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    Stay secure and keep your data and identity your own while shopping online. Shopping online is only getting more popular thanks to the convenience and variety of retailers. One of the downsides, however, is that there are plenty of individuals out there waiting to jump on a chance to take advantage of someone who doesn't properly protect themselves. The result? Credit card or even identity fraud. To help keep your identity (and your data) your own, let's take a look at a few tips to staying safe while online shopping. Advertisement Only shop on websites with a secure connection Shopping online through a web browser is made exponentially safer when the connection between your PC or phone and the website is protected by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. As opposed to a standard HTTP page, an HTTPS page has a level of encryption that makes it safer to input your sensitive information (like a credit card number). To check whether or not a website is using a secure con...

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    If you must permanently disable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10, use this guide to learn the steps on how to do it. Windows Defender Antivirus is the free malware solution that Microsoft includes on every installation of Windows 10. It's a security software package meant to provide the first line of defense to protect your device and data against malware, including viruses, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and other types of malicious programs. Although the antivirus runs automatically, and it can disable itself as you install a third-party security software, the only caveat is that Windows 10 doesn't offer a way to disable it permanently. Perhaps the obvious reason is that Microsoft doesn't want you to use your device without any protection, which is a good thing. However, there are still some cases where some users may prefer not to use Windows Defender Antivirus, such as on a kiosk device that isn't connected to a network and where peripheral connectivity isn't allowed. ...

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    Want to enable the Windows 10 emoji picker on devices that aren't running a U.S. install? Here's how! The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a brand new emoji picker, which gives keyboard and mice users easy access to the large emoji catalog available in Windows 10. Unfortunately, Microsoft made the decision to disable the picker on devices that aren't running an en-U.S. version of Windows 10, which sucks. Lucky, it turns out there's a way to enable it on Windows 10 devices that aren't running an en-U.S. install. This workaround only works on certain non-U.S. versions of Windows 10, so you'll have to give it a go and let us know in the comments if it works for you. We can confirm this works on en-GB and nl-NL installations. It will boil down to your keyboard layout more than anything, as the key-combination to enable the emoji picker might not work on your keyboard. It's also worth noting that enabling the picker on non-US devices will mean that translations are wrong, and...

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    If you don't use Photos or Paint 3D to edit image files, you can remove those options from the right-click context menu using these steps on Windows 10. On Windows 10, the context menu that appears when you right-click an item gives you quick access to many different actions you can perform on a particular file or folder. While these options can be useful, you may never use many of them, such as the "Edit with Photos" and "Edit with Paint 3D" options. If you don't use them, they just clutter the menu. Although Windows 10 doesn't include a feature to decide which items appear in the right-click menu, it's possible to remove many of them using the Registry. In this Windows 10 guide, we' walk you through the steps to remove the Photos and Paint 3D options from the context menu. How to remove 'Edit with Photos' from context menu How to remove 'Edit with Paint 3D' from context menu How to remove 'Edit with Photos' from context menu If you don't use the built-in Photos apps to vi...

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    Do you know the difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10? The Xbox One X has arrived, ringing in a new era of high-resolution gaming on consoles. To take advantage of everything the One X has to offer — namely HDR and 4K — you need a special type of TV that offers proper support. There's currently a bit of a battle going on between HDR10 and Dolby Vision, which are two different HDR standards. Let's take a look at the difference between them, to determine which works best for Xbox One X. What's the difference between 4K and HDR? High dynamic range (HDR) is essentially a measure of the difference between the brightest and darkest visuals a game, movie, or TV show can deliver. With proper HDR, you're going to see darker darks, with a lot more detail, as well as brighter brights. Overall, this contributes to a much prettier, vivid picture that's close to real life. On the other hand, 4K UHD signifies the display's resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 and, while it affects color to s...

