Facebook and G-mail Tips--- Account Properly Setup Recovery and Backup Options for Two-Step Verification

I’ve always been a big proponent of two-step verification and it seems these days you really need to use it. Just look at the recent Apple security hole that allowed people to reset your Apple ID password with just your email address and DOB. If you had enabled two-step verification on your account, you would not have to worry about this problem.

Though two-step verification can make your account more secure, it can also cause a lot of problems if you happen to lose the device that generates the codes. Just like there is more upfront setup required to use two-step verification, there is also a bit of backend setup you must do to ensure you can regain access to your account in case of loss or theft.

I currently have 2-step verification enabled on Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Lastpass.com and Apple.com. After doing a little research, I realized I didn’t quite have my backups ready. I actually pretended like I lost my device and wanted to see how easy it would be to get back in. I was surprised. If you don’t have the right stuff setup, you could end up either permanently locking yourself out or having to through through hours or days of trying to convince customer service people you are the real owner of the account.

In this article, I’ll go through those five sites and explain what you need to do in order to ensure that your account remains secure, but is still recoverable in case you lose your phone and can’t generate the codes anymore.

Google
There are a couple of things you should setup in terms of recovery for your Google account. To get started, head over to the account Settings page here:

https://www.google.com/settings/account

First thing you want to do is add a recovery email address. The recovery email address is more often used when you forget your password or your account has been hacked, but it’s still another mechanism that can be used to get back into your account regardless of what’s preventing you from getting in.


Next, click on Security and then click on Settings 2-step verification.


Here is where you need to setup the backup options for 2-step verification or at least make sure everything is up-to-date.


The important aspects here are the backup phones and the printable backup codes. You should definitely have at least one backup phone, which can be another cell phone, home phone, etc. Obviously, make sure this other backup phone is also secure or with someone who you completely trust like your parents or someone. My 2 year old daughter was playing with my iPhone and deleted the Google Authenticator app. I couldn’t restore it from backup and therefore I had to get a call on my backup phone in order to get it.

The nice thing about the backup phone is that if you can’t receive a text message on it, you can have an automated service call you with the code. Secondly, print out the backup codes and do not save them on your computer. It gives you the option, but it’s a terrible idea. You don’t want these codes in digital format. Nor do you want to be carrying the backup codes around in your wallet. They should be kept securely in one location and pulled out only when you need them.

The last thing you can to is make one or two computers Trusted Computers. If you scroll down on the 2-step verification settings page, you’ll see if the current computer is trusted or not:


This basically means you won’t have to type the verification code on that computer for about 30 days or so. After that point, it asks anyway, but if you lose your phone, then you can use a trusted computer to sign in and then move 2-step to another phone or just disable it until you get time to set it up again.

Dropbox
Dropbox 2-step is similar to Google, but doesn’t have as many options. Basically, if you lose your phone, you have to enter a emergency backup code that they give you when you initially setup 2-step verification. If you already enabled it and can’t find the code anymore, you should disable 2-step and then re-enable it in order to generate the new emergency backup code.

Once you log into Dropbox, you need to click on your name at the top and then click on Settings. Then click on Security:


The first thing you want to do is disable 2-step if you don’t have your emergency backup code. Once you have that and have enabled 2-step, go ahead and make sure to add a backup phone number. I use the Google Authenticator app to generate the codes because you can then use your phone as a backup. If you use your phone SMS to get the codes, then your only backup is the emergency backup code. That’s why it’s better to install the Google Authenticator app and then use your phone number as a backup. Then you’ll have two backups in case something goes wrong.

It’s also worth nothing that Dropbox has trusted computers also and if you do lose your phone and you don’t have any backups available, you can still login on a trusted computer. But if you lose your phone and don’t either have the emergency code or a backup phone, then you’re screwed. Or at least you’ll have to call Dropbox and pray they believe you.

Apple
When it comes to Apple, you can log into your account as long as you have two of the three items below:

1. Apple ID password

2. Access to a trusted device

3. Your recovery key

As long as you have any combination of 2 of these items, you can get back into your account. Once you have logged into your Apple ID account, click on Password and Security to manage your trusted devices and your recovery key. It’s a good idea to add several trusted devices like your phone, spouse’s phone, etc. Currently, trusted devices have to support SMS, so you can’t add an iPad or anything like that.


The next thing is to print out your recovery key or click the Replace Lost Key if you forgot to print it out the first time when you setup 2-step verification. Again, it’s best it just print this out and not save it in any type of digital format. It’s a lot easier for digital data to be stolen than a piece of paper in a safe or stuffed in some strange location only you know.

LastPass
LastPass is fairly straight-forward in terms of not having access to your codes; they basically have a link that will send you an email, which will then disable Google Authenticator temporarily so you can log in.


LastPass is the only place where you don’t have to actually do anything extra in order to gain access back to your account.

Facebook
Facebook has Login Approvals, which is the same as 2-step verification. It’s not as stringent as Google’s 2-step verification, but it’s still pretty useful and can prevent hackers from gaining access to your account. Login Approvals either sends you a SMS on your phone or you can use Code Generator in the Facebook app.



The reason I said Facebook is less stringent is because it won’t ask you for that code when logging in from any of your recognized devices, which is pretty much every device you have ever used to log into the site. If you lose your phone and you don’t have the Facebook app installed on any other device, you’ll have to login from a recognized device. If you don’t have any way to login from a recognized device, you have to file a report and wait forever to get access back.

