Proactive Computing | Optimizing IT for usability, performance and reliability since 1997

Month: December 2020 (Page 1 of 24)

Save Space and Trim Media with VideoProc

videoproc-featured-1.jpg Video conversion and processing is something of a ho-hum subject for most people, smacking as it does of nerdy technical stuff. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the 21st Century, most new devices shoot pure 4K video, yet most editing software and the hard drives most normal people own are better suited to cutting and processing films in Full HD 1080. To save time, it’s a good idea to crush those videos down to size before you start. This review takes a look at VideoProc, a utility to make what is normally a slow process much faster. This is… Read more

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Phil South

New Router? Simplify Network Setup by Reusing Your SSID and Password

Did you get a shiny new Wi-Fi router to help with all your stay-at-home internet activities? You’re likely not alone, thanks to the rise in video conferencing, streaming, and other internet-related activities across the home. But the worst part is updating all your devices with the new Wi-Fi name and password. That is unless you do the smart thing and reuse your SSID and Password.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Every NYC subway station now supports contactless payments

cb2eb7b0-4b9c-11eb-bf7e-1e62f8a155cbNew York’s MTA has finished rolling out contactless payments across all the subway stations and bus lines in all five boroughs. The OMNY (One Metro New York) system allows riders to tap-and-pay for fares with smartphones, smartwatches and contactless…

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Apple reportedly took years to drop a supplier that used underage labor

32066500-1493-11eb-8ffe-aac9645d9dd1On Tuesday, The Washington Post and the Tech Transparency Project published an investigative report on one of Apple’s supply partners. The two say Apple, and several other companies, source parts from a Chinese supplier that allegedly uses forced Mus…

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SolarWinds hackers accessed Microsoft source code

cf8686f0-1945-11eb-bfa7-eefd85e028baThe hackers behind the SolarWinds attack got deeper access into Microsoft’s systems than the company previously disclosed. The company, which previously confirmed it found compromised code in its system, now says the hackers were able to gain access…

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T-Mobile warns customers of second data breach in less than a year

61b6f650-4b8b-11eb-bd7f-6da107a15ce0As if 2020 weren’t bad enough, some T-Mobile customers are winding down the year with word of a data breach. According to reports from BleepingComputer and AndroidPolice, T-Mobile has within the past few days begun to notify affected subscribers of “…

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How to See When Apps Access Your Camera and Microphone on Android

Privacy is a big topic when it comes to mobile devices. iPhones and iPads show little orange and green indicator icons when apps access the device’s camera or microphone. Here’s an Android app that can do the same.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

How to Recall Sent Emails in Outlook

Featured-Image-Recall-Outlook-Emails.jpg Under specific circumstances, you can recall your emails in the Outlook desktop app. This is quite useful if you don’t want the recipients to read a particular message or you have a replacement message for them. The method to recall such Outlook emails are shown below. The only condition is that both the sender and the recipient should be using Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Exchange email accounts. For example, this technique would only work for the employees of the same organization who are using the Outlook program. Steps to Recall the Outlook Email After… Read more

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Sayak Boral

Your Password Manager Can Do More Than Just Store Passwords

Strong and weak passwords on pieces of paperVitalii Vodolazskyi/

It’s common sense that everyone should be using a good password manager (we hope, at least). It’s also worth noting that password managers have tons of other amazing features that you might not be using. These features are both convenient and security-centric, and they can help you stay safe online and get the most out of your password manager.

Everyone knows the primary feature of a password manager—to store your login credentials—but they can also do tons of other cool things, like alert you to security breaches or store important files. Of course, the features a particular password manager has varies, depending on which one you’re looking at, but we rounded up all of the most common features you can expect to see in any of the most popular ones.

So without further ado, here are some other features password managers have to offer. They can:

Enter Your Login Info for You

What’s not to like about something that will fill in your stored credentials for you whenever you log in to a website? Some managers can also fill in additional fields, like contact information and credit card information. This feature is available on both mobile and desktop use so you can expect assistance no matter what device you’re using.

Generate Secure New Passwords on the Spot

This is one of the best features of password managers. Any password manager worth its salt should be able to create a random and secure password for you on demand. It’s a simple, yet nice feature, as it means you won’t ever have to come up with a less-than-unique password ever again. A good manager should also automatically update your login info with the new password it creates (or at least prompt you to).