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    You can get an accurate reading of remaining battery life by calibrating an old laptop battery. As you use your Windows 10 laptop, the battery goes through a number of charge and discharge cycles that slowly wear it down. We all know that old laptop sitting in the closet that doesn't hold a charge anymore; calibration isn't for that laptop — it's a lost cause. Calibration is for a battery that still works properly, yet doesn't show an accurate reading when it comes to life remaining. For example, it might say that there are two hours of juice left, but after 45 minutes you'll get a warning that it's about to shut down. After calibration you'll usually get a more accurate reading, and while it may be depressing to see that your old laptop is only getting about an hour of power from a charge, you won't be stuck somewhere with a dead device. How to calibrate the battery in your laptop If you're comfortable accessing your PC's BIOS, you might find a battery calibration tool with...

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    Windows 10 has a new security feature designed to protect your files and folders from ransomware, and this guide tells you the steps to enable it. On Windows 10, "Controlled folder access" is a new intrusion-prevention feature that's part of the Windows Defender Exploit Guard included in the Fall Creators Update. Controlled folder access is designed primarily to prevent ransomware from encrypting and taking your data hostage, but it also protects files from unwanted changes from other malicious programs. It's an opt-in feature, and when enabled, it uses a mechanism to intelligently track the apps (executable files, scripts, and DLLs) trying to make changes to files in the protected folders. If the app is malicious, or it's not recognized, the feature will in real-time block the attempt, and you'll get a notification of the suspicious activity. If you want to add an extra layer of security to keep your data safe, Controlled folder access can quickly be configured using the updated...

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    Black Friday is known as a hectic day of shopping for many popular items, but it doesn't always translate well into laptop shopping. This is why. Black Friday seems to have an aura around it that suggests good deals for everything, but how well does it that work for laptops? Shopping for a new laptop is usually a lengthy process because there are lots of things to consider, and the mad rush of Black Friday seems counterintuitive to this process. So is Black Friday really a good time to buy a laptop? Let's find out. Is Black Friday the best time to buy a new notebook PC? Black Friday is more of a small-electronics or TV sale day, with not a lot of high-profile laptops seeing significant price cuts. Thrifter Deals Editor Jared DiPane has this to say on the subject: Black Friday is more of a TV deal day, especially this year. We're seeing a lot of Black Friday deals not being any better than sales found at other times, and buying a laptop isn't recommended unless you have a s...

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    Having an external hard drive at hand is an ideal way to not only store and transfer files but also back up a PC. Having the latter handled by online cloud services is all well and good, but should you lose connectivity, or the service goes down temporarily, you will not have immediate access to your files. When it comes to external drives, it's also possible to not only purchase one pre-built, but you can also make one yourself. We'll show you how to save some pennies by putting together your own external hard drive, using an old laptop drive. Choosing storage Should you wish to purchase an internal drive separately, it's possible to choose a 2.5-inch HDD with your choice of capacity. And 3.5-inch drives are better suited for larger storage solutions that don't require portability. Depending on just how much space you require from a drive, it's possible to spend as little as $40. Here are some options: Seagate 500GB BarraCuda - $43.99. Seagate 1TB BarraCuda - $46.97. WD Bl...

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    You can now use Command Prompt with an entirely new color scheme, and in this guide, we'll tell you the steps to customize your command-line experience. Alongside the slew of new features and improvements included with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the Windows Console (Command Prompt) is getting a color overhaul update after 20 years. In this updated version of Command Prompt, Microsoft is changing the default color values to improve the text legibility on modern high-contrast monitors. Also, it's now possible to customize the console with an entirely new color scheme for a more modern look and feel. The only caveat is that you'll only see the new colors if you are running a clean installation of Windows 10. If you're using an upgrade, to preserve your old settings, the legacy colors will be applied instead. However, Microsoft has released a tool to install the new color scheme along with many others to personalize your experience. In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk yo...

