We understand that navigating security is important these days, so we’ve gathered a few tips to help you protect yourself while using Windows 10.

It’s important to use encrypted connections or VPN whenever possible. Windows 10 does offer a little help when dealing with Internet Service Providers. In your Wi-Fi settings, turn on the “Use random hardware addresses” feature to make it harder for people to track your location when you connect to different Wi-Fi networks.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location to turn off the master location switch at the top of the page. Here you can turn location service off for your user account, set a city, zip, or region for apps to deliver relevant content, specify a default location for Windows to use when a more precise location isn’t available, and erase your saved history.

Cortana uploads some of your information from your calendar, contacts, browser history, and more to make your experience more personal. Click here to find out how to turn off Cortana completely.

You can save your files to the cloud using OneDrive when using your Microsoft account, but OneDrive is an opt-in service. Don’t sign in and it won’t do anything. If you accidentally sign in, click here to shut down OneDrive completely.

Call 217-228-6180 if you need us to help you with a more specific Windows 10 question!

You might call it a memory stick, flash drive, thumbdrive, jumpdrive or a number of other names. Chances are you’ve got at least one lying around, but what would you do if you found one on the ground that didn’t belong to you?

Two hundred and ninety-seven flash drives were dropped in plain sight on the U of I campus in Champaign, Urbana last year. Forty-five percent of participants opened one or more files on the picked up flash drives and ultimately ninety-eight percent, or 290 of the drives, were removed from their drop locations by the end of the observation period. (Read the paper.)

That open rate is way too high. Our point is that you don’t know where that flash drive has been, so you should probably throw it away. If it has contact information physically on the outside of the drive, you could try to find the owner, but ultimately you shouldn’t just plug it in and see what’s on it.

Even if a flash drive isn’t hiding malware that could compromise your computer, at the very least, sharing drives could have exposed it to such atrocities. Unfortunately, the overall majority of USB vendors don’t build any kind of security into the devices, so you have to look out for yourself.

Call 217-228-6180 if you have a mystery flash drive we can help you with.

Who can enter this contest

1. To be eligible to participate in this contest, entrants must be residents of U.S. who are 18 years of age or older and reside in Illinois or Missouri and be existing users of Facebook.

2. Employees of ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook, Inc., Facebook.com and the immediate family members of each are ineligible. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, grandparents, parents, siblings, children and grandchildren. ETC ComputerLand will honor only one winner per household.

How to enter

1. No purchase is necessary and only one entry is allowed per Facebook account holder.

2. Log onto http://www.facebook.com to like or comment on the contest post on ETC ComputerLand’s Facebook page to enter.

3. The contest starts on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 10 a.m. and all entries must be received by Monday, November 23, 2015 at 3 p.m. ETC ComputerLand is not responsible for server unavailability, computer or other electronic malfunction if entry is not received.

4. On Monday, November 23, 2015 at 3 p.m., one (1) winner will selected randomly from the entries and the announcement of that winner will be made on ETC ComputerLand’s Facebook page by 5 p.m. the same day.

The prize

1. One (1) winner will be selected to win a $50 Gas Card from ETC ComputerLand.

2. The winner will be notified in the Facebook thread and via private message on Facebook. To claim their prize, the winner must provide his or her correct name, address and phone number, sign a release of eligibility and show photo I.D.

3. The prize may be claimed at ETC ComputerLand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 26, 2015, Thursday, December 24, 2015, or Christmas Day on Friday, December 25, 2015) and must be claimed by the deadline of Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. unless other arrangements are agreed upon by ETC ComputerLand.

4. If the winner cannot be notified within two weeks (by Tuesday, December 8, 2015) or does not sign the release to claim the prize, then that prize will be forfeited and, if time permits, will be awarded to an alternative winner selected randomly from the remaining valid entries.

5. The winner is responsible for paying all local, county, state and federal taxes on prizes based upon the estimated retail value of the prizes set forth in the rules posted here.

6. ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive and Media Development are not responsible for any liability arising directly or indirectly from the award or use of the prize.

7. By claiming your prize, you acknowledge that ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive and Media Development have the right to publicize your name, character, likeness, photograph, voice and the fact that you are the winner for promotional purposes without financial remuneration.

