without clicking them to prevent infections from email.

Portland may get Google fiber

April 2014 – Portland is in the race to be selected by Google for their very high speed Fiber Internet. What it might mean.

How to Quick Search in Firefox

April 2014 – Quick search allows you to enter both the search term and the place to search site in the address bar for quicker returns.

Firefox is now the best mobile browser

April 2014 – Flexibility, power, freedom and usability now make Firefox the best mobile browser.

What is Reddit?

April 2014 – CGP Grey explains Reddit. Great video.

Private Browsing

February 2014 – How to browse the internet like a bird and leave no trace.

Private Searching

February 2014 – DuckDuckGo offers anonymous searching and a great search engine. Here is how to make it the default search engine in Firefox, Chrome, and Android systems.

Google search tips

December 2013 – A few tips for more effective Google searches

Good File Sharing Site: Shared.com

October 2013 – Shared.com gives you a 100 GB of storage and an easy way to share large files.

Testing Your Secure Connections

August 2013 – SSL Labs provides a tool to check your secure connections to the Internet. I show how to interpret the test and recommend using it on your banks, credit cards, medical centers, and anyone who holds your credit card information.

Syncing Keepass with Mobile Devices

August 2013 – How to sync your Keepass safe between your phone, tablet and desktop computers

Firefox Reset

June 2013 – Describes how to reset Firefox if it starts acting too wonky.


June 2013 – Dwolla is a payment network allowing you to send and accept money within seconds very inexpensively. A potential alternative to high credit card fees.

My Favorite Android Tablet Apps

June 2013 – These are my current (May 29, 2013) favorite Android Apps for my tablet. Perhaps you'll find something new in here.

Who's got your back?

June 2013 – The Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) 2013 annual report on how major online companies either fight or do not fight for our online privacy.

Google Apps

June 2013 – A short description of Google apps and their advantage over other office options.

How Miscreants make money by hacking your PC

April 2013 – Miscreants can make money from attacking your computer even if you just use it for email. Sometimes people don't think they are a target because the information on their computers is not valuable. They are wrong. Here's why.

Enable Click to Play

April 2013 – Due to the continuous litany of threats from browser plug-ins like Java and Flash it is important to set those plug-ins off by default. This will prevent "drive-by" attacks. Fortunately both Firefox and Chrome make it easy to do this. Here's how.

Secure Internet While Traveling

February 2013 – When connecting to uncontrolled hotspots at cafes or motels you gain a lot of security by using an SSL VPN service to protect your communications from eavesdroppers.

Safe Log ins

February 2013 – People log in to websites backwards. This causes them all sorts of problems. Email gets hacked. Passwords lost. Problems logging in. All this will end if you create your passwords and log in to important sites frontwards, instead of backwards. You begin with your password safe, then the website.

Yahoo Mail Turn on SSL

February 2013 – Yahoo Mail now has the option to access your email using SSL. You should enable this option. It is much more secure. Here's how.

Zeus Trojan

December 2012 – The Zeus Trojan is one of the most widespread Botnet Trojans ever created. The code has been sold and the software is now well documented and supported along with add-on modules and feedback for new features.

Use Firefox's Plugin Checker

December 2012 – Use Firefox's Plugin Checker to keep all you plugins patched.

Streaming Video Speed

October 2012 – If you are interested in streaming video, you'll probably need to know what your WiFi speed is at the location you'd be streaming and how fast it needs to be. This article explains both.

Rules for Online Storage

October 2012 – 4 simple rules for safely using online storage.

More DropBox Security Issues

October 2012 – What the latest DropBox security breach tells us about the company. What did they do wrong?

Two Great Alternative Word Processors

August 2012 – Jarte and Google Docs are both excellent alternatives to those large clunky difficult to use word processors. Jarte is a small desktop application that does everything I need. Google Docs is even better and add wonderful sharing and collaboration.

Firefox Plugin Check

August 2012 – Browser plugins are modules added to your browser to enhance its capability. For example to play flash video or run Java applications. Sometimes these plugins should be updated. Firefox's Plugin Check, enables you to check and update your Firefox Plugins.

Why government cyber attacks hurt us

June 2012 – The computer security landscape has changed since governments began buying exploits from hackers and paying over $100,000 for an exploit. This changes the economics of hacking and will make the Internet more dangerous.

