3 ways to keep sensitive files encrypted on a flash drive or external hard drive

NarsiReddy Cheruku wants a way to encrypt files that are stored on a flash drive or external hard drive.

Flash drives are easy to lose. And anything lost can fall into the wrong hands. So if you’re carrying around sensitive information in your pocket, you need to make sure those files are encrypted.

Here are three possible solutions:

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When your computer reboots itself over and over again

Joanne Corrigan Doyle’s six-month-old laptop reboots every few minutes. “Is there anything I can change…to fix this?”

Yes and maybe. There’s a setting you can change that will give you at least a hint of the problem. But the hard part starts after you get that hint.

So let’s get you to a point where your crashes contain some useful information.

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When your Windows image backup fails, try this

Hamza Hamid needs to restore his system, but his image backup hangs halfway through the restore. “What am I supposed to do now?”

This has to be one of the worst things that can happen in the digital world. You create a backup and then, when you need it, it doesn’t work. That’s why I recommend making two backups.

But let’s see if we can fix the problem at hand.

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How to turn off Windows 10's keylogger (yes, it still has one)

J Confusion worries that, despite assumptions that it would be removed, the final version of Windows 10 still has a keylogger.

Last fall, I discussed the keylogger that Microsoft openly put into the Windows 10 Technical Preview. The company admitted that “we may collect voice information” and “typed characters.” At the time I defended Microsoft, pointing out that the Preview was “intended for testing, not day-to-day use,” and that Microsoft recommended against installing the Preview on a computer with sensitive files. I said that “I seriously doubt that the worst spyware features will remain in the finished product.”

I was wrong.

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Your PC boots, gets to the Windows desktop, then freezes. Now what?

Cara Carlson can boot her computer just fine…until she gets to the Windows desktop. Then it freezes and won’t respond to keyboard or mouse.

A lot of programs and drivers load into Windows when you boot. One of them apparently doesn’t play well with others. The trick is to discover and then eliminate the problem program.

But how can you do that if Windows freezes before you can do anything with it?

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How to make the cursor or mouse pointer bigger

Eston Burciaga asked if “there’s a way to drastically increase the size of the standard Windows pointer?”

If you move your mouse, and can’t find the pointer, it’s time to change the way that the pointer looks and behaves. You can make that adjustment through Control Panel’s Mouse tool. The easiest way to get to that tool varies depending on your version of Windows.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

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How to encrypt and password-protect ZIP files the right way

 An anonymous reader asked “Is there any way to crack a password-protected zip file?”

That question can be interpreted two ways. Do you want to hack into someone else’s private files? Or do you want to avoid a form of encryption that won’t give you much protection? Since I believe that most PCWorld readers are inherently good people, I’ll assume that you simply want to be assured that your files will not be cracked.

For some years now, the .zip format—intended primarily for compression—has provided encryption as an added feature. But what kind of encryption it provides depends on the program you use to create and open the ZIP file.

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