Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 010822
It’s Saturday. The weekend is here and you know what that means. It’s time for more Bonus Questions & Answers.
Sometimes the best tips and tricks are hidden in the questions and answers we publish. And rarely do we post questions and answers on this website. Today, we’re featuring some of the questions and answers from past issues of our InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
These answers were selected at random from past InfoAve Weekly newsletters.
Saturday Bonus Questions & Answers – 010822
Dick asks about Windows 10 installation media
To my favorite duo: Quick question if you don’t mind. Would it be beneficial to create a Windows 10 Installation USB Flash Drive (or disk) after each of the Windows semi-annual feature updates? Or would the creation of just one suffice if ever needed? I want to thank you for taking the time to answer this in your busy schedule. Take care and may God Bless the two of you,
Hi Dick. Thanks so much for your long-time support and your kind comments.
You only need to create one Windows 10 installation USB. If/when you use it will automatically download any updates. While you can create a new installation USB flash drive or DVD each time there’s a major version update, it’s not necessary and it wouldn’t really save you much time.
I hope this helps you, Dick.
Diane asks about OpenDNS
Curious is this site really as great as it sounds? https://www.opendns.com/.
Also what exactly does it do for me???
Hi Diane. We wrote about OpenDNS in 2013 (see this page). But that was eight years ago and as with all things computer/internet, eight years is a long time.
It just reviewed OpenDNS again and it looks to me like they’ve decided to be your guardian or censor depending on how you look at it. Parental controls are fine as long as you decide what is inappropriate and not someone else. Having some else decide what’s appropriate never works out to be as rosy as it sounds. The only free OPENDNS service that you don’t have to sign up for is the free service where OpenDNS decides what you’ll see and what you won’t see. The free version with no sign-up is kind of like having someone else decide what books you can read and which books you’ll never see. Maybe you don’t want to see “Adult content” but who defines “adult content” for you? You or someone else? The free, no sign-up Open DNS option, decides for you… and is that ever a good idea?
We’ve tried several DNS services including OpenDNS, Google Public DNS, and Cloudflare’s 188.8.131.52 DNS. I think Cloudflare’s 184.108.40.206 DNS is the fastest, most private and the best. It’s also fairly easy to set up and you don’t have to give them any information or sign up for anything. We reviewed Cloudflare back in 2018 when it first came out. Today, I went back and took another look – and also set it up on the computer I am using. Again I was impressed.
So, if you want to know what DNS services do and/or if you would like to take a look at an alternative to OpenDNS, take a look at this article.
Lin wants to know how to remove old user account (your info) pictures from her computer
I have some pictures (3) in my (your info) account. but I don’t like any of them. Now how do I get rid of them all?
Hi Lin. Here’s how to access the folder where “Your Info” account pictures are store.
Copy and paste the following into the taskbar search. Substitute the name of your user account for **YOUR USER NAME** below.
C:\Users\**YOUR USER NAME**\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures
Press Enter when you see it appear in the results.
You can delete any or all of the pictures you see there.
If you find that that folder is not accessible, you’ll need to enable “View hidden files, folders and drives” to see it.
You’ll need to have “View hidden files, folders and drives” checked in File & Folder options to see this folder. If you don’t already have “View hidden files, folders, and drives” checked, do this:
1. Type FOLDER OPTIONS in taskbar search & press Enter when File Explorer Options appears
2, In the File Explorer Options dialog, click on the “View” tab and select “View hidden files, folders, and drives” by ticking the circle next to it.
3. Click “Apply”/”OK”.
Now paste the following into the taskbar search…
C:\Users\**YOUR USER NAME**\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures
and press Enter.
We hope this helps you, Lin.
Nora wants to find her network security key
I just had a new hard drive inserted in my 6 yr. old Asus. It has windows 10 which is a whole new learning curve for me and I’m over 80!! I first want to secure my computer and therefore reinstalled my Emsisoft security. Now I’ve been trying to find my “network security key” so I can check to see if my wireless password for that is still functional. Where do I go?? Thanks for any help. I don’t think I’ll like Windows 10. Things seem hard to find. Nora
Hi Nora. Your network security key is generally your Wireless network password.
So first…. here are 3 ways to find your wireless network password (key)
If you’re looking for your wireless router password…. see our article here.
We hope this helps you, Nora.
Loretta says Bing has taken over
Bing keeps taking over my Google Chrome. I removed it from the list but still happening. Someone said I should use Reimage to check it out. Please do you have an answer? Thank you.
Hi Loretta. Bing is a Microsoft search engine. I am guessing you added a Bing toolbar (extension) or some other extension to Chrome that keeps switching your search engine. It could be a search engine hijacker.
1. Type CHROME://EXTENSIONS in the Chrome address bar & press “Enter”
2. Disable or remove any extension that contains the word Bing or Search
You can also remove Bing from the list of search engines available in Chrome.