Google Drive

June 2012 – Google drive offers a simple way to store a lot of files for very little money. This is not a real backup system, but it is online storage that can be very useful. It also provides a simple way to share files between devices.

Android App: AirDroid

June 2012 – This Android app lets you manage your phone from your desktop or notebook computer.

Firefox Tab Page!

June 2012 – Firefox's new Tab page offers a fast way to link to your nine most used sites. Here's how to get the most out of it.

LinkedIn Breach

June 2012 – LinkedIn lost the hash of 6.5 million passwords, and this breach has some lessons for all of us. You need to make passwords that are unbreakable even if the hash is stolen.

Forms you can use

April 2012 – I have a few forms that should help you working with security and your computers. They are in PDF format and freely available for use.

Sending Large Files

April 2012 – We sometimes need to send large files and making them an attachment is a bad idea. Here I review two excellent services for sending large files for free. Both services also offer a low cost option with more features.

Interesting Websites

April 2012 – 4 websites I found particularly interesting. Google Art Project, checking your lifespan and life expectancy and SpotCrime, checking the crime in your neighborhood.

Improving You WiFi Coverage

February 2012 – How to improve your WiFi coverage so you can get a good WiFi connection throughout your whole office or home.

Using Sync

December 2011 – What is Sync and how can you use it? The different types of synchromization. Using Sync for backup. Issues to consider.

Firefox App Tabs

December 2011 – FireFox App tabs

Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection

August 2011 – What to do when you lose Internet connectivity. How to problem solve your connection issues.

Customizing the Firefox Toolbar

August 2011 – How to video about customizing your Firefox 4 or 5 toolbar

Dropbox Issues

August 2011 –

DropBox Insecurity

June 2011 – Why Dropbox is insecure and more secure options.

Minimizing your online backup size

June 2011 – How to reduce the size of your backup with MySecureBackup.

An Insecure Router Could Send You to Jail

June 2011 – What you need to know to secure your router and what could happern if you don't.

FireFox 4

April 2011 – Firefox 4 is out

2 Online Site Scanners

April 2011 – 2 online site scanners

Internet Explorer, Insecure Again!

February 2011 – Microsoft continues to ignore security flaws in Internet Explorer.

New MySecureBackup Login

February 2011 – Mysecurebackup gives you a new and better way to login to your account and access files.

Free shipping Day

December 2010 – Free shipping day could be the best day to shop for bargains online.

Using Firefox Keywords

September 2010 –

Reducing Your Online Backup Size

July 2010 – Reducing Your Online Backup Size

2 more Great FireFox Add-ons

July 2010 – 2 more Great Firefox Add-ons

Secure Internet Connections while Traveling

May 2010 – How to set up a trusted connection to the Internet while traveling.

Firefox Tips

March 2010 – Firefox tips, Vacuum, sql, SpeedyFox, Firefox, database, Bookmark all tabs, bookmarking, tabs, Readability


January 2010 – Zoomig

Mozilla plugin security

January 2010 – Mozilla Browser Plugin Checking

Security Issue

November 2009 – Secure Login

Paypal Security

November 2009 – Paypal Security

Spam Works!

August 2009 – Spam Works!

Controlling Firefox Updates

August 2009 – Controlling Firefox Updates

Read it Later, Firefox Add-on

August 2009 – Read it Later, Firefox Add-on


August 2009 – My Secure Backup


July 2009 – NoScript

Basic Rules for Browsing

July 2009 – Simple Rules for Browsing

Website Picks

July 2009 – Website Picks

Two New Security Threats

December 2008 – Two new security threats

History of Internet

December 2008 – My History of the Internet


December 2008 – Interesting News


October 2008 – Factcheck.org

2 Firefox Tips

October 2008 – Two Firefox Tips

Resolving Internet connection Issues Part 1

September 2008 – Resolving Internet Connection Issues

The Reliability of Online Information

September 2008 – Online Information and its Reliability


July 2008 – OpenDNS

Ibackup Review

July 2008 – Ibackup Review

Your ISP and Spam Filters

July 2008 – Your ISP and Spam Filtering

Setting up 2 Home Pages!

May 2008 – Setting up 2 Home Pages

Layered Security

May 2008 – Layered Security

Site of the Month

May 2008 – Site of the Month

Time & Chaos Tutorials

March 2008 – Time and Chaos Tutorials

How to Decipher Links

July 2007 – Being able to read and decipher links and email addresses can help you avoid online phishing scams.

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