Protect Your Online Accounts with 2FA

Cloudflare two-factor authentication dialog.

Recently, I met a friend who looked stressed. He returned home from work only to find out that someone had broken into his online accounts. Naturally, he was concerned about the data, but also the amount of time it would take to fix the problem. I told him an easy way to reduce the risk of account breaches is to use something called “two factor authentication” or 2FA. But, it has some issues if you’re not careful.

Metasearch Engines Expand your Horizons

Clusty search result

There was a lot of interest in websites that show searches from both Google and Yahoo! These sites displayed your query results side by side. The approach is interesting, but if people are looking for combined results, a better approach might be a meta-search engine. (Update: metasearch engines are not as popular as they once were when this article was written.)

What is USB – Universal Serial Bus?

USB cable connector picture

USB or universal serial bus has been around since the mid-nineties. Although the technology is ubiquitous, people are still confused by some USB types and limitations. I’ll admit it can be confusing, but I’m glad I no longer have to wrestle with parallel and serial ports. I’ll explain the differences and tell you how to find out which version you’re using.

OPML – Other Peoples Meaningful Lists

opml example

Have you every browsed the web and seen a reference to OPML? If you were to look up the abbreviation, you would see it stands for “outline processor markup language”. It’s used for describing outline-based content like articles and play lists. I think a better representation is “other people’s meaningful lists”.

Taking Control with Hosts Files

windows hosts file example

One of the lesser known, but important files included with Windows is the hosts file. It’s a simple text file without a file extension that was designed to map or override IP addresses before accessing a domain name server. Recently, it’s taken a more protective role in ad blocking and stopping spyware.

What is ActiveX

ActiveX controls

ActiveX sounds like a complex term, but it’s not. It is a way to make programs interactive using a set of controls and rules. You might think of as small apps for Internet Explorer. Microsoft has dropped support for it in Microsoft Edge, which is their latest browser.