Some users have asked me how they can protect themselves against identity theft. I have researched the topic for a while and found the following steps for you to shield yourself from possible identity theft.
Review your credit report periodically
The first step is to review your current credit report. There is a website sponsored by the 3 credit report companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
You can request a free credit report every year. When you get your credit report, review the report carefully and report any inaccurate info and unauthorized activity immediately. Remember to repeat this process every year.
Setup fraud alert
Once you have reviewed your current credit report, you can set up fraud alert. Equifax offers a free 90-day monitoring service.
You can renew it after the first 90 days. This service alerts you immediately when suspicious activity is found.
Security Freeze (not free)
If you are still paranoid about someone stealing your identity even after the aforementioned steps, you can freeze your credit report. This feature is not free for most states. This is probably the safest way to protect you from identity theft, but it also requires more work on your part. You need to contact the company and ask them to thaw your credit file whenever you want to apply for a new credit card or open a new bank account.
A few months ago, my iPhone 4′s original battery couldn’t last more than a day. I bought a 3rd party battery to replace the original one. To my dismay, the replacement battery only lasted a bit longer than the old battery. I contacted the seller of the new battery. They agreed to send a new battery at no extra charge. The new battery they sent was still no good. So, I tried a different vendor and bought a more expensive battery. The battery life of this newest battery was only slightly better than the previous two replacement batteries. It never occurred to me that the problem was not with the battery.
Just a few weeks ago, I restored my iPhone due to other problems I encountered. I noticed the increased battery life right after I restored my iPhone. The battery life had gone from less than a day to two and a half days! I think part of the reason for the improved battery life was due to less applications installed on my iPhone. When I restored it, all the purchased apps had to be re-installed. I only installed a handful of applications that I used more often. I had quite a few applications previously installed that had processes running in the background even when the apps themselves weren’t running. They quickly drained the battery.
You should give this a try if you have problems with the battery life of your iPhone: You may find that you do not need a new battery after all.
We just found out that, when a HP printer is installed- even if the printer is capable of duplex printing- it may not be enabled for some computers. You will have to manually enable duplex printing. Here is how:
- Click on the printer you want to enable duplex printing in Devices and Printers.
- Click on Customize your printer.
- If you see a button on the left bottom corner that says Change properties, click on it. If you do not see this button, you can skip to the next step.
- Click on Device Settings and find Duplex Unit (for 2-Sided Printing). Change it to Installed.
- If you want to set duplex printing as default, click on General tab and then Preferences …. A new dialog pops up. Click on Finish and then check Print on both sides.
Ever since I upgraded my workstation to Windows 8, I spent most of my time with a desktop and use it like a Windows 7 machine. I rarely use those so-called “Windows Store Apps”. The only app that I use the most often is the Mail app: It allows me to access all my email accounts in one place without going through multiple web sites. However, I recently noticed that the Mail app did not work anymore. I tried several other Windows Store apps and most of them did not work either. The apps just showed spinning circles, and they did not launch at all. I tried to uninstall the Mail app and reinstall it. However, the Store app did not work either! I found a Microsoft article about apps troubleshooting. Their recommendations are to update your app, sync the app license or reinstall the app. They all requires a working Store app to perform. Since my Store app did not work at all, I could not try the recommended steps to solve the problem. At the end of the article, it mentions Apps troubleshooter. It’s an application that can try to fix problems related to Windows Store apps. I tried to run the Apps troubleshooter twice. It found different problems each time. This looked promising, but it did not fix my problem.
I then searched for other solutions. I came across one article that mentioned how uninstalling anti-virus software might help. I had McAfee Enterprise 8.8 with patch 3 installed in my computer, so I tried uninstalling it. After McAfee was uninstalled, the apps started to run again! If all else fails, you might try this to get uncooperative apps to launch again.
When I first installed Windows 8 on Virtual PC, I ran into a problem: the Guest Additions were not compatible with Windows 8. I had to use Recovery mode to refresh my Windows 8 installation. The Recovery mode was automatically invoked after I failed to boot the virtual machine up several times. I tried the Guest Additions today, thinking that it would be compatible with Windows 8 after a few months passed. It turned out that the Guest Additions were still not compatible with Windows 8. I ran into the same problem again; the virtual machine booted up to a black screen. I tried to reboot the virtual machine several times, hoping that it would invoke Recovery Mode for me to uninstall the Guest Additions. However, the Recovery Mode did not run automatically this time. I found a trick to force the Windows 8 virtual machine to boot to Recovery Mode. All you have to do is to disable the network adapter. Here are the steps:
- Select the Windows 8 virtual machine and click on Settings.
- Click on Network and make sure Enable Network Adapter is not checked for all 4 adapters.
- Start the virtual machine and it will enter Recovery Mode.
Oracle has published yet another update over the weekend to address some critical vulnerabilities. If you are fed up with all these critical updates, you can completely disable Java content in the browser by using the Java Control Panel. However, there are still quite a few legitimate web sites that require Java. If you disable Java in the browser, you won’t be able to visit those sites anymore.
Since I use Chrome most of the time, I decided to disable Java in the Chrome browser. That way, if I needed to visit Java-enabled websites, I could use a different browser like IE instead. Here is how you disable Java in the Chrome browser.
- Enter chrome://plugins in the address bar and press enter.
- Scroll down and find the Java Plug-in.
- Click on Disable to disable the Java Plug-in.
- Close Chrome and Open it up again.
I was working on an Excel spreadsheet this afternoon. I needed to create a new spreadsheet and keep the current one open. For some reason, after I created a new file, I can not view the original file that I worked on. I tried to close every file and re-open the original file, it did not help. I first thought the workbook was minimize or hidden, but they were not the cause.
After fiddling around with the menu, I finally got it to show up again. Here is what I did:
- Click on View.
- Click on New Windows.
Afterwards, I was able to see my workbook again.