It's a multi-device world. It's not uncommon to have a work PC, a home PC, a smartphone, and a tablet, often with different operating systems. It's also an increasingly insecure world, where every week seems to bring news of a new data breach.
With more and more day-to-day work moving from the desktop to the browser, and the expectation of a seamless shift as you move from one platform to another, these two facts converge dangerously: A password shared among multiple sites means all of your data, and perhaps your entire online identity, is only as safe as the most poorly-secured site you visit. Sticky Password can help.
Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press. More by Liane Cassavoy
Your search for the perfect search is over. Five free tools from the Chrome Web Store work with the Chrome browser to make searching easier, or help you tweak your search queries to minimize unwanted results. If you want to delve only into Wikipedia, or if you want to ignore certain sites—especially ones that seem suspect—you can do it with one of these helpers.
Highlight to Search
I’m lazy. I admit it. Sometimes, the idea of typing a query into a search engine is enough to discourage me from running a Web search altogether. But with Highlight to Search, I can embrace my laziness and still conduct the Web searches I need.
Maxthon Cloud Browser puts tight integration with multiple devices at the heart of its feature list. It also offers a number of utility and convenience features to enhance normal day-to-day Web use.
The free Maxthon Passport account is how syncing and integration is handled. Setting it up is trivial—put in a name and a password, and reply to a configuration email. Once I did this, I was able to install the Maxthon browser on my iPad and import my bookmarks and open tabs.
Yaara is a foodie, horse-lover, and biologist who enjoys being a geek as a full-time job. More by Yaara Lancet
You too need a password manager, and if you're not yet using one, you should. A good password manager makes it simple to securely store your most important information, and access it whenever and wherever you need it. An excellent password manager is both easy to use and secure, with smart cross-platform features that streamline your password usage without compromising your safety. KeePass does this, LastPass does this, and so does Dashlane. The new F-Secure Key's challenge is to do it better.
F-Secure Key (free for basic version, $16/year for Premium) is a new password manager by security company F-Secure. The free PC edition of F-Secure Key—editions for Android, iPhone, and Mac exist as well—is a local one with no online synchronization. The interface is clean and simple, and creating new password entries is intuitive. Importing a database from another manager is also easy enough, providing you know how to export an XML file from your old manager. Similar to other password managers, F-Secure uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) algorithm for its password encryption.
There are lots of ways to obliterate sensitive data from of your drive: blast furnaces, degaussers (magnet field generators), sledgehammers, and secure-deletion software among them. These tools vary in effectiveness—especially as applied variously to hard drives, solid-state drives, and USB flash drives—and in the subsequent usability of the drive.
For the sake of argument (and a more interesting article), let’s assume you’d like to preserve your drive’s functionality. This rules out violence and degaussing, which, though wonderfully effective and perhaps therapeutic, will render a drive useless. Excluding those options leaves you with a choice between software and software-combined-with-firmware methods.
Endlessly tweaking his workflow for comfort and efficiency, Erez is a freelance writer on a mission to discover the simplest, coolest, and most effective software and websites to make tomorrow happen today. More by Erez Zukerman
There’s something ironic about third-party uninstallers: They make you add another tool to get rid of the crud that’s already installed on your computer. Windows’ own Programs and Features tool does a good job of letting you browse through installed applications and remove what you don’t need—so IObit Uninstaller 3 needs to work hard to convince users it really is needed.
The first piece of good news is that IObit Uninstaller 3 doesn’t need to be installed in the traditional sense of the word—it won’t make you Next-Next-Next through a setup wizard before you can use it. You just need to run it, click through a single UAC prompt, and start removing software you don’t want.
Ashampoo Burning Studio 14 is a nice, but extremely mild, upgrade to what is now one of the longest-lived and competent CD/DVD/multimedia burning suites available for PC. It offers all the usual features: CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning, jewel case and cover editing, movie and slideshow creation, plus backup from PC and mobile devices, and does so for an affordable $50 ($20 to upgrade from a previous version).
New features in version 14 are the ability to write password-protected and encrypted discs, and one-click backup of mobile devices. Alas, the one-click backup seems to accept only an optical disc as a destination. Most of the backups that ABS performs may be stored anywhere, even across the network.