1. Type CHROME://SETTINGS/SEARCH in the Chrome address bar & press “Enter”
2. Make sure your default search engine is set to Google.
3. After you click “Manage search engines, you can remove Bing from the list of available search engines, if you choose to do so.
If the above doesn’t stop Bing, reset Chrome by following the instructions on this page.
Resetting Chromes returns Chrome to its defaults. Keep in mind this does not remove bookmarks. It disables all extensions, clears Chrome history and cache, and restores Chrome to its factory defaults.
Reimage is malware in our opinion. It’s scammy and it can mess up your computer. Our advice, don’t use it. It’s certainly not the miracle cure it claims to be. If you have installed it, we recommend you uninstall it ASAP.
Jean is wondering if a call she got from Amazon is legitimate
Hi, I’m just wondering if a phone call I received at 11.30 pm last night was genuine or a hack because it was just like how the hacks work ie took a while to answer, then said it was a call from Amazon and I just hung up straight away as I do with hackers because I thought this was one and if it was genuine, wouldn’t they have called me again, but they haven’t. Thanks so much for all the help you give members. Kindest regards, Jean.
Hi Jean. Thanks for your nice comments.
Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc. do not call you at all – the only exception to this would be if you had a problem and had been working with them. None of them would call you out of the blue.
Keep in mind it’s easy for hackers and con artists to change the “Calling From” number to anything they want. This is called “spoofing” and with the right software, it’s easy to do.
Anyone calling you for a legitimate purpose would leave a message if you didn’t answer. And if you don’t have voicemail or an answering machine, they would certainly call you back.
You did the right thing.
David wants to know why his “My Documents” folder on Windows 10 is inaccessible
I have a situation I do not understand – when I open ‘My Computer’ and scroll down to ‘My Documents’ – it says ‘access is denied’! Now, when I scroll down further to a second ‘My Computer’, and again scroll down to ‘Documents” and this opens properly to my list? Will you straighten this out for me, and possibly let me know what has caused this?
Thanks and Best regards, David.
Hi David. “My Documents” only appears on computers that were upgraded to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows. It does not exist on Windows 10. If you upgraded from a previous version of Windows, the files that were in “My Documents” on that version of Windows will be in your Windows 10 Documents folder (C:\Users\Your User Name\Documents). If you’re logged into your user account, the Documents folder is available from the Quick Access menu as well as from File Explorer.
You cannot delete, modify, rename, or change the “My Documents” folder on Windows 10. It’s an inaccessible leftover – what we call a dinosaur. The “My Documents” folder will not appear on computers that were purchased with Windows 10 installed or if you clean install Windows 10 – but I really don’t think you’d want to do clean install Windows 10 just to get rid of the “My Documents” folder. My suggestion is just to ignore it. Assuming you don’t want to clean-install Windows 10, that folder will be with you as long as you have that computer.
And also keep in mind that there are no files in the “My Documents” folder in Windows 10.
We hope this helps you, David.
David wrote back: “Thanks TC – I don’t know what some of us ‘old-timers’ would do without your knowledgeable input!”
Linda wants Windows 10 taskbar search to show on her taskbar
Thanks for answering my question so promptly. I keep seeing the word “taskbar”. I never had a problem with it until a few months ago. How do I get taskbar search to show up? I guess forgot how to it. Take pity on an old woman and clue me in.
Hi Linda. If you want the taskbar search to show on the taskbar (the bar at the bottom of your screen, which includes the Windows start button on the left, and the clock/notification area on the right), just right-click on any blank area of the taskbar or on the ^ on the taskbar if it is full of icons, then click “Search” , then you can choose either “search icon” or “search box”.
See the screenshot below and you’ll see what I mean.
I hope this helps you, Linda.
Donna wants “Copy to” and “Move to” back on her right-click menu...
Many years ago you told us how to add” copy or move” to the “send to” list. I loved it and used it quite often. Since buying a new computer I don’t have that option. If it will work on Win 10, would you please send the directions to me?
In the meantime please keep up the great work the two of you do. You help us oldies so much. I will be getting with you later to make my computer look more like Win 7 and maybe try to install Thunderbird stationery.
Thank you in advance, Donna
Hi Donna. You have a couple of options in Windows 10 for this:
As far as email stationery goes, there was a recent update to Thunderbird and at this time the stationery add-on is not working; we don’t have an ETA when, or even if, the developer of that add-on will update it. Thunderbird remains a great choice for your email program though. We are currently recommending OE Classic – it’s an email program that’s quite like Outlook Express and Windows Mail used to be.
Thanks for your nice comments and for being with us through the years.
Donna commented on our InfoAve site: “I thank you so very much. You folks are absolutely the best! So happy to have such good friends.”