So I would install the Facebook app on at least two devices, maybe your phone and a tablet and then make sure you have a couple of computers that are recognized devices.

Hopefully this article gives you a little more idea on how to ensure you are using 2-step verification properly and not potentially locking yourself out with the extra security. If you haven’t enabled 2-step verification at all, I strongly recommend it along with making sure your backup and recovery options are set. This way you’ll have more peace of mind when everything is working and peace of mind even when your device is lost or stolen. Enjoy!



"Computer Tips--- New feature Google Analytics Reports makes viewing customized reports a lot easier"



Reference : online-tech-tips.com


Computer Tips--- Use the Command Line to Kill a Program

Everyone knows how to kill a program using Task Manager in Windows or Force Quit in OS X, but sometimes it’s useful to kill a program using the command line. I’ve run into several situations where the program refused to end via Task Manager, even when I tried to kill the underlying process. Force Quit has it’s own quirks and doesn’t always kill a program like it should. That’s when you can use the power of the command line.

In this article, I’ll go through the commands for killing a program in Windows, OS X and Linux. Interestingly, there is usually more than one command for accomplishing this, so I’ll try to mention the different ones that I have used. It’s not an exhaustive list, so if you use a different command not mentioned here, please let us know in the comments.

Windows – TSKILL and TASKKILL
In Windows, you can use two commands to kill a program: TSKILL and TASKKILL. TSKILL is a simpler and less powerful command, but does the job just fine. For example, if you’re running Microsoft Word, the process name is winword.exe. To kill Word from the command line just type the following command:

tskill winword
That will kill Word and you will lose any unsaved data, so you have to be careful using it. I tried it out on an unsaved Word doc and it just disappeared when I ran this, no prompts to save the documents. This is pretty much true of all the commands I’m going to mention here as that’s kind of the point. You can to kill a program instantly without any questions.


One thing to note is that most of the time that this command is used, it’s used with the /A parameter. /A tells the command to end the process running under all sessions. So typically you would type the following command to be extra sure the process is killed:

tskill /A winword
The second command, which has more options and is more powerful, is TASKKILL. If you look at the help page for TASKKILL, you see what I mean:


If you want to have more control and options for killing a program in Windows, use TASKKILL. For starters, you can kill a program by using the following command:

taskkill /F /IM winword.exe
Note that you have to use .EXE when using the TASKKILL command. /F means to forcefully terminate the process forcefully. /IM means the image name, i.e. the process name. If you want to kill using the process ID (PID), you have to use /PID instead of /IM. /T is great because it will kill all child processes started by the specified process.

You can also use TASKKILL to remotely connect to another system and kill a process on that remote system. What I also like is the ability to use wildcards in TASKKILL.

OS X/Linux – KILL and KILLALL
In OS X and Linux, you have two commands for killing processes: KILL and KILLALL. You have to run these in the terminal window. In order to kill a program, you either have to use the program name or the process ID. There are some ways you can find this info. One way is via the Activity Monitor.


However, that requires the GUI interface. If you are using the command line to kill a process, you can use the command line to find the process info also. Two commands that come to mind are top and ps -ax.


top will give you a list of processes with the PID and the program name also sorted by CPU usage. It’s a quick way to find the process you want to kill. ps -ax will give you a listed sorted by PID and the path of the program. It’s slightly different than top.


Now for killing the program in OS X. You can simply type the following command to kill a specific process:

kill -9 83002
83002 is the Terminal process and the 9 means to kill the process. You can use other numbers like 3, which means Quit, or 6, which means Abort. Mostly, though, you’ll be sticking with 9. You can also use the KILL command to kill all running processes, though you should probably never use this command.

kill -TERM -1
Where KILL is useful for killing one process or all processes, KILLALL is using for killing a group of processes. For example, if you’re running Google Chrome, you might have 10 Chrome processes running. It would be really annoying to use KILL ten times to shut down Chrome. Instead, you could use KILLALL like so:

killall Evernote
or
killall 'Google Chrome'
Note that you have to use the single quotes or anything longer than one word. Also, if the process is not running under your name, but is instead running under root, you have to use the following command:

sudo killall 'Google Chrome'
or

sudo killall -9 'Google Chrome'
Again, the 9 is sending the specific signal to KILL rather than TERM. Sudo is only needed if you get an error about not having permission. Otherwise you can do killall program or killall -9 program. On OS X, the KILLALL command comes in really handy when you can’t force quit a program. You don’t have to know the process ID, which is nice. Just type in the name and all processes will be killed associated with that name.

This article was meant to give you more advanced methods for killing a program in Windows, OS X and Linux. If you have any questions about killing a program using the command line, post a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!



"Computer Tips--- Use the Command Line to Kill a Program"


Reference : online-tech-tips.com



Computer Tips--- New feature Google Analytics Reports makes viewing customized reports a lot easier

Google Analytics is a great free tool from Google that millions of small and large websites use to keep track of their website visitors. The Google Analytics team has released a new feature that makes viewing customized reports a lot easier. The feature is called Shortcuts and it basically lets you view a report with any customizations including advanced segments, secondary dimensions, sorting, graph views, etc.

Any Custom or Standard report can be added to shortcuts. However, any Real-Time on Intelligence Events reports cannot be added to shortcuts at this time. Also, Goals reports cannot be added either. Other than that, though, you can start saving your customized reports to shortcuts. Here’s how.

