Watch out for photos containing malware

Jerseygirlinfl asked the Answer Line forum if photos floating around the Internet could contain mailware.

Cybercriminals use images in a number of ways to infect your computer. In most cases, the photo itself is harmless; it's just a trick to get you to do something stupid. But sometimes, a .jpg file itself will contain malicious code.

Let's look at a few ways in which an image can contain some real bad news.

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Here's how your to-do list can text reminders to your phone

Arnold is looking for a to-do list program he can manage from his PC. But he wants one that will remind him of upcoming tasks by texting his phone.

So let's see: I've got to check out that URL my daughter sent me, put flea stuff on my cat, start research for another article, and…um…oh, yeah, write something about to-do lists. So much to do! How can I remember it all?

[Email your tech questions to]

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Recover files from a dead PC

Freeflowing89 has "a ton of music and documents on an HP laptop" that's not "even close to starting up." Fixing or replacing the computer is one thing, but in the meantime, Freeflowing needs to get those files back.

The easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to recover files from a dead PC doesn't require any access to the computer. You simply restore the files from your most recent backup.

Unless, of course, you don't have a recent backup. And I'm guessing you don't. People with up-to-date backups don't ask me this sort of question.

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Your IP address: Who can see it and what you can do about it

Melanie, concerned about online privacy, asked the Antivirus & Security Software forum who can see her IP address and how serious a problem that is.

All Internet communications require Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. If a website you visit couldn't see your IP address, it would have no way to send you pages, images, files, and so on.

To see how easily a site can see your IP address, visit What Is My  IP Address. Or just Google what's my ip address. It's easier to get than your telephone number.

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How to set and keep your preferred default font in Word

Streeter S. Stuart (whose name is as unique as mine) doesn’t like Word’s default Calibri font. He’s also tired of changing it every time he starts a new document.

If you’re happy with the default settings, Microsoft Word can be a wondrously powerful and intuitive application. It’s also extremely versatile and can be configured to match your own personal preferences. Unfortunately, many of the configuration tools are anything but intuitive.

That also goes for changing Word’s default font. It’s easy enough to change a font in the word, paragraph, or document you’re working on. But changing the programs’ default font—the one that comes up every time you create a new document—isn’t so obvious.

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When Windows Update won't update

Something is blocking Windows Updates on Robert Douglas' PC.

0310 shut down 140

It happens every month: Windows tells you that you need to shut down the PC for an update. But sometimes, you shut it down, reboot, and you still get the update Shut down notice. The update hasn't updated.

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Use KeePass in both Windows and Android

R. Don Schneider protects his passwords by storing them in KeePass. But he also wants to access them on his Android phone.

Everyone on the Internet should use a password manager, and KeePass Password Safe is one of the best. Like all such programs, it stores your passwords in an encrypted database that's easy to access as long as you remember the master password. But it's also free, easy to use, and open source. (See Some password managers are safer than others for details.)

But you're not always at your computer. You'll inevitably want access to your password database from your smartphone, as well.

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