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    If you don't want Windows Defender Antivirus to keep quarantine items forever, you can use this guide to configure automatic removal after a specified number of days. On Windows 10, when Windows Defender Antivirus can't fully determine if a suspicious file is infected, usually, it moves it to the Quarantine folder. This is a special location designed to isolate threats so that they can't harm your computer, or so you can restore false positives as necessary. The only caveat is that these suspicious items will stay forever in the Quarantine folder. However, if you don't want to keep these items for a long time, or you want to prevent attackers potentially restoring quarantined threats back to your device (as we've recently seen with the AVGater exploit that affected several AV software), it's possible to configure the Windows 10 antivirus to remove quarantined items after certain number of days automatically. In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to configure W...

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    Windows 10 uses part of your Microsoft account address as your profile folder and internal account name. Here's how to use a custom name. When you're creating a new account using a Microsoft account (MSA), Windows 10 uses the first five letters of your email address as the internal account name, which will be reflected in the profile folder name and when managing user accounts via command line. Although this may not be a concern for most users, many people find this annoying because of the fact that Windows 10 doesn't provide an option to use a custom name. However, if you want to use your real name, or a nickname, as your profile folder and internal account name, there is a workaround that allows you to set up an account with a custom name when using your Microsoft account information. In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to use a different name on your account, instead of just part of your MSA address. How to set up a Microsoft account on Windows 10 with a...

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    Microsoft is working on a new, dedicated search UI that's separate from Cortana in the latest insider builds of Windows 10. In the latest version of Windows 10, searching for files, documents, the web, and apps is handled via the Cortana UI, which to many is confusing or unnecessary. More often than not, people who are searching for things on their device don't want or need to interact with Microsoft's virtual assistant, and now it appears the company is working on a new search UI to rectify this. In the latest Redstone 4 Insider Preview builds, a new, hidden search UI can be enabled via a simple registry edit that brings a new "immersive" search experience to the desktop. With the registry edit enabled, the user can click on the Cortana icon (when the search box is hidden) that will bring up a search UI that floats in the middle of the user's display, similar to how it works on the latest version of macOS Sierra. This UI also pops up by hitting the Start button and immediately ...

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    You can use Quick Assist in Windows 10 to remotely help someone with a PC problem. Have you ever had a friend or family member ask you for help setting something up on their PC? Maybe they asked you why it's not running properly, or maybe they were unsure why a program wouldn't install. In any case, if you aren't able to meet them in person, the Windows 10 Quick Assist feature allows you to remotely access their Windows 10 PC. This feature gives you full control, so you can quickly work your magic on their device. Before allowing access … Since this feature gives a person complete control over another's PC, you should only use it with someone you trust. If you are the person giving assistance, you need to use a Microsoft account. If you are receiving assistance, you don't have to be signed in to a Microsoft account. As long as you're comfortable with allowing that person access to your Windows 10 PC, the following steps will get everything working. How to set up Windows 10 Qu...

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    Gear up, trooper: here's our comprehensive list of every blaster, vehicle, starfighter, and hero in Star Wars Battlefront II. At its core, the Star Wars Battlefront series has always given its players a huge arsenal of iconic weapons, vehicles, and characters to use to bring their wrath to the front lines. Whether you're hunting Rebel scum, blasting some clankers, or fighting against the tyranny of the First Order, there's always a tool handy to help to accomplish your objective. Looking for a list of them all? Look no further. We compiled every single one of Battlefront II's armory into a concise archive. See on Amazon Blasters DC-15A DC-17 DC-15 Valken-38X F-11D FWMB-10 SE-44 DLT-19D E-5 E-5C RG-4D E-5s E-11 DLT-19 RK-3 DLT-19X EL-16 M-45 GLIE-44 A180 A280C RT-97C DH-17 DLT-20A A280 CR-2 EL-16HFE DC-15LE FWMB-10K TL-50 S-5 BLURRG-1120 SE-44C IQA-11 A280-CFE NT-242 Vehicles AT-ST AT-RT AAT LAAT/i Gunship AT-AT MTT U-Wing Gunship 74-Z Speeder Bike T-47 Airspeeder Light In...

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    Windows Defender Antivirus doesn't scan removable drives during full scans by default, but there are ways to enable the functionality. Here's how. Although Windows Defender Antivirus runs automatically on your Windows 10 device, there are still times when you'll need to perform a full scan to make sure that malware or malicious software is not impacting your device. However, if you thought a "full scan" meant that the antivirus would check every storage device connected to your computer, think again. As it turns out, by default, Windows Defender Antivirus does not scan external drives during a full scan — only during quick and custom scans. If you want to make sure that every storage device attached to your computer gets scanned for unwanted software and malware, it's possible but it's something that you need to configure manually. In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to allow Windows Defender Antivirus to include removable drives as you perform a full malwar...

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    These are the steps to open the Xbox One S console and gain access to its internal components. One of the biggest benefits of consoles is their simplicity. In contrast to PC, a platform built with the goal of accomplishing any task, consoles are designed specifically for gaming. What you lose in flexibility you gain in hardware tailored for the experience — and only one company making the parts. Despite this closed ecosystem, sometimes there's a reason to take a look inside your devices. While Microsoft strongly discourages users from opening Xbox One consoles, there are some valid reasons to – whether performing minor tweaks or repairing a hardware issue outside of warranty. For those using Microsoft's latest entry-level console, the Xbox One S, these are the steps to do so. Warning: By opening an Xbox One, you will void your console's warranty. This can be a risky activity for those new to opening/modifying electronics and is recommended only to those confident in doing so. ...

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    How to set up your Synology DS218+ with Plex. The DS218+ already comes packing Synology's own packages (or apps) that can handle streaming to devices and whatnot, but to make things easier and more visually appealing, you can opt to use Plex. This service allows you to configure various content libraries that are automatically imported, checked over and sorted with a bunch of information downloaded from elsewhere (album art, metadata, etc). It's a vastly superior experience and doesn't take long to get started. Install Plex Server Download the Plex Server package. (Choose "Synology" under "NAS".) Connect to your Synology NAS. Open up the Package Manager. Click on "Manual Install." Click "Browse" and locate the Plex Server download. Click "Next." Click "Yes" on the pop-up. Click "Apply." Configuring your new server All you need to do now is to click on the main menu in the top-left on the DSM interface and choose Plex Server. This will launch a new window with the Plex Se...

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    The best Windows Mixed Reality experience comes with UWP apps from the Store. But you can use win32 desktop apps as well if you know how. It's a less than ideal scenario, for sure, but if you're going all in on the Windows Mixed Reality experience then that means gaining access to everything on your PC. While you can't manipulate and interact with your win32 apps like you can those from the Microsoft Store, you can at least use them while you're inside your Mixed Reality headset. Here's how. Make sure your headset is on and your motion controllers are connected. Press the Windows button on either controller. Select all apps. Scroll down until you come to desktop. Click the trigger to open it. Inside Windows Mixed Reality, your desktop becomes the app and everything inside it works just in that same window. It's not the most user-friendly experience, but it will at least give you access to a web browser that isn't Microsoft Edge or apps like Photoshop should you have a des...

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    Here's how you get started with the DS218+. Setting up the newly released DS218+ is an absolute breeze, which is why it fared well in our in-depth review and was awarded our Choice Award. Synology has done wonders to improve on the excellent DS216 series to create a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution that is ideal for not only advanced users but also those who may be new to the network storage field. See at Amazon Installing hardware Depending on what you configured the DS218+, you may not have to do anything aside from plugging the unit into an available outlet and hooking it up to a router. If you've received a diskless configuration, which means there aren't any pre-installed hard drives, you'll need to remove the two trays and install drives. Luckily, this is a simple process that requires no tools at all. Remove the front panel. Take the tray out of the unit by pressing down on the lever and pulling. Remove the two side panels. Insert the hard drive into the tray...

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