First, go to a report and then customize it however you like. For example, I went to Traffic Sources – All Traffic report and then chose Search Traffic under Advanced Segments. Then I chose Country under Secondary Dimension and lastly I sorted the whole thing by Avg. Visit Duration. Now in order to save this report with these settings, click on the Shortcut link at the top navigation bar.


Go ahead and give your new Shortcut a name. You can type in a fairly long name so make sure to include any relevant details. I named mine Search Traffic by Country Sorted by Duration.


Now you’ll see the header for the report change to the name you just gave it.


Pretty sweet! Now I can access this customized report anytime by clicking on Home and then clicking on Shortcuts in the left-hand pane:


So that’s one really useful new feature of Google Analytics that will make it a lot easier for webmasters to view reports with customized settings quickly. Enjoy! 


"Computer Tips--- New feature Google Analytics Reports makes viewing customized reports a lot easier"


Reference : online-tech-tips.com




Computer,iPhone,Facebook,Google+ Tips--- How to Store All Your Photos in the Cloud

Recently, I had some friends over and they were telling me about how they store all of their photos on their computer and run a Windows task to copy all the photos to another computer in their home on a nightly basis for backup purposes. This is definitely good, but I also consider it essential to keep a set of all your pictures online in the cloud.

Uploading photos to the cloud has a couple of advantages over storing them all locally:

1. You can easily share the albums with others

2. You can always access the photos at anytime as long as you have an Internet conncetion

3. You have a backup of all your photos in case something happens to your local copyI always have a local copy of my pictures and then have several copies stored in the cloud. Depending on what services you currently use, the best solution may be different for different people. In this article, 

I’ll try to cover some of the main ways to store your photos in the cloud.


Before we get into details, I wanted to talk about the source for all of these photos. In my case, there are basically three ways I take photos:

1. From my iPhone

2. From my digital SLR camera

3. From  my digital point-and-shoot camera

Photos From Smartphones Storing photos you take from a smartphone in the cloud is pretty straight-forward and you have a lot of options. For Android or iOS devices, you can use a variety of apps or built-in features to upload your photos to the cloud, usually automatically.

Apple has the Photostream and it’s fairly useful, especially with iOS 6 and the addition of shared photo streams, but it’s definitely not a backup solution. It only stores 1000 photos, which is pretty useless for me. Also, Apple doesn’t really have any type of cloud image storage service like Google does (Picasa) and that’s why I recommend downloading apps.

My favorite apps for this are Dropbox and Google+. If you already use Picasa Web Albums, then downloading the Google+ app is the easiest way to store photos in the cloud. The Google+ app has a feature called Instant Upload, which will automatically upload any picture you take on your iPhone or Android device to an album called Instant Upload on Google+ Photos (which is the same as Picasa Web Albums now).



If you don’t use Google+ or Picasa Web Albums, etc, you can also use Dropbox. Dropbox is a service that basically lets you easily “drop” files into a bucket that is then available on any device or computer you have Dropbox installed on. And Dropbox has an app for every platform out there, including Linux, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, etc.

Dropbox also has an automatic upload feature called Camera Upload, which does the exact same thing as the Google+ app. Any picture you take will be automatically uploaded to your Dropbox account when you 
open the app.

So these two apps can basically take care of all your photos from any smartphone you own. They also work on tablets like the iPad, etc. Lastly, I mention only photos, but both of these apps will also upload videos taken on your smartphone. That’s a great way to backup your photos and videos without having to do much.

If you install the Dropbox program on your Mac or PC, it will then automatically sync all those photos and videos to the computer too, so you have an extra backup on your hard drive too.

There are other apps like Facebook and Flickr, but neither of these apps support automatic uploading of photos. Still, I do upload photos to Facebook all the time, but I use Google+ photos and Dropbox to store all my photos whereas I upload only a few good ones to Facebook

Facebook is not setup to use it as a backup of all your photos. Flickr is good, but you have to reply more on third-party apps created by others to get it to do what you want.

Photos from Digital Cameras

Getting photos from your digital camera to the cloud is a little different, but not very complicated either. There are a few more options for uploading your photos from the desktop to the cloud than from a mobile device. For example, if you want, you can also use Flickr as your online cloud storage for photos.

Personally, I suggest either using Dropbox or using Google+ Photos/Picasa Web Albums. Dropbox is nice because you can easily share the photos via email or text message or you can post the pictures to Facebook or Twitter.

Google+ only lets you share with your Google+ circles, but it has some neat image editing tools built right into the web interface. Google is also good because you can download the free Picasa app, which is a great tool for managing photos on your desktop. It’s so much easier to organize your photos using Picasa and then uploading them directly from within the program.


If you’re using Dropbox, you don’t get any nice GUI interface to help with managing your pictures, but if you don’t need the bells and whistles of a program like this, it’s perfect. Just copy your photos from your digital camera, drop the folder into your Dropbox account and everything will be uploaded automatically. You can then easily share the photos with others via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Personally, I have found that using some of these services in combination works out best. On my phone, I use Google+ and Dropbox to upload my photos and videos. It’s easier for me to share them with certain people who are on Google+ and use Dropbox to share with Facebook.

For pictures from my digital cameras, I usually just upload them to Picasa Web Albums via the desktop program. If I want to make it easy for someone to download all the photos for an album, I’ll also copy it to my Dropbox folder and the just send the link to that entire folder.

Overall, it’s a good idea to store your photos in the cloud along with having a local backup copy. If you still are confused about something or need any other help, feel free to post a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!


"computer,iPhone Tips--- How to Store All Your Photos in the Cloud"


Reference : online-tech-tips.com



Computer Tips--- Do you Need to Update your BIOS

As as computer user, you’ve probably heard of the BIOS by now, which stands for Basic Input/Output System. It’s that blue DOS-like screen that pops up if you press F8 or F2 while the computer is starting. The BIOS is the “firmware” for your computer. It’s code that is stored on a chip attached to your motherboard and is the first code that is run when your computer starts.

So what exactly does the BIOS do and do you need to update it? In this article, that’s what I am going to try and answer. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll quickly find that there is no one answer. Lots of people feel updating the BIOS is not necessary unless there’s a specific reason while others feel updating to the latest version is always a good idea. I’ll try to list out the pros and cons of both schools of thought. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

What is the BIOS?

The main purpose of the BIOS is to check all the hardware components attached to the computer and then to load the software on a boot device (hard disk or CD/DVD). This first step is called a power-on self-test. 

The BIOS will check for all hardware components like hard disk drives, CPUs, RAM, graphics cards, keyboards, mice, optical disk drives, and other hardware.


So what else can you do with the BIOS? Mainly, you can use it to configure the hardware on your computer. You can modify settings for hard drives, RAM chips, the CPU and other hardware. You can disable components like USB ports, optical drives, etc. You can change the system clock and manage the power settings from the BIOS also.

One of the main things you can do is setup the main and secondary boot devices. For example, you can change the order of the boot devices so that you can boot from CD/DVD first, then to USB, then to a hard drive, etc.

What does a BIOS Update Include?

If you see there is an update for your BIOS, either through Windows or by visiting the PC manufacturers website, you can usually download an executable program that will perform the update for you. Occasionally, you have to update the BIOS by other methods like using a CD or DVD, but that’s more rare now.

So what does a BIOS update usually include? Here are some of the possible reasons for an updated BIOS:

1. Bug fixes. The BIOS is just code and code is never perfect. An update may include fixes that help the software work better on your machine.

2. Compatibility. An updated BIOS may also include support for newer devices, newer features or newer standards.

3. Performance – There are times where an update include hardware tweaks that can speed up boot time.

The benefits are greater if the computer is older. If you have a machine that is 5 years old and the BIOS has never been updated, the latest version of the BIOS probably has a lot of update and fixes.

Do you need to Update the BIOS?

Now for the real question: do you need to upgrade your BIOS to the latest version? I personally feel that you should only update your BIOS if you’re currently having a problem. If you system is running smoothly and everything is working, why take a risk and possible corrupt your BIOS and end up with a dead machine.Also, I always check the BIOS change log to see what the latest version of the BIOS has to offer. For example, here’s a change lot for a set of Toshiba computers:


As you can see, the latest version of this BIOS adds support for certain keyboards, support for Celeron and Core i3 processors, improves on some settings for SSD drives, etc. Now if you are having an issue where your computer resumes from sleep or hibernate and takes a long time while using an SSD, that might be fixed with this update, according to the change log. That’s definitely a worthy reason to update the BIOS.

However, if you’re not using an SSD, don’t care about the Brazilian keyboard, don’t have a Celeron or Core i3 processor and don’t plan on changing your processor, etc, etc then the update is probably not necessary. I’ve always felt that a newer version of something is not always better. I’ve run into problems before updating drivers to the latest version and then having to roll back because the new driver was actually causing problems that the older driver never did.

Even though the process to update the BIOS is not very complicated, especially with newer computers, it’s still should only be done if you really need it. Don’t fix it if it’s not broken! If you really are not sure whether you need to upgrade or not, you can try to create a backup of your BIOS and then perform the upgrade.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/41

Check out the link above, which walks you through the process of backing up your BIOS depending on the BIOS company. There are a couple of major ones like American Megatrends, AMI, Award, or Phoenix. Each company has their own tools for making backups of the BIOS.

What are your thoughts on updating the BIOS? Do you update it often or never or once in a while? Let us know in the comments. Enjoy!



"Computer Tips--- Do you Need to Update your BIOS"


Reference : online-tech-tips.com


Computer,Windows 7 Tips--- Fix Back Button Not Working in Internet Explorer

I recently ran into a very odd problem on one of my Windows 7 machines where the Back button in Internet Explorer stopped working! I would press back and nothing would happen! It was the oddest thing ever and this was on a fresh install of Windows 7 with IE 9. I had never experienced this problem before and had to think for a little while before I could figure out how to fix it.

In this article, I’ll mention a couple of the methods I used to try and fix the problem. What worked for me may not work for you, so go ahead and try all the different possible solutions. If you still can’t get the back button working on IE, post a comment here and I’ll try to help.


Method 1 – Disable Add-ons

The first thing to try is to disable all add-ons and see if that solves the back button problem. The easiest way to start Internet Explorer without add-ons is to click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and then click on Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).


If that didn’t solve your problem, keep on reading through the other solutions.

Method 2 – Reset Internet Explorer

You can also try resetting Internet Explorer by clicking on the Tools button and then Internet options.


Now click on the Advanced tab and then click on the Reset button at the very bottom.


