Ask Mr. Modem: Is A Minimized Window Safe?

Click to read more about Mr. Modem.

Click to read more about Mr. Modem.

Q. If I minimize one program and open a second program, is leaving the first screen minimized as secure as the new window I opened?

A. When it comes to security, there is no difference between a minimized window and one that’s open full screen. Both are operating within Windows, so the security protection afforded both is equal. Think of it in terms of turning on your home perimeter security system at night. Once it is activated, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in one room or another, sitting, standing or asleep in a chair. It is the house itself that is protected, no matter what you’re doing within the house.


Q. Sometimes when I try to add a Gmail contact, it doesn’t show up although I added it to all three Groups that I created. How should I properly add a contact?

A. When you add contacts to Gmail Groups (mailing lists), it’s best to add them from your main My Contacts list. The idea is to have one centralized repository for all contacts from which you can move any contact into any individual Group.
To add contacts to a Group, click Mail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts. Click to select the contact(s) you want to add. Next, click the Groups button and select the group to add these contacts to or select Create New to create a new Group. Gmail provides a great deal of help managing Groups at http://bit.ly/RGUmy3.


Q. Sometimes my browser displays the message, “Firefox prevented this page from automatically redirecting to another page.” Can you help me get rid of this, Mr. M?

A. That message is a safeguard designed to protect you. Without that redirection protection, your browser (Firefox) could easily be hijacked. If that occurs, you might think you are on a legitimate Web site, provide a credit card number or other personal information, and wind up in deep guano.
I do not recommend the following, but if you really and truly want to disable that protection, go to Tools > Options > Preferences > Advanced tab. Remove the check mark beside, “Warn me when Web sites try to redirect or reload the page,” close your Preferences and hope for the best.

Mr. Modem’s Web Sites Of The Month

Entanglement
A semi-relaxing game that requires you to manipulate tiles to create a Zen-like path, without connecting it to any walls. A How-to-Play video is accessible under Menu, should you be running low on Zen. The accompanying music is soothing, right up to the point that it becomes annoying.

Rock, Paper, Scissors
Created by The New York Times to demonstrate artificial intelligence, if you select the Novice version, you will teach the site how to mimic human reactions, which it will use to defeat you. If you choose the Veteran version, it will draw from a database of 200,000 moves in its effort to humiliate you.

YouTube TestTube
If you are an avid YouTuber and want to test a bunch of really cool experimental features, check out YouTube’s “idea incubator.” YouTube is owned by Google and TestTube is similar to its Labs test features, which can be found in Gmail under Settings.

Subscribe to Mr. Modem’s award-winning weekly computer-help newsletter using promo code CITYSUN and receive a free month with your 6-month subscription. www.mrmodem.com.

Ask Mr. Modem: Windows 8 In A Nutshell

Click to read more about Mr. Modem

Q. Now that Windows 8 has been released, have you tried it and if so, what do you think, Mr. M?

A. Overall, I like it, though it is clearly designed for touchscreen devices. Using it on a desktop computer with a touchscreen monitor is a bit awkward, though it can be used with a traditional mouse. Windows 8 represents a major overhaul of Windows, and while interesting, I prefer touchscreen interfaces on tablet computers, smartphones and other mobile devices. I will be sharing more info about Windows 8 in future columns and in my weekly newsletter at http://www.mrmodem.com.

Q. If I’m composing an e-mail, then minimize it to the Taskbar and open another window so I can check something, is the first screen that is minimized as secure as the open window I’m working in?

A. When it comes to security, there is no difference between a minimized window and one that’s open full screen. Both are operating within Windows, so your installed security protects Windows overall. Think of it in terms of activating your perimeter security system at home. Once it’s activated, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in one room or another, sitting, standing or asleep in a chair. It is your home’s perimeter that is protected, no matter what you’re doing within the house.

Mr. Modem’s Web Sites Of The Month

Entanglement – http://bit.ly/hVIekc

A semi-relaxing game that requires you to manipulate tiles to create a Zen-like path, making it as long as possible without connecting it to any walls. The accompanying music is somewhat soothing, right up to the point that it becomes annoying.

YouTube TestTube – www.youtube.com/testtube

If you’re an avid YouTuber, a visit to this “idea incubator” permits you to take a sneak peek at cool experimental features for the world’s largest video site.

Mr. Modem’s technology-tips eBooks and award-winning weekly computer-help newsletter, now in its 13th year of continuous publication, are available on www.mrmodem.com.

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