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Screening the film adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” isn’t exactly the most festive way to celebrate one’s upcoming birthday, but after reading the Tribune’s “Nerdvana” column’s recommending it this coming Friday, I couldn’t help but reserve a seat.
Q: Is there an easy way to see if I have a hidden keylogger on my Windows 7 computer before I start doing my taxes? — Don
Q: I understand why you say that I should use complex passwords that are different for each of my accounts, but how can I possibly remember them all?
I normally like to inject some humor into this column but, occasionally, there are topics that need to be discussed that are very serious. Such is the case with Internet predators, cyber-bullying and other commonplace occurrences on social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace.
Ken Colburn: By following a few simple rules, an Internet-based transaction can actually be one of the most secure ways to use your credit card.
Ken Colburn: In computer terms, when you hear the term "cloud," it's a reference to the Internet, which in early technical diagrams was represented as a cloud.
Q. Is it really safe to use Google Docs for sensitive documents, or is it better to stick to Microsoft Office on my own computer? - Jill
Q: I am constantly struggling with all of the passwords that I have to remember when I go online. Do you have any suggestions for managing my password nightmare? — Hanna
Wireless spy cameras. Eavesdropping bugs. GPS tracking gadgets. All of these things may seem far-fetched, the stuff of movies. But these gadgets do exist. And they are becoming more sophisticated.
Q. What do I need to do to be safe before I start preparing tax returns on my computer? — Amanda
Q. My son is going to his first year at a major university and is an avid file swapping user. How concerned should I be about him getting into trouble at school if he continues using these questionable services? - Julian
Q: My friend found out that there is an "eye icon" on the taskbar, and we think someone may have put a spyware (bug) to find out what we are e-mailing each other. Is this possible and how can we delete such a bug? — Ralph
Q: With all of the stories about hackers, is it really safe to prepare and submit your tax return on a Web site? — Joy