Now you will get a pop up dialog that goes through everything the reset process will do like disabling toolbars/add-ons, resetting security, privacy, and browsing settings. You can also choose to delete personal settings like the home page, search providers, accelerators, removing temporary Internet files, cookies, browsing history, saved form data, tracking data, and passwords.


I suggest deleting the personal settings too unless you really need them. Once you reset IE, restart your computer and then try browsing again and using the back button. Hopefully it works now!

Method 3 – Install Latest Updates

Apparently, this problem has been around for a while, so go ahead and install the latest Windows updates as there could be a fix for it in one of the updates released. If your computer is up-to-date and you’re still having the Back button problem, keep reading.

Method 4 – Alt Key & Refresh Button

Some people have noted that this back button problem happens with Google AdSense ads or other types of widgets running on a webpage. When you click back, it’s actually working, but it’s going through a bunch of ads instead of the last web page you visited.

A couple of people suggested pressing the Alt key + back button or pressing the Refresh button and then pressing back. Give them a try and see if either solution works. Obviously, it’s not an ideal solution, but if you don’t have the problem all the time or have it on certain websites only, then you can use these tricks.


Method 5 – Uninstall and Reinstall IE

The last thing you can try is to uninstall IE completely and then reinstall it. You can do this by going to Control Panel, Programs and Features and clicking on Turn Windows features on or off. Go ahead and uncheck Internet Explorer 9 and then restart the computer.


If you solved the problem using a different method not listed here, post a comment and let us know. Method 2 is what worked for me. Hopefully, something here fixes your problem. Enjoy!


"Computer,Windows 7 Tips--- Fix Back Button Not Working in Internet Explorer"




Reference : online-tech-tips.com



Computer Tips--- Automatically Logout of Gmail or Google Account

I use a lot of Google products like Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc, etc, and so does everyone in my family. The one problem with this situation is that if you don’t log off your Gmail or Google account, then the next person that comes around can access your entire Google life!

So you would think Google would have developed an option to automatically log you out after a certain amount of time, but it doesn’t exist! There’s one major reason for that too: Google doesn’t ever want you to log out of your account because it can’t track everything you do. If you’re logged in, they gather information about how you use all the Google services and use that information for everything from advertising to how your results are orders in Google Search.

Personally, I don’t really care too much about that aspect. My main reason for automatically logging out of my Google account is just to make sure no one else can access my account after I leave that computer. I’ve seen it happen so many times in hotels and apartment complexes where I go to Gmail in the browser and it loads up someone else’s Gmail account! Lucky for them, I’m not a hacker or an evil person otherwise I could theoertically access lots of sensitive information about that person.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to this problem. In this article, I’ll try to walk through the different things I do in order to make sure my account can’t be accessed by anyone else.

Method 1 – Logout of All Sessions

Let’s say you logged into your Gmail account at a friends house and forgot to logout before leaving. Now what? Technically, that person can just go to Gmail and see all your emails. Luckily, there is one feature 
in Gmail that helps with this type of problem. You can log into Gmail on another computer and then sign out all other sessions.



If you go to Gmail and scroll all the way to the bottom, you will see Last account activity: x minutes ago and a link called Details. If you click on that, it will open a new window showing when you account was accessed by type (browser, IMAP, SMTP, etc) and by IP address/location.


If you click the Sign out all other sessions button, only you will be able to access your Gmail account again. Anyone else will have to sign in again with a password. This is still a very manual process, but it’s useful if you logged in somewhere and can’t physically logout from that device.

Method 2 – Two-Step Verification

The only true “automatic” way to logout of your Google account is if you’re using two-factor authentication (called two-step verification by Google). With two factor authentication, you have to type in your password and you have to type in a six digit code generated every 30 seconds by an app on your phone.


When using two-step verification, if you don’t check the Remember verification for this computer for 30 days option, every time you try to log into your Google account, you will have to type the six digit code. Of course, this requires more setup and you also have a little more hassle of having to type in this code anytime you want to access you account. However, if you’re looking for a way to logout automatically, then you probably are the person that doesn’t mind retyping their credentials.

Also, if you have your password saved in the browser, it works really well because the password will automatically be filled by your browser, but no one can gain access until you type in the code. So instead of having to type in your password again and again, you just need to enter the code.

Method 3 – Plugins and Add-ons

There are a couple of add-ons that you can also try for Chrome and Firefox if you use those browsers. For example, in Chrome there is a plugin called Auto Logout Google Accounts. It adds a button to your toolbar that you can click to instantly logoff your Google account and close the current tab.

It’s not automatic in the sense that you still have to click a button to actually perform the log off! That’s kind of annoying. For Firefox, there is a user script that works in conjunction with Greasemonkey. You can download the script here. The Firefox script will actually put a countdown timer in your Gmail window.


I haven’t tried this one out myself, so I’m not sure if it is still working or not. It’s a couple of years old, so give it a shot and let us know in the comments.

LIke I said before, there really aren’t any great options for automatically logging out of your Google account. If you have found a better solution than the ones mentioned above, feel free to post a comment and let us know. Enjoy!

"Computer Tips--- Automatically Logout of Gmail or Google Account"

Reference : online-tech-tips.com

Computer Tips--- 1080p HD resolution Videos Lagging and Choppy smoothly

I recently bought a Panasonic HD camcorder that records 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. The video quality is awesome…if I could ever watch it! I tried playing the videos on my MacBook Pro (2009) and there was a lot of lag and choppiness. Then I tried to play the videos on my Dell PC and it was even worse! I was so surprised that I could not play my HD videos on any of my computers!

When it comes to playing high-definition videos on your computer smoothly, you have to take into consideration both the software and the hardware. For example, no matter how hard you try, you could never get a Ford Focus to go 200 mph. It simply doesn’t have the engine or power to do it.

Same goes with computers. If you have a laptop or desktop that has an integrated graphics card, chances are you’ll never be able to play 1080p HD video without some lag or choppiness. Why? Because it takes an a large amount of system resources to play high-definition videos

However, if you have a semi-decent video card with a reasonable amount of memory and at least a dual-core processor, there are ways to get your machine to play HD videos smoothly.In this article, I’ll go through all the different methods you can try to get your system to play HD video smoothly. If you have figured out something else not mentioned here, feel free to post a comment and let us know!

Easy Stuff File Location

Before I get into any technical stuff, the first thing you should check is the location of your video files. One reason the video was playing slowly on my Windows machine was because I had copied all the videos over to my NAS and was playing the files from there. For the fastest possible playback, you need to keep the files locally on the hard disk. 

The only time it would be better not to use your hard drive is if you have one of those 5400 RPM drives. Then the hard drive could be a bottleneck. In those cases, the videos may lack because of the slow hard drive. My suggestion would be to upgrade to at least a 7200 RPM drive.

And if you simply can’t fit them on your computer, then they should be on an external drive that is connected to your computer with a fast connection like Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, Firewire 800, eSATA, etc. If you are connecting an external drive over USB 1.0, then your videos will lag no matter how fast your graphics card is!

System Resources

The second easy thing to do is to make sure that nothing else is using up resources on your computer. Since your CPU will be mostly utilized playing the HD file, it will lag if the CPU has to keep switching to another process on your system. Close down all programs and shutdown any unnecessary startup programs that may be running in your taskbar, etc. Sometimes a fresh restart can help too. Once you have closed down as many programs as you can, then try to play the video.

Also, you can try changing the priority of the video player to High so that it gets more of the processor power.


I do not suggest changing it to realtime as that can cause more problems than fixes. And just change the priority for the process of your video player, i.e. VLC, MPC-HC, etc.

Convert to Another Format

If you don’t mind, you can also convert your videos to another format. For example, if your videos are all in AVCHD format, you can convert them to m2ts or a different format like MP4, etc. You can keep the same high resolution, but playing certain formats is just plain easier and require less resources. Playing back AVCHD videos is very CPU intensive and requires a lot of decoding.

So if you have the time, you can try out a program like HandBrake for Windows and Mac and convert your videos to M4V and they will play just fine and still be HD.

Media Players, Codecs & Settings
The next thing to try is a different media player. My favorite for HD video playback is VLC Media Player. It has a lot of codecs and can handle quite a lot of formats. You can also try other players like KMPlayer, but I have found VLC to be the best. Another light-weight player to try is MPC-HC as it supports GPU acceleration too.

One setting you can adjust in VLC Media Player is the post processing routine. If you go to Preferences or Settings in VLC, click on Input & Codecs and you’ll see an option called Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding.


By default, it is set to None. You want to change this to All. Now try to play your 1080p videos and see if there is any lag. Hopefully not! 

This solution worked for me on my MacBook Pro. If that didn’t work for you, then keep reading!If you’re using something like Media Player Classic, then you can try a different codec pack. For example, try uninstalling K-Lite Codec Pack if you have that and install the CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack) instead. Also with Media Player Classic, you can change the renderer and see if that helps. Go to Options – Playback – Output and choose a different one.


Video Card Drivers & Software

The second thing to check is your video card drivers and software. If you have a fairly good system with a video card that supports high-definition playback, but you’re getting significant lag when playing videos, it could simply be a problem with your driver or the settings being incorrect.

Let’s say you have an ATI  Radeon HD card and you’re having the lag issue. You need to make sure you download ATI Catalyst software for your video card. This software controls all the HD aspects of your video card and until the software is installed, all of the features of the video card may not be enabled.

I also suggest downloading and installing the full software package for your video card, not just the driver. A lot of times there is extra software that enables more advanced features on your video card, thereby allowing you to play high-definition videos.

Hardware Upgrades

If absolutely nothing else is working, it might be simply hardware that is not powerful enough. At the end of the day, playing back 1080p videos requires a decent amount of CPU and a decent graphics card. If 
you have a very old system or a system that is even a couple of years old, it may be time to invest in a new machine or to upgrade the graphics card/memory/hard drive. With the super deals on desktops you can find these days, there really is no reason you shouldn’t be able to playback HD videos smoothly.

If you have any questions about this article or if you can’t get your video to playback smoothly when you think it should, post a comment here with your system specs, software, etc and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!


"Computer Tips--- 1080p HD resolution Videos Lagging and Choppy smoothly"

Reference : online-tech-tips.com


Computer Tips--- useful tools,12 Handy Tools to Keep on Your USB Stick

If you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of useless USB sticks laying around the house. USB sticks still come in handy every so often, but more and more I rely on the cloud. There are those times, though, when you can’t connect to the cloud and a USB stick is your only choice.

I carry a USB stick with me when I travel that has a whole bunch of apps and files that I can use to scan for wireless networks, partition drives, burn CDs and DVDs, edit photos, and lots more. In this article, I’m going to write about 12 useful tools you can carry around on your USB stick to accomplish useful tasks in your daily life. Feel free to post a comment and let us know what apps you have on your USB stick.

