How to disable the Adobe Flash browser plug-in

Flash has been found to have multiple zero-day security flaws, which Adobe has been hurriedly patching. But Mozilla Firefox is currently blocking Flash in response, and Facebook's security chief is calling for an end to Flash altogether. If you really want to keep using Flash, update it immediately. But it might be a better idea to go into your desktop browser settings and shut down this media streaming tool, at least for now. Devices... Read More »

Topics: Browsers , Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Mac Software , Security

First look: OS X El Capitan public beta

The waiting is the hardest part, and Apple knows it. Which may be why the company is making available a public beta of its next major update to OS X, named El Capitan, in anticipation of its final release this fall.

Apple first gave us a glimpse of El Capitan in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference and this month offered a prerelease version to the public, allowing users to check out the progress of the upcoming OS.... Read More »

Topics: mac , Windows Software , Mac Software , Apple

Tags: Apple , Mac , Mac OS X

A gamer's guide to online security

When you're trying to level up, you want to think about the game and not about protecting your personal information. So secure your account first and then go to war with a little peace of mind.

First, follow general online security best practices: keep your OS, browser, and antivirus software up-to-date. Second, protect your personal information. Trend Micro has a handy security checklist for gamers, including tips that are useful for any online account, like not sharing your passwords... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Security And Spyware , Security , Video Games , Games

Apple releases first public betas of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

As promised at its developer conference last month, Apple today is opening the doors to prerelease versions of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9. Apple unveiled the upcoming revisions in June at its annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and said it would release public betas of both OSes this month.

Apple's goal with public betas is to give users a chance to preview what's coming and to submit feedback prior to the final releases expected this fall. Apple... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , iOS Software

Tags: iPhone , Apple , iOS , Mac , iPad , Mac OS X

Office 2016 for Mac levels the playing field

Microsoft today released Office 2016 for Mac, a significant -- and long-awaited -- update that should look familiar to those using Office for iOS and Windows. Office 2016 offers Mac users tools and services they've coveted in other editions of Office.

Microsoft's last major update to the Mac Office suite came in the fall of 2010. Much has happened around Office since then: Microsoft rolled out Office 365, a collection of software and services that takes Office apps to the cloud;... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software , Mac Software , Office And Productivity

Tags: Microsoft , Office

How to make Google Drive more secure

If you have a Gmail account, you have 15GB of free cloud storage from Google. It's pretty handy, because it works across a variety of devices, and desktop users can create a special folder on their computer and drop files into it, and that folder syncs with your Drive account as fast as the file can be sent to the cloud. Of course, convenience isn't the only concern for cloud backup services, as we explained recently in our review roundup.... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Mac Software , Security

8 music discovery apps

Summer is music festival season. But with so many artists on the road, how do you know who is a must watch and who is a must skip? Check out our picks for the best music and festival discovery apps for summer.

Noon Pacific (iOS, Android)

A good mixtape gives you a sampling of the best under-the-radar tunes. Noon Pacific delivers a 10-song mixtape (minus the cassette) every Monday at noon PT.

MixRadio (iOS,... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

How to remove bloatware

Bloatware, aka junkware, is software that the PC maker preinstalls on your machine -- software you probably don't want. Bloatware comes in many varieties and levels of malignance, from extra icons cluttering your desktop to resource hogs that slow PC performance to computer-compromising malware. Read on to learn how to rid your PC of this unnecessary and sometimes dangerous baggage.

Uninstalling Windows bloatware

Removing bloatware can be easy or difficult, depending on how... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Security , Utilities

Passwords 101

Passwords are stupid. Many of us choose weak passwords because they're easy to remember, and we use the same one or few everywhere, which is risky. Also annoying: each account that needs a password has different requirements ("Use six or more characters, a capital letter, a number, and any special character except % and @). Your resulting password is more secure than "pa55w0rd" or "12345," but some security analysts think passwords that meet standard requirements are... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Mac Software , Security , Android Software , iOS Software

What is malware?

You know that viruses are bad for your system, but they are just one type of malicious software. Broadly speaking, malware is any software developed to disrupt your computer or device's normal functioning. Malware is often used to steal, to spy, or to destroy. It can target your personal information, corrupt your files, spam your contacts, use your computer for nefarious purposes, or even render it useless.

There are currently over 375 million malicious programs out there, with another 390,000 recorded... Read More »

Topics: Security Software , Windows Software , Mac Software , Security , Android Software , iOS Software

Tags: malware