Archive for the ‘tech tips’ Category

Blocking Telemetry in Windows 7 and 8.1

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

If you’re concerned about privacy, (and have a bit of free time on your hands,) you might want to check out this neat trick for managing Microsoft updates and controlling the sort of information that your system is allowed to share.

Microsoft pushed patches to devices running Windows 7 and 8.1 in recent time that collect information and transfer data to Microsoft regularly. One of the main issues that Windows users may have with telemetry is that Microsoft does not reveal what it is collecting, and what is included when telemetry data is transferred to the company. The following tutorial provides suggestions on limiting Windows data collecting and transferring. There is no guarantee that nothing is collected and/or submitted after making privacy related changes to the operating system, but a guarantee that data collecting is severely limited at the very least.

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Windows 10 – Group Policy Pack Privacy and Telemetry

Monday, February 13th, 2017

It sounds like the task of preventing your Windows 10 PC from phoning home is going to be a full time job.

The Group Policy pack Privacy and Telemetry, short gp-pack PaT, is a collection of 70 policies designed to disable sending data to Microsoft on Windows 10 devices. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise administrators may use the Group Policy to modify privacy settings, and block some telemetry collecting and submitting to Microsoft. Numerous privacy tools for Windows 10 have been released that modify Registry keys directly. Several of the programs go further, for instance by removing applications that ship with Windows 10, or blocking Microsoft Telemetry servers on the system.

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How to Display Certificate Details in Chrome

Friday, February 10th, 2017

It bugs me to no end when software companies do this. When they move familiar tools and services to a hard-to-find location, it always feels like somebody broke into my office overnight and rearranged my desk, just for the heck of it.

Google is on a roll. After removing user control over some plugins installed in the browser, the company moved information about security certificates of sites to a place where most users may never find it. More and more sites on the Internet move to https. Doing so has advantages, but there is also a considerable amount of pressure by browser makers and search engines to get sites to migrate. Google is on the forefront of all of this. It may come as a surprise therefore that the company made the decision to move certificate information from the address bar to the browser’s Developer Tools.

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How to Fix “No Internet Secured” Wifi Connectivity Issues on Windows

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

I haven’t run into this problem myself, (yet,) but perhaps you have …

The following guide provides you with a solution for fixing the dreaded “no Internet secured” notification that signals Wifi connectivity issues on machines running Windows. I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 device back when it first came out, and liked it a lot. It is the device that I use mostly when I’m traveling as it offers all I require in a compact package. For the past year or so, I noticed a strange wireless Internet connectivity issue regularly when connecting the device using WiFi. Connections to the WiFi hotspot work, but Internet did not at times.

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Firefox 52 – How to Keep on Using Plugins

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Apparently, plugins are on their way out. Fortunately though, there’s still a way to tweak Firefox to keep your favorite plugins running.

Firefox 52 will be the first release version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser that will ship without support for NPAPI plugins. The only exception to the rule is that Firefox 52 will support Adobe Flash. All other plugins, Silverlight, Java, and all the others, won’t be supported anymore in the Firefox version. While plugin use is on the decline, scenarios exist where plugins are still required to use sites or services on the Internet.

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How to Change Firefox’s Sandbox Security Level

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Here’s an interesting trick …

One of the major improvements that comes along with Firefox’s new multi-process architecture is sandboxing to improve the browser’s security. The multi-process rollout is chugging along nicely, but it will still take at least months before it is enabled by default for all, or at least the majority, of Firefox Stable users. Electrolysis, Firefox’s multi-process architecture, is the prerequisite for Firefox’s sandboxing feature as it makes use of child processes to establish security boundaries.

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How to Update Intel Hardware Drivers

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Although there’s a lot to be said for the old, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” philosophy, it’s still nice to know how this is done … just in case.

Intel Driver Update Utility is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to search for, download, and install Intel driver updates. It is usually a good idea to keep drivers up to date, especially if newer drivers improve the old or add new features that you may be interested in. While there is certainly something to “never change a running system” as well, driver updates may improve a component’s performance, stability or other parameters such as temperature.

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Chrome Annoyance – New Tabs No Longer Added to Tab Bar

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

If you’re in the habit of keeping a lot of tabs open in Chrome, you’ve probably noticed this too. Fortunately, there are a number of extensions that can correct this issue …

If you have a medium number of tabs open in a Google Chrome window, you may experience that new tabs that you open in the browser are not shown at all anymore in the interface. One big annoyance of Google Chrome is the browser’s tab display behavior in my opinion. Chrome reduces the size of tabs as you open more just like any other browser, but instead of enabling scrolling when tabs cannot be minimized anymore, the browser simply stops showing those new tabs in its interface.

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Preserve Web Pages with the Wayback Machine

Monday, January 16th, 2017

In addition to serving as a useful reference for reviewing long lost web sites, the Wayback Machine can also be used to archive web pages, on demand.

The Wayback Machine, part of the Internet Archive, is a massive web page archive that holds more than 279 billion copies currently. This makes it an excellent option to look up pages that are no longer available at all, or have changed. You can head over to the Wayback Machine website directly to look up copies of web pages manually, or use browser extensions like Wayback Machine, No More 404s or Resurrect Pages instead.

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WhatsApp Security – Make This Change Right Now!

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Heads up, WhatsApp users; it’s time to adjust your security settings.

Security researchers found a backdoor in the popular messaging application WhatsApp recently that could allow WhatsApp to intercept and read user messages. Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, claims that it is impossible to intercept messages on WhatsApp thanks to the services end-to-end encryption. The company states that no one, not even itself, can read what is sent when both sender and recipient use the latest version of the application.

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