Odd of winning/other

1. The odds of winning depend on the number of valid entries received.

2. The contest rules are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours at ETC ComputerLand.

3. This contest is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and is void where prohibited. ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook, Inc. and Facebook.com accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by or resulting from the acceptance, possession or use of any prize awarded hereunder.

4. ETC ComputerLand cannot be held liable for any lost or stolen entries, prizes, or contest information.

5. ETC ComputerLand reserves the right to make rules and contest changes, and change the aforementioned contest dates.

6. By entering this contest, each entrant waives any and all claims of liability against ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook.com, and their respective parents, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents, for any and all claims, loss, damage or injury which may occur as a result of entrant’s participation in this contest.

7. Facebook, Inc., and www.facebook.com (collectively, “Facebook”) are not affiliated with ETC ComputerLand nor this contest.  This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Facebook.

Who can enter this contest

1. To be eligible to participate in this contest, entrants must be residents of U.S. who are 18 years of age or older and reside in Illinois or Missouri and be existing users of Facebook.

2. Employees of ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook, Inc., Facebook.com and the immediate family members of each are ineligible. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, grandparents, parents, siblings, children and grandchildren. ETC ComputerLand will honor only one winner per household.

How to enter

1. No purchase is necessary and only one entry is allowed per Facebook account holder.

2. Log onto http://www.facebook.com to like or comment on the contest post on ETC ComputerLand’s Facebook page to enter.

3. The contest starts on Monday, September 21 at 11 a.m. and all entries must be received by Friday, September 25 at 3 p.m. ETC ComputerLand is not responsible for server unavailability, computer or other electronic malfunction if entry is not received.

4. On Friday, September 25 at 3 p.m., one (1) winner will selected randomly from the entries and the announcement of that winner will be made on ETC ComputerLand’s Facebook page by 5 p.m. the same day.

The prize

1. One (1) winner will be selected to win a $100 ETC ComputerLand Gift Certificate that can be used toward ETC ComputerLand IT Solutions including IT Support, Computer Repair, Printer Repair or Hardware/Software Solutions.

2. The winner will be notified in the Facebook thread and via private message on Facebook. To claim their prize, the winner must provide his or her correct name, address and phone number, sign a release of eligibility and show photo I.D.

3. The prize may be claimed during normal ETC ComputerLand business hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and must be claimed by the deadline of Friday, October 9 at 5 p.m. unless other arrangements are agreed upon by ETC ComputerLand.

4. If the winner cannot be notified within two weeks (by Friday, October 9) or does not sign the release to claim the prize, then that prize will be forfeited and, if time permits, will be awarded to an alternative winner selected randomly from the remaining valid entries.

5. The winner is responsible for paying all local, county, state and federal taxes on prizes based upon the estimated retail value of the prizes set forth in the rules posted here.

6. ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive and Media Development are not responsible for any liability arising directly or indirectly from the award or use of the prize.

7. By claiming your prize, you acknowledge that ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive and Media Development have the right to publicize your name, character, likeness, photograph, voice and the fact that you are the winner for promotional purposes without financial remuneration.

Odd of winning/other

1. The odds of winning depend on the number of valid entries received.

2. The contest rules are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours at ETC ComputerLand.

3. This contest is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and is void where prohibited. ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook, Inc. and Facebook.com accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by or resulting from the acceptance, possession or use of any prize awarded hereunder.

4. ETC ComputerLand cannot be held liable for any lost or stolen entries, prizes, or contest information. 

5. ETC ComputerLand reserves the right to make rules and contest changes, and change the aforementioned contest dates.

6. By entering this contest, each entrant waives any and all claims of liability against ETC ComputerLand, Vervocity Interactive, Media Development, Facebook.com, and their respective parents, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents, for any and all claims, loss, damage or injury which may occur as a result of entrant’s participation in this contest.

7. Facebook, Inc., and www.facebook.com (collectively, “Facebook”) are not affiliated with ETC ComputerLand nor this contest.  This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Facebook.

If you didn’t already know about the controversial Ashley Madison website you do now. Millions of married Ashley Madison users visit the site with the intentions of cheating.

Recent news reports announced that hackers stole more than 36 million records, effectively outing users to the public.

While you may be tempted to click on links to check on your own partner, you should be aware of scams. Bogus websites, fraudulent links and infected attachments are being set up across the globe to capitalize off curious Internet users. Watch out for threatening messages that slip through spam filters and suspicious items hailing a connection to cheