If you're purchasing a new PC, most versions of Windows 10 will come pre-installed with unnecessary software, or bloatware, that most people don't need or want. Getting a new PC from an OEM organization comes pre-loaded with even more bloatware.
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If you are scanning important, sensitive documents with your cell phone and sending those files over the internet, make sure to use an app from a reputable, reliable company. Do not use apps from relatively unknown developers, where images could potentially be intercepted. On Android phones, use Google Drive's scan option. On iPhone, open the Notes app and hit the + sign, then tap the "Scan Documents" option. Evernote Scannable is also a legitimate high-quality (free) scanning app.
Do not be tempted to redeem McAfee antivirus on your Windows PC after a current trial has expired. Leo says to uninstall the software and just use Windows Defender, which Microsoft has been doing a great job with. Leo says you are basically putting a trojan on your system if you are choosing certain 3rd-party low-level programs because any flaws they might have can be a possible conduit for bad guys to infiltrate the computer. Plus, Windows Defender is free with Windows 10!
If you are looking to build a new computer and have trouble putting together the right components, visit PC Perspective and look at their hardware leaderboard. Click the tab at the top that says "HW Leaderboard" and check out the low-end, mid-range, high-end, and dream system rundowns. The HW Leaderboard comes with recommendations for the proper processor, motherboard, video card, memory, hard drive. sound card, and power supply to get you started on building the type of PC you want.
When you want to find out if you should stay away from typing in a suspicious and possibly fake web address, check the URL's TLD (top-level domain) which should imply whether the site is legitimate or not. For example, if a web address reads Google(dot)com/blahblah then it is a legitimate Google page. However, bad guys can spoof Google and create an address like Google(dot)badguy(dot)com which may easily deceive many victims at first glance. Always be cautious of deceptive URLs and links that can infiltrate your device if clicked.
If traveling to or staying in Istanbul, Turkey for a while, buy an affordable Motorola Moto G6 and use a Google Fi phone plan with it. It is only $10 for each gigabyte of data (until 6GB) and $20 per month for unlimited calls and texts. Leo used this combination when he went to Turkey and had a great, convenient time while enjoying the bridge country where the East (Asia) meets the West (Europe).
Google Voice's Screening feature allows you to configure your phone's reaction to calls from outside your contact list. Actions include sending directly to voicemail or asking for the caller's name. You can keep your normal phone number, or you could even get a whole new number! An alternative is Nomorobo for iOS, which compares a caller's number to known scammers/robocallers. However, it requires a paid subscription, unlike Google Voice.
If you're going to use antivirus software, you may want to choose something other than Kaspersky. While Leo believes Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, is a great person, his company is Russian and may be prone to manipulation or seizure by the Russian government/military. In any case, Leo simply recommends excellent alternatives with less baggage. While we don't know for sure what goes on with companies like Kaspersky or Huawei, it's best to err on the side of caution.
If you're going to buy a hub for home automation, Leo recommends purchasing from a tech company that's dedicated to IoT. Samsung SmartThings is a good, safe choice, and they use the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Apple is making it difficult for companies to support Homekit, and Google has its own items that they may pull the plug on anytime. Unfortunately, a company like Lowe's just isn't big enough to support the breadth of the internet-of-things, which is why their IRIS service is being discontinued.
If you have an old computer that no longer will power on, you may be wondering how to transfer the data from the hard drive to a new system. Fortunately, this could be as easy as plugging in an external USB hard drive and just copying the files over. The USB Universal Drive Adapter from Newertech makes that possible.