NirLauncher


NirLauncher is collection of more than 150 free utilities created by NirSoft. Nirsoft, if you didn’t know, creates all kinds of amazingly useful apps for Windows to do pretty much anything you can think of. 

They have programs for recovering passwords, viewing wireless networks, viewing browsing history, viewing open TCP/IP ports, testing Internet download speed, monitoring folder changes, and lots more. All of the utilities can be run from your USB drive without needing to install anything on the host machine.

Microsoft Safety Scanner


It is always essential to carry around a portable antivirus program with you at all times. Especially, if you have to copy files from someone else’s computer to your USB stick, it’s best to scan all those files first and make sure they don’t contain any viruses. Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free utility that you can download to your USB stick, which contains all the latest virus definitions.

Another good portable antivirus program is Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool, which is also free. One more good one is ClamWin Portable. And if you want, you can put multiple antivirus tools on your USB stick, just 
for the heck of it.

Infra Recorder


Infra Recorder is a great portable app for recording CDs and DVDs on the go. You can also create disc images and even use the program to copy an existing CD or DVD to another disc or image. It’s a very simple to use program and supports rewritable CDs and DVDs also.

System Explorer


System Explorer is a nifty little utility with a lot of features. You can use it to get detailed info about processes, startup programs, add-ons, windows services, drivers, network connections, and more. You can also use it to quickly scan files with online services like VirusTotal and Jotti. You can also quickly other system information including fonts, audio and video codecs, user accounts, and lots more. Make sure to click the Download Portable Version in the link above.

VLC Media Player Portable


It’s always a good idea to keep a good media player on your USB stick in case you want to play a file on someone’s computer and they don’t have a media player installed or don’t have the correct codecs installed. The portable version supports a wide variety of video and audio formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,DivX, XviD, WMV, MP3, etc.

GIMP Portable


GIMP is a popular freeware program for editing photos. I’ve used GIMP quite a few times off my USB stick, so that’s why I am recommending it. 

A lot of times I have a friend or family member who wants to email some pictures, but they are huge. I just fire up GIMP, resize the photos for them and they are good to go! It also supports layers and other advanced photo editing features.

KeePass Password Safe


KeePass is one of my favorite programs because it’s absolutely essential if you are someone who is really serious about securing their passwords. Also, I use a different password on just about every site, so it’s hard to remember them all. KeePass is encrypted and very secure and a great way to keep track of all your passwords while on the go.

Recuva


Recuva is a great program that you can use to recover deleted files or photos. It works on hard drives and external media like flash drives and SD cards too. It will give you a list of files that can be recovered along with their recovery potential and a preview of the file too. The program has been around for a long time and works very well.

SoftPerfect Network Scanner


A network scanner comes in really handy if you need to quickly see all the devices on the network and get info like their IP address, MAC address, host name and more. The program can also find shared folders, 
listen for open TCP ports, remotely shutdown machines and lots more.

TreeSize


TreeSize is a program that quickly scans hard drives or network locations and will tell you exactly how all the disk space is being used. You’ll quickly be abel to tell which folders are the biggest, all the way down to the file level. I’ve used it many times when I go home to my parents house and they can’t figure out why they don’t have any more space left on their hard drives! Another good one is SpaceSniffer.

Firefox Portable


Obviously, if you need to browse while on someone else’s computer, it’s always a good idea to use a portable web browser. That way there is no history of your browsing stored on their computer. It’s a nice way to keep your track clean and not have to worry about anyone else snooping around in your stuff later on. If you forget to log out of your email program or if they have an add-on that saves any login info typed into the browser, you could allow someone else to access your account. Using a portable web browser prevents that.

Pidgin Portable


The final program I use is Pidgin so that I can log into my Google Talk account and chat with friends. It works with a lot of services like Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, IRC, Samtime, etc. Really useful when you need to chat while using a different computer and you don’t want to type in your credentials.

So those are 12 portable freeware programs you can use on your USB stick to get things done! Feel free to a post a comment and let us know what you find useful. Enjoy!


"Computer Tips--- useful tools,12 Handy Tools to Keep on Your USB Stick"

Reference : online-tech-tips.com


Windows 8 Tips--- Ultimate Windows 8 WiFi Troubleshooting Guide

If you’re running Windows 8 or recently upgraded, you might have run into some frustrating WiFi issues. Windows 8 is inherently a different beast than

previous versions of Windows and with it comes a new set of problems. I never encountered too many wireless problems in Windows 7, but have run into several with Windows 8.

In this article, we’ll go through a couple of the most common problems with WiFi connections in Windows 8 and how to troubleshoot them. Most of the problems occur with those computers that got upgraded from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8. Either the driver is out of date or the adapter gets disabled or something odd like that. Let’s get started.

Limited Connectivity Message
If you’re getting that annoying limited connectivity message in your task bar in Windows 8, it’s really hard to tell what the problem is. You basically just have

to try a couple of things and hope one works. The cause could be anything from the network adapter to the wireless router to a bad network cable. I’m only

going to mention a few of the major reasons here, but scroll down to the Other Troubleshooting Tips section if none of these fix your problem.

Method 1 – Troubleshooter
The first thing you can try is to run a couple of the network troubleshooters built into Windows 8. A lot of the time, it can solve your wireless or Internet

problem for you. To open the troubleshooter, open the search charm and type in troubleshooting. Then click on Troubleshooting, the first option.