Store Other Information, Besides Passwords

Software menu item with save command highlighted and mouse cursor selecting iteranicle/

Did you know that your password manager can store other types of information besides passwords? Yep. They can also store things like contact information or credit card numbers. Typically, this information can also be autofilled when you need it (say, when you’re shopping or putting in your lunch delivery order online).

Certain managers can also store things like bank account numbers, social security numbers, Wi-Fi router or server information, membership information, driver’s license and other ID information, software licenses, and documents. Really, the sky’s the limit here.

Store Important Documents and Photos

As kind of an extension to storing non-password information, many password managers also offer a decent amount of secure file storage. This isn’t necessarily meant to replace or be used the same way you’d use regular cloud storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive; it’s more meant to be a way to store digitized copies of important documents (like a will, title, letter, or passport) in a secure encrypted format.

Provide a Place to Take Secure Notes

Many password managers offer a space where you can make notes (and it’s a great way to keep important thoughts and information away from prying eyes). Sure you can use them just like a standard note-taking app, but this function is designed more for any type of text you’d want to keep password protected. This might include instructions for logging in to a specific site, or the directions to your buried treasure.

Typically, you’ll have the ability to share any notes you create with others (even if they don’t use the same password manager), and assign a label or tag to them for easy searching. You should also be able to import or export files, and toggle password protection as needed.

Audit Your Passwords to Make Sure They’re Strong and Safe

In addition to storing your passwords, good managers can also scan and assess them to see how strong or old they are, if you’re using duplicates (that’s a no-no!), or even if one has been compromised. Security scans usually don’t take long, and can provide helpful suggestions for how to strengthen your overall password security. Good managers can even suggest new passwords right on the spot, so all you’ll have to do is log in to the corresponding website and update your password.

Let You Share Files with Others

Two people sharing files on their smartphonesBacho/

You might want or need to share some of all of your login info or secure notes with another user at some point (your spouse, for example). A good password manager should make it easy to do so, and have built-in options for sharing something with another user on your plan or potentially even someone who doesn’t use a manager.

Good password managers also offer emergency access in the event of, well, an emergency. Typically, this grants a one-time easement into an account during a short period of time. This would most likely be used in the event of someone passing away, so a loved one could access their accounts to stop bills, for example.

Offer Secure Web Browsing

Some managers offer their own options for safely browsing the web, typically via their own secure inbuilt browser or virtual private network (VPN). Either option is nice to have any time you are using a public Wi-Fi connection, like a restaurant or café, or are needing anonymous and secure browsing.

Protect Your Account with Two-Factor Authentication

Password managers also double as two-factor authentication (2FA). If you’re unfamiliar with the term, 2FA is an additional way to keep your online accounts secure, like having to scan your face or fingerprint to unlock your phone or enter one of those six-digit SMS or email codes to access your Twitter account. That’s in addition to typing in your account password.

Good password managers offer two-factor authentication for keeping that account safe from a hacker. Similar to 2FA options for other sites (like Twitter), your manager might send you a notification with a code to scan or enter in addition to typing in your password, before letting you access your account. These notifications will also double as an alert if someone else is trying to log in to it.

Monitor Your Passwords for Breaches

Because password managers already know your login info, it makes sense that they should also be able to scan the web (including the dark web) to see if it comes up in a known security breach. Certain managers offer this feature, and will alert you in the event one of your passwords is thought to be compromised. This keeps you ahead of the curve and gives you the opportunity to change a breached password before the hacker has a chance to use the one they uncovered.

The best password managers will also actively protect you against phishing. They’ll remember the original site you created an account on, and prevent you from entering your information if you somehow end up on a different account posing as the original. While your manager won’t pop up with a huge red flag, you’ll be able to know it’s a phishing site as it won’t autofill your credentials.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of how robust and awesome password managers are. They’re worthwhile even if you do just use them to store your passwords, but their artillery of convenient security features really makes password manager worth the cost.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

How to Close All Google Chrome Windows at Once

While browsing the web with Google Chrome, it’s easy to get carried away and open dozens of windows filled with hundreds of tabs. Luckily, it’s easy to close multiple Chrome windows at once on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Here’s how.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Benj Edwards

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