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How To Protect Health of Your PC
Here, we will focus on all those techniques which you shouldn’t perform on your system, thereby saving yourself from unnecessary expenses on repairing the system.Follow These Techniques To Protect Health of PC: Deleting recovery partition
Whenever a new Windows 10 is installed on a system, it creates a recovery portion. This recovery portion is useful in resetting your Windows without the need for an installation disk or a USB recovery drive.
Press Windows key + X and select Disk Management
Now next to the box named Disk 0, you will see a section named Recovery Partition. Here, you can see the space used by the recovery partition.
However, if you want to remove the recovery partition what you can do is create an image of Windows or create a copy of the recovery partition on the external drive. Remember this is a time-consuming process.Deleting Important Entries from Registry
Windows keep all the information of OS and other software in a systematic place known as Registry. To save all this information securely, Registry occupies some space on your disk. Over time as you install and uninstall applications registry gets cluttered, but it does affect system’s performance.
Therefore, using a free Registry Cleaning Software that claims to clean registry entries is not recommended. These Registry cleaners sometimes do more harm than good. Moreover, if you use an untrusted registry cleaner you might up removing genuine entries that harm the system’s performance.
Hence, we recommend you not to visit the registry section until it is done by a professional.Wiping Out system or other Crucial files
System files are the sole of Windows. There are different files for different purposes and changing their nature of work by deleting them will cause severe damage to Windows.
It is highly recommended not to Touch C drive unless you are aware of the functioning of the system and know how to tackle the Windows-related problem.Driver Cleanup
Computer drivers connect the hardware to software, hence it’s important to keep drivers updated like the graphics card driver, chipset driver for a great experience and performance of your system.
To update these drivers numerous Driver Cleanup tools are available on the internet. But they cannot be trusted as most of them are notorious and instead of downloading a genuine driver, they install incorrect ones that harm the system. To avoid facing such problems using a reliable and trusted driver updating utility is recommended. For this, we suggest using Advanced Driver Updater – a popular software designed for Windows to update outdated and missing drivers.Drive Wiping
Drive Wiping as the name explains, means completely erasing the data from your PC and making it new.
In Windows 10 when you reset it, you have an option of keeping your files safe or erase everything.
If you are just resetting it for better performance and personal use you can keep your files intact but what if you are resting it to give it to someone. In this case, you have to think smartly and can use a tool like Drive Scrubber. This genuine tool will leave no traces of previous use on the drive and you can rest assured of your security of files and data while selling your system to someone.Conclusion: –
As seen, numerous ways are using which you can clean your Windows PC. But not every way is good for the health of your PC. Therefore, before you plan to go with any specific way to maintain PC health think twice. One wrong action taken by you can cause you money and data loss.
Hence, we suggest keeping the above mistakes in mind whenever you plan to clean the PC. In addition to this, we recommend using a PC Optimizer tool that helps clean junk files and other unwanted data from the system.
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These days, however, there are probably quite a few people on the Internet who’ll have a good idea if you’re a dog. They probably also know, or could easily find out, your name, what you look like, where you live, where you work, your date of birth, the name of the first school you went to, and maybe your mother’s maiden name as well.
If that sounds frightening, then perhaps it should be – identity fraud accounted for 68% of cases filed to the National Fraud Database in 2023, and the majority of these cases (86%) resulted from online interactions, according to Cifas, a cross-industry UK fraud prevention service.
If someone does manage to piece enough information together about you, they can open bank accounts in your name and use them for money laundering, apply for loans and more. You will then be chased to pay back those loans, and the police might think you are the one responsible for money laundering. Sorting this out and proving it wasn’t you can take time, involve a lot of stress and could even cost you your job. Identity theft can ruin your life, so protecting your identity should be a top priority.
Remove your personal data from commercial databases
Hundreds of data brokers collect and sell your personal information, increasing your chances of spam, scams, and identity theft. Take back control of your data privacy. Opt out of these databases with Incogni.
Fortunately there are more than a few tools at your disposal to help better protect your online identity, as well as adopting some best practices and taking proactive steps. Here are the main ones you should know about – and put into action!1. Use a password manager
One way people can get to your personal information is by guessing your passwords and logging into accounts that contain that information.
Maintaining separate passwords for each and every account you use is a drag, not to mention impractical.
You could come up with strong and unique passwords for everything that requires one, and maybe even write those down on a piece of paper, or in a notebook, and keep that somewhere safe. That, obviously, isn’t convenient for times when you’re out and about.
You could in theory take that notebook with you, but, of course, if you lose your notebook, then you’ve got to reset passwords for everything and start again. If it’s stolen, then, well, you’ve just given whoever’s stolen it a veritable goldmine of information.
You could also use a third-party service such as Facebook or Google to sign into other apps and services – a more convenient solution, but then, of course, you’re giving Facebook and Google, or whoever, an even greater idea of your browsing and spending habits.
A more practical option is to use a password manager, an app which stores and encrypts login details for every service you use behind a single, strong master password.
Jim Martin / Foundry
The best password managers can protect your accounts with biometric logins meaning you can use fingerprint scanners and front-facing cameras on your phone, laptop, or PC to confirm that it is indeed you that’s logging in, and not someone else.
A good password manager will also support multi-factor authentication by default, which means when you correctly enter your master password, you’ll also be required to enter an additional code, securely sent to you through another app. Speaking of which…2. Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication, commonly expressed as ‘2FA’, or sometimes ‘two-step verification’, is a simple but effective way of adding an extra layer of protection to any account you regularly sign in to.
IDG / Ashley Biancuzzo
With two-factor authentication set up, once you’ve entered your password – the first factor of authentication – you’ll be sent a four or six digit code to enter as well – the second factor of authentication.
If you don’t have access to that second code, then you’re not getting in. That means it doesn’t matter if someone has correctly guessed your password: they still can’t access your account.
The best approach is to have authentication codes sent to you via an authenticator app, such as Authy, Duo Mobile, Google Authenticator, or Microsoft Authenticator. Some password managers, like Dashlane and 1Password, come with their own built-in authenticators.
You could also consider investing in a security key. These hardware devices have to be plugged into one of your laptop’s USB port, or tapped on your phone to authenticate via NFC. You need to be careful not to lose them, much like your house keys, and they’re not supported by all that many services online.
Security key options include Yubico’s YubiKey 5C, CryptoTrust’s OnlyKey, and Thetis’s FIDO2.3. DON’T have authentication codes texted to you
While 2FA is a great idea in theory, in practice, it’s not a good idea to have companies text you authentication codes.
The reason for this is simple: SMS text messages can be intercepted, and it doesn’t require costly equipment or extensive technical knowledge to do so. Once someone has your authentication code, then they could very well gain access to a number of things; your online bank account or investment portfolio, or whatever you’re trying to log in to.
If a service supports 2FA, you should check if you can use an authenticator app instead having codes via text/SMS.
Alternatively, there might be an option to be sent authentication codes via email instead. That’s a more secure option, as your email provider should be encrypting messages in transit as standard. However, if your email account is compromised, then you’re at risk.
For this reason, it’s good practice to automatically delete any kind of authentication email that’s sent to your account.4. Use a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a good way of securing your online activity, as a VPN encrypts all of your network traffic, preventing anyone from keeping a log of your online sessions.
Anyron Copeman / Foundry
Well, almost anyone – the only organisation that could know which sites and services you visit and log in to is the VPN provider itself.
This is why, when shopping around for a VPN provider it is important to check to see if the VPN provider operates a strict ‘no connection logs’ policy, and, more importantly, if that policy has been independently verified.
VPNs that have made the grade in this regard in our most recent round of testing include NordVPN, CyberGhost, and PureVPN – see our round-up of the best VPN services for a full breakdown.5. Use burner email address
While newsletters can be great ways of finding out about promotions and getting some money-off vouchers, it might be a good idea for you to sign up to these using a dedicated email address, instead of your main one.
Foundry / IDG
While 2-for-1 deals and cheap pizzas are great, what’s not great is when marketing companies share subscriber information with data brokers, which can lead to you being sent a lot of marketing emails for things you never even signed up for in the first place, or aren’t even interested in.
While that in itself is not an inherent security risk, what it can do is make it harder for you to spot scam emails and similar phishing attempts, which often disguise themselves as legitimate marketing emails. Plus, who wants junk mail? No-one.
If all marketing traffic is funneled towards a specific email account, it leaves your mail account with emails you might actually want to read.6. Ask data brokers to delete information they hold on you
Data brokers, such as Acxiom, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion make money from selling information about you to marketing companies.
Information about you can come from a variety of sources, from companies selling your data to third parties as described above, from analysing your web browsing history, and your shopping history.
While the UK has now left the European Union, the terms of the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) still applies.
Under Article 21 of the GDPR, you can order companies to stop processing any personal data they hold on you for the purposes of marketing, and under Article 15, you have the right to make an SAR (subject access request), where a company must share all and any personal data they hold about you, for free.
In the U.S. your rights currently vary from state to state, but you still may be successful in contacting a company or organisation with an SAR – or SRR (subject rights request) as they’re also known. U.S. based non-profit Privacy Rights Clearninghouse maintains a list of data brokers, which states they’re located in, and whether or not they allow an opt out.
As per the Australian Privacy Act, you can request access to the data that a company holds on you, and request to correct any incorrect information, delete it or de-identify it, if it is no longer required for their purposes.
In order to make any kind of access request, you will need to provide some basic information – such as your name, home address, phone number email address – and possibly some supplementary information, such as your account name/user ID, so that a company can correctly identify you and process your request.
You can also pay third parties to contact data brokers on your behalf, if you are short on time – organisations offering such a service include DeleteMe, Incogni, OneRep, OptOutUK, and PrivacyBee.
However, data brokers may not respond to requests made on behalf of individuals by third parties such as these. It might be that a company can only tell you who holds data about you – in which case it would then be up to you to contact the company, and request that they delete any data held on you.7. Lock down or delete social media accounts
In addition to getting rid of the inevitable cringe posts and photos of you with regrettable haircuts/outfits/both, closing or deleting old or inactive social accounts and blogs can be a good idea, especially if they contain anything too personal.
In short, if you’re no longer using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any kind of platform, consider deleting it, or, at the very least, lock down the privacy settings to control who can see that data. That way you still maintain a presence on those platforms, but they’re much less likely to be used by anyone trying to impersonate you.8. Don’t share too much online
Comedian Stewart Lee once memorably described Twitter as “the Stasi for the Angry Birds generation”, and famously does not maintain a personal social media presence.
While you might not want to employ the same approach to social media as Mr. Lee, his main point about revealing one’s whereabouts and habits on a public online platform like Twitter is worth keeping in mind.
Posting a photo of you in front of the house you’ve recently moved into, then later complaining that your landlord still hasn’t fixed that downstairs window, and then announcing to the world that you’re about to go on holiday for a couple of weeks, could all add up to you coming back home to a nasty surprise.9. Opt out of sharing data
Also, moderate what you share online, and be savvy about how someone looking at your profile might join the dots. Use some form of multi-factor authentication, but don’t have codes sent to you via SMS if at all possible, and consider using a password manager and a VPN to better protect yourself and your online activity.Related stories
I am not a neat person. You need only to see my desk to realize that. However, when it comes to my PC case, I keep the cables organized.
When you’re tinkering with a PC, organizing the cables is a good habit to get into, for plenty of practical reasons.
You’re ensuring that stray wires or cables don’t touch the fans, which would produce teeth-clenching noise and increase the heat around critical components. (Fans can also burn out this way.)
You can improve airflow throughout the case, so that the entire system remains cool and stable.
Good cable organization allows you to find the wire or cable you need when you have to unwind them to change out a component.
So here are some guidelines for organizing the cable clutter inside your PC. Rather than give abstract rules of thumb, I’ll walk through an example, and offer ideas and suggestions along the way.Taking Inventory of Your Components
For this cable-routing project, I’ll start with a fairly modern PC case. This is the Fractal Designs Define R3, a midsize-tower chassis designed to house a quiet high-performance PC.
Although this case offers modern amenities such as a cutout behind the motherboard CPU socket to make mounting exotic coolers easier, it isn’t excessively wide or deep. I’m going to build in a high-end graphics card, but with a case like this I can’t fit one of those foot-long Radeon HD 6990 cards. The interior space is only a little roomier than that of the typical midsize-tower case, which affords me the opportunity to show you how to declutter cables inside an average case.
Of course, building a PC requires collecting a set of PC components. I’m going to transplant an existing system based on an Intel DX58SO2 motherboard and a Core i7-970 processor. Just so no one accuses me of cheating, I won’t use a modular power supply. The Corsair TX850w unit has all its cables permanently connected, including two full runs of SATA power and four PCI Express power cables. As you can see, everything makes for quite a pile of parts.
The CPU cooler is a Corsair H70, which is a sealed liquid cooler with two 120mm fans. While it moves clutter away from the CPU socket, it adds clutter to the back of the case, which creates challenges of its own.Check Your Connectors
Before installing components, spend some time doing a connector inventory. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how many cables and wires need to be routed. My particular system has the following pieces.
One nonmodular power supply (with several excess power connectors)
One high-end graphics card, requiring two PCI Express power connectors
Three hard drives, for a total of three SATA power connectors and three SATA data cables
The motherboard, with associated power, reset, power LED, audio, eSATA, and USB connections; also needs a main power connection from the power supply as well as the eight-pin ATX12V auxiliary power connection
One optical drive, with a SATA data cable and power connector
The sealed liquid cooler, which needs two fan connections on the motherboard for power
One front case fan, which also requires a motherboard case fan connector
Now that I understand what needs to be routed, it’s time to string some cables. But wait–since I’m going to organize the cables, I need some gizmos to tie the cables back. Thankfully, plenty of good options are available for tying down cables.
Personally, I use everything from rubber bands to twist ties to Velcro straps to nylon buckle ties. But I do not use zip ties–ever. A few years ago, I unpacked a system in which the builder had obsessively dressed the interior cables with zip ties, every 3 or 4 inches. Tracing any individual cable or wire required half an hour of carefully cutting zip ties to avoid slicing actual power or data cable. As cautious as I was trying to be, I accidentally cut a wire connected to a four-pin Molex power plug.
Luckily, the power supply had a few spares. But it was still annoying, and that’s why I recommend you avoid zip ties for organizing your cables. In any system where you might change components out at will, using something as permanent and hard to remove as zip ties is simply not practical. You can find a host of other, more ergonomic and user-friendly tie-down methods. After all, you’re not handcuffing your PC for transport to jail–you’re working inside the machine.
Next page: Find Your Route, and Tie Down Your Cables
All major operating systems offer a way to set up a login password. This gives people the feeling that access to their computer is protected, and their files are private. Unfortunately, this is only an illusion. If you boot, say, Ubuntu from an USB stick, you can mount a Windows partition and read all files without providing any password. People have a mild shock when they first find out how easy this is.
But this does not mean that protecting your login account with a password is useless, just that it’s meant more as a method of restricting access when you temporarily leave your desk. But what do you do if you want to make sure nobody can read your files while you leave your computer unattended for hours or days?Your Disks Have Their Own “Operating System”
One solution to keep your data private is full disk encryption. Another simple solution is to password-protect the disk itself. Firmware is software that runs on a device, and disks have them too. This is independent from your operating system and can enforce its own rules, which means no one will be able to read and write to this disk without providing the proper password. The disk itself will refuse all access and can’t be tricked by a different operating system. Even if the disk is removed and moved to another computer, access will be denied.How to Set Up Disk Password from BIOS or UEFI
You can consider UEFI as a sort of micro operating system that runs on your computer before anything else is loaded (like the bootloader, Windows, drivers and so on). You will enter its setup menu to configure the passwords. BIOS is similar but only used on rather old computers.Enter UEFI/BIOS Setup
Unfortunately, there is no standard method to access this menu. Every motherboard manufacturer freely chooses the desired setup key. But, generally, after you press the power button on your computer, you will quickly have to tap DEL, ESC, F1, F2, F10, F12 to enter setup. If you have BIOS, this is the only way to access its settings. Tap one of these keys multiple times to be certain UEFI/BIOS picks up on it. If none of the keys work, read your printed motherboard manual or search for it online to find the required key.
On modern UEFI implementations, you can reboot to this setup menu directly from Windows.Password Lock Disks
UEFI/BIOS setup menus also have no standard set in stone. Each manufacturer implements their own desired version. The menu may include a graphical user interface (GUI) or a text user interface (TUI).
Use the left or right arrow keys to navigate to the “Security” tab (or equivalent) if your setup which will look like the following image.
Otherwise, browse until you find a similar setting, where you can set disk passwords. Consult the motherboard manual if you have trouble finding it.
You will usually need to find the disk’s codename in that list, select it, and then set a user password, and possibly, a master password.
Warning: if you forget the password, there is no magic reset method. You basically lose your drive; it becomes a useless brick. It’s true that some drives will let you completely wipe them to clear the password, but those are the exception and not the rule.
Don’t confuse the user disk password with the UEFI/BIOS user password.
If the options to set the user password/master password for the disks are grayed out, it means you have to power cycle the machine. Simply power it off, power back on, and then press the required key to enter UEFI/BIOS setup. This has to happen before booting to Windows, otherwise the UEFI/BIOS will lock disk security settings again as a protection measure against unauthorized changes (for example, malware could use this to lock you out).
Set the disk user password. After you save it, the computer will ask for this password every time you power it on to unlock the drive. If you have the option available, set the master password, too, just to make sure you overwrite the factory default.
Save BIOS/UEFI settings and exit. (The proper key to do this should be displayed somewhere on the screen.)Conclusion
At this point you know that your disk is safely locked when you leave your computer unattended. And, if you desire, you can also password-protect access to your BIOS/UEFI settings. This will usually be called an “Administrator password.” The “User password” is used for a different purpose and is not really required in this particular case. But if that is the only one you have available, set that to prevent unauthorized changes to your BIOS/UEFI settings. It should be noted, however, that if someone opens your computer case, this password can be reset. Consider it a “light” security measure.
Fell in love with computers when he was four years old. 27 years later, the passion is still burning, fueling constant learning. Spends most of his time in terminal windows and SSH sessions, managing Linux desktops and servers.
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Last February, burnt out and in desperate need of a break, David Niu quit his job and bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand for himself, his wife, and his 10-month-old daughter.
Traveling across Asia and Australia as his daughter was learning to walk, he spent six months soaking up the local cultures and interviewing entrepreneurs. He was looking to improve his management and leadership skills and get a few business ideas, so he asked them, “What’s your biggest pain point around managing employees that you’d pay to solve?”
Unsurprisingly, they talked about every boss’s worst nightmare: someone quitting. All that time interviewing and training goes down the drain, and suddenly there’s an empty hole that needs to be filled.
That was the inspiration for TINYpulse, a tool that helps companies get anonymous feedback from employees to quash problems before they become deal breakers. Every week, TINYpulse sends out a questionnaire to your employees with a single question. For example:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?
With eyes closed and fingers crossed, can you recite your organization’s vision, mission, and cultural values?
How likely is it that you’ll be working here in a year?
Name one best practice from a previous employer that we should consider doing.
Rate your own performance for the last 6 months.
Companies like Amazon, Hubspot, and SEOmoz are already using these weekly checkups to improve their culture. You can share results with the team, along with any feedback or notes that employees left, and see how your company performs against others. For example, the average TINYpulse user rates his happiness at 7.7, and how valued he feels at work at 7.4. Only 49 percent of respondents know their company values and mission.
If you see someone’s happiness slipping down to a 4 or 5, you can send them a private message – they remain totally anonymous – to help learn more about the problem and start to resolve it.
Another much-loved TINYpulse feature is called “cheers.” Along with their answer, employees can submit cheers for a fellow colleague who did something awesome that week. And companies have gotten creative with their cheers: one pins them on the wall for all to see, and another puts the cheers in a hat and selects one winner per week to get a prize.
All this may not only prevent employees from quitting, but actually surface ideas and suggestions to make the company more productive. For example, one company had raised $10 million and learned via TINYpulse that many employees were wondering about a raise. So they addressed that question in a company-wide meeting, rather than let all the speculations and whispering continue.
The trend in company culture is no longer about rules or even perks, says Niu, but really inspiring people. Startups like Niko Niko, Murmur, and TINYpulse are creating products to help employees feel more connected and inspired.
“We spend more than 50 percent of our waking hours at work. Why not be happier?” he says.
TINYpulse costs $49 per month for up to 15 employees, and $149 per month for up to 50. With a little technological help, employees around the world can avoid the kind of burnout that drove Niu to quit, and can find the happiness he’s found at TINYpulse.
How to block telemetry in Windows 7 and protect your privacy
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Whether you like it or hate it, Microsoft does not explicitly tell you what kind of information it collects as part of the Windows 7 and 8.1 telemetry, though the company makes you aware of it.
More to the point, Redmond does not reveal the data included in the telemetry that its servers extract from your PC.
Fortunately, some resourceful users managed to come up with a series of quick solutions to limit Microsoft’s data collection and transfer practices.
In this article, we’re going to tell you what you can do to try to block telemetry in Windows 7 and 8.1.
However, we can’t give any assurance that Microsoft will no longer be able to gather data from your computer after you have made the recommended changes.
Remember to back up your data first before performing the procedures.
Looking for the best backup software? Here are our top picks.How do I turn off Microsoft Telemetry in Windows 7?
We’ll list the detailed instructions below.1. Remove telemetry and diagnostic data updates
First off, these are the telemetry-related Windows updates:
KB971033: Description of the update for Windows Activation Technologies
KB2952664: Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 7
KB2976978: Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
KB2977759: Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM
KB2990214: Update that enables you to upgrade from Windows 7 to a later version of Windows
KB3021917: Update to Windows 7 SP1 for performance improvements
KB3022345: Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB3035583: Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
KB3044374: Update that enables you to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10
KB3068708: Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB3075249: Update that adds telemetry points to chúng tôi in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
KB3080149: Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB3123862: Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
Many users believe the role of these updates is to simply snoop on them, although no clear confirmation is available yet.
Repeat the command and replace the number after “kb:” with the serial number of the update that you want to get rid of. Example: wusa/uninstall/kb:KB2952664/quiet/norestart.
It is worth pointing out that you must also hide the update that you have uninstalled, otherwise Windows will restore that update once it scans your system for patches.
Should I install all Windows 7 updates? Generally, you should, but find out more from our detailed article!2. Remove the diagnostic tracking service
While the diagnostic tracking service might have already been removed from your system, it pays to be extra cautious and check for its existence.
The following commands help to see whether the telemetry service is still present in your PC. First, launch an elevated command prompt and run these commands:
sc stop Diagtrack: it stops the Diagtrack service.
sc delete Diagtrack: this command deletes the Diagtrack service.3. Run this script to block Windows 7 telemetry
If you’re looking for a quick solution, there is a special script that you can use and run on your Windows 7 computer. This script will disable most of the telemetry tools that Microsoft installed on your device.
For more information, you can check out this GitHub page and get the script from there.4. Disable Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program
One way to manually block telemetry is to disable the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program, also known as CEIP. To disable it, do the following:
Select Customer Experience Improvement Program settings in the Related settings
Now you need to disable telemetry tasks from Task Scheduler. To do that, follow these steps:
In the right pane, disable AITAgent and ProgramDataUpdater tasks.
In the right pane, disable Consolidator, KernelCeipTask, and UsbCeip tasks.
Bear in mind that this method won’t disable all telemetry settings, but it should disable most of them.
Do you know of other methods to block telemetry in Windows 7 and 8.1? Let us know!RELATED STORIES YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:
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