Now you want to click on Network and Internet.


Finally, you will see the different troubleshooters available for fixing wireless and Internet problems. The ones you will want to run are Internet Connections and Network Adapter.





Method 2 – Reset TCP/IP in Windows 8
You might also get a message like this when running the troubleshooter:

WiFi does not have a valid ip configuration

In this case, you can reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock and see if that works. To do this, again open the search charm and type in command prompt. On

the first listing, right-click and choose Run as Administrator.


At the command prompt, type in the following two commands, one at a time and make sure to press Enter after each one:

netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt



Hopefully, your wireless connection is working at this point. If not, skip down to the bottom section which has more troubleshooting tips.

WiFi is Disabled or Greyed Out
in one odd case, I had a Surface tablet where the wireless was disabled and I could not even enable it. For some odd reason, the On/Off toggle switch for 

Wireless Devices was greyed out like below:



The first thing you can do is try to diagnose the connection. To do this, open Network and Sharing Center. You can simply right-click on the network icon in the task bar and choose it or you can open the search charm and type it in there.


Now find the wireless connection at the top and click on the blue link:



A new dialog will pop up and here you’ll see there is a Diagnose button. Go ahead and click on that and let Windows try to fix it for you.



The next thing you can try is to restart in Safe Mode, Network Enabled and try to turn on the Wireless there. For some reason on certain computers, the 

option is not greyed out in safe mode, so you might be able to enable it there and then restart in normally. Read my previous post on how to boot Windows 8 into safe mode.

The other thing you can try is to disable and then re-enable the wireless network adapter. Again, open Network and Sharing Center and then click on the 

Change adapter settings link at the left. You can see it in the second screenshot above this paragraph.


Right-click on the wireless network adapter (not the Ethernet one like shown above) and then click on Disable. Once it’s disabled, go ahead and right-click 

again and then choose Enable. Now try to go to Wireless in PC Settings again and see if you can enable WiFi.

If this doesn’t work, again drop down to the last section which has more WiFi troubleshooting tips.

WiFi Not Connecting from Sleep or Hibernation
If your Windows 8 machine is disconnecting from the wireless network whenever you return from sleep or hibernation or any other standby state, then your problem is probably with a power-saving option set on the network card. To fix this, you need to open the search charm and type in Power Options.

Here, click on the selected plan and then click on Change plan settings.



Then click on the Change advanced power settings link.


Now scroll down to Wireless Adapter Settings and make sure the Power Saving Mode is set to Maximum Performance.


Other Troubleshooting Tips
Check Network Card at Compatibility Center
You can check to see if your wireless network card is compatible with Windows 8 by visiting the Capability Center. Go ahead and type in the name of your wireless card and you should get a little report like this:




It’ll have a little blue logo if it is compatible or not. You can also check Windows RT in addition to just Windows 8. So this is a nice site to check out if you are having issues with your WiFi network, especially if it’s not showing up at all in Windows 8 or it’s got a yellow exclamation sign in Device Manager.

Check Network Adapter Settings
Open Network and Sharing Center, click on Change adapter settings and then right-click on then wireless network adapter and choose Properties.


Now scroll down in the list box until you see Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on the Properties button.


Finally, make sure the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically radio buttons are selected.


Check Wireless Switch
On most laptops, there is a wireless switch or button that can be toggled from on to off. Make sure you have that button set to On or press FN + F8 to enable 

the wireless card. The switch can be anywhere (sides, front, back, etc), but there is usually an indicator light so you can tell when it’s on.

Uninstall in Device Manager
Another quick tip is to go to Device Manager, right-click on your wireless network card and choose Uninstall. Then reboot your computer and it was 

automatically be detected and reinstalled. If it’s still not working after trying this, then read the next tip, which is updating the driver.

Update BIOS & Drivers
As always, it’s a good idea to download and install the latest drivers for your network card. This is especially important if you’re running Windows 8. As for 

the BIOS, I’ve always been the one to suggest not updating the BIOS unless it’s really needed. However, if you upgraded a computer from Windows XP or Windows 7 to Windows 8 and you tried everything above and updated the driver, then updating the BIOS might be worth it. 99% of the time updating the BIOS is just fine, but there are occasions when it fails and then leaves you with a computer you can’t boot. Only try this as a last resort and make a backup of your computer first just in case.

Reset the Router
If you’re getting the Limited Connectivity message, then you can try resetting the router. You can either restart it by just unplugging it, waiting about a minute and then plugging it back in. If that doesn’t work and you’ve tried all the stuff above, go ahead and reset your router. This will reset it to the default settings and will wipe out any security or configuration you had done earlier, so be careful and be ready to do that all again. It’s a last resort measure, but it could fix your problem.

Read my previous post on how to reset your router.

Remove Anti-Virus or Internet Security Suites
If you have something like AVG Internet Security or Avast or similar software installed on your PC or tablet, then go ahead and uninstall that program and see if your Internet connection starts to work. Many times Internet Security software has been the culprit and you could be pulling your hair out trying to figure out what’s causing the issue, so it’s worth trying.

So that’s a lot of stuff to try and practically every sane thing you can try. If none of this worked, then you could possibly have a hardware problem with your wireless card. If you have questions, feel free to post a comment. Enjoy!


"Windows 8 Tips--- Ultimate Windows 8 WiFi Troubleshooting Guide"


Reference : online-tech-tips.com