Brenda wants to know our recommendations for a free Microsoft Office alternative.
What free office program do you recommend? I have Able Word but it always wants to save in MS Word 97-2003 and then I can’t do anything with it because I won’t buy MS word.
Hi Brenda. Take a look at our article called “Three and a Half Free Alternatives for Microsoft Office” To read it click the link below.
Any of the programs listed there would solve your problem and not cost you one single cent.
Candace has a question about the safety of email
Question: Is it just email attachments that may be unsafe, or can opening email messages without attachments also be unsafe? Thanks.
Hi Candace. Email without attachments can be opened safely. However opening emails from sites that deal with highly personal and sensitive information may contain links that are not safe and if fact can be very harmful.
Links in emails that appear to be from banks, credit card sites, or even the government that ask you to click to verify your password or to view suspicious activity in your account are almost always dangerous. So you have to be careful. Banks, credit card companies, government agencies, and other sites that deal with your sensitive personal information never ask you to click a link to change your password or check your account for suspicious activity. Legitimate sites will send you an email asking you to log in to your account not trick you into clicking a link to log in.
If an email has an attachment the email can be opened as long as you don’t open the attachment(s). That being said, if you’re not absolutely sure who sent you the attachment and what it is, you’re better off deleting it without opening it.
I hope this answers your questions.
Imogene asks about HTTPS Everywhere
Hi, again. I saw on YouTube that a Chrome extension HTTPS Everywhere is a very good thing that will automatically redirect the search site to a secure search site. Do you know about this? If so, would you write about it in your newsletter? It sounds great, but I am leery of browser extensions. Thank you!
Hi Imogene. HTTPS Everywhere is a trustworthy extension; it’s not dangerous. But when I tried it I thought it was a pain in the neck. My opinion is that you don’t need HTTPS Everywhere in order to be safe.
Just use your common sense when entering personal information on Web sites. Never enter your credit card number or any personal information (physical address, social security number, bank account number) on any site that does not have a lock symbol and whose URL does not begin with https://. (A reminder here – your email address is generally not considered to be PII –Personally Identifiable Information.
Despite the hullabaloo, we always preach that nothing you can download and install is going to keep you 100% safe. Common sense trumps security software and browser extensions. In my honest opinion, HTTPS Everywhere was annoying. Your opinion, may be different.
If you use reasonable care and make sure any site that asks for your personal information is on a secure server (https:// + a lock). I don’t see why you need HTTPS Everywhere. However, your opinion may be different from mine, and it won’t hurt your computer to try it. You can always remove it if you don’t like it.
Donna wants a modified HOSTS file to block advertisements
Years ago I loaded and kept updating a program that kept me from seeing most advertisements. I believe you suggested it. It was the MVPS hosts file. http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm; Do you think it would be wise for me to download it?
Thanks again for all the help you have given me so far. I don’t know what I would have done without you all these years. I originally found you for your stationery and have been with you ever since.
Hi Donna. Thank you for your support and your nice comments.
The only time you ever want to touch the HOSTS file is if it was modified by malware or a virus. You can’t use HOSTS to block advertisements as they come from so many different sources. And, keep this in mind, once you start modifying the HOSTS file you can really mess up your computer’s networking unless you are sure of what you’re doing.
I would never install that HOSTS file from that site on my computer. You’re trusting someone you don’t know to tell you what’s bad and good. It’s far better to use a browser-based ad-blocker like U-Block (available for the new Edge, Chrome, and Firefox) or Privacy Badger, or use a privacy-based browser like Epic or Brave, and leave your HOSTS file alone.
We had people who followed tips to block sites and ad servers by modifying their HOSTS file and we’ve had to fix the problems created by replacing their HOSTS file with a default HOSTS file.
My advice, don’t download the HOSTS file from that site. And don’t replace your current HOSTS file or attempt to modify it. Use an adblocker or privacy browser if you’re concerned about ads and tracking.
I hope this helps you, Donna.
Bonnie wants to close her Yahoo account
Hello TC and Darcy. After the big Yahoo breach, I moved both of my webmail accounts from Yahoo. I have an Outlook.com account and a Gmail account. I no longer want or need my Yahoo account and I want to get rid of it. Can you tell me the easiest way to do this? Thanks for all the info over the years. Bonnie.
Hi Bonnie. Thanks so much. To delete your Yahoo account do this:
1. Sign in to your Yahoo account.
2. Once you’ve logged into it, click this link: https://login.yahoo.com/account/delete-user
3. Then click continue and then confirm your identity then choose terminate
Yahoo notes the following so be aware of this: Your account will be reactivated if you sign in to it within approximately 40 days of closing it, with longer hold periods for accounts registered in Australia or New Zealand (approximately 90 days), and Brazil or Taiwan (approximately 180 days). So once you terminate the account, be sure you don’t log into it again.
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