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Issue #570: June 24-30, 2018

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Q: Dear Geekster, Love your column; been reading it for years online (left Destin in ’04). In fact, I used to read you every Sunday, up until sometime in the middle of last year, when your column disappeared for a while. Then it would appear regularly for a while, then disappear off and on. Or it would appear maybe Wednesday or Thursday. Haven’t seen yesterday’s so far. Wazzup? (Geek Note: He is asking about I.G.T.M. Issue #564, May 13, 2018)

 – Carl D.
Carlisle, Indiana

A:  Carl from Carlisle, eh?  Sounds like the name of an old tavern song or something.  Well, Carl, I’m very happy you took I.G.T.M. with you when you left my column’s home area on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida.  Thanks for being such a loyal reader.

As for the column’s availability online, if you’re reading it anywhere other than my home page at ItsGeekToMe.co (not .COM) I can’t account for any gaps in the column’s availability.  The various newspapers that run it occasionally leave it off their website, but that usually only happens when there is an intervening holiday, or someone is on vacation.  I, on the other hand, faithfully place every issue on my website – usually before it’s even available in print publications.  It’s typically posted within a couple of days of when I submit it for print, but it doesn’t go live on my website and accessible to readers until Sundays at midnight — the first day of the publication cycle.  Now, there are rare occasions, like the week you inquired about, when life intervenes and for whatever reason I don’t get it online by the publication date.  When that happens, I get to it as soon as I can.  In that case, it was up on the site on May 14th for the week that began May 13th, which I thought was pretty reasonable.  Historically speaking, I can recall no time when I ever missed any weeks, or even made website viewers wait more than a day or two to read a new issue, so I can’t offer any explanation for your belief that it “disappeared for a while” or was only available “off and on”.  In the future, if you ever notice an issue missing – or even late – by all means, feel free to contact me, because my intent is always to get it out to the readers on a predictable schedule.  And, of course the original 100% money-back guarantee that I put in-place when I first started the column nearly 11 years ago still applies:  If you’re ever not fully satisfied with It’s Geek To Me, I’ll gladly refund every penny you’ve ever paid me for it, no questions asked.

 So, of all people, Spouse Peripheral came to me this week with a question.  She said that web sites that require her to sign in are always asking if she wants them to remember her username or save her password for next time, and she wanted to know if it was safe to do that.  I told her that was an excellent question, and that she should go to my website and submit it to the column.  She just gave me one of those looks that said “You’d best just answer the question if you know what’s good for you!”  Well, I’m no fool, so…

The first thing to know is that it’s not the website that’s offering to save the password – it’s your browser.  So the real question then becomes, is it safe to store the passwords in my browser?  The answer is “yes” but with a couple of caveats.  First, never, ever do this on a public computer, such as at a hotel, school, or library. I don’t mean when using their Wi-Fi – I mean when you are using one of the computers that they make available for public use.  Save your info there, and the next person who uses the machine could access the same site using your credentials.  Second, assuming you’re doing this on a personally-owned computer, consider who else might access it in the future. Do you want your kids looking at your credit card account?  Do you want your spouse to see what you purchased for him or her at Amazon.com?  How about those visiting relatives who might borrow your computer to check their e-mail, but find that they have access to your e-mail instead?  Like so many things on a computer, there is no absolute right or wrong answer.  It’s a matter of personal choice, and now that you’re in the know, you can make the decision the right way: as an informed Geek!

 So, it’s that time of year again when the pool of good questions begins to run a bit low here at Geek Central.  If you’ve been sitting on a good question, now would be a great time to send it in.  Remember, I.G.T.M. is not just about computers, but about tech in general.  So go ahead and shoot me those burning questions about smart gadgets, home theater, wearable tech, or whatever you need to know about.  What are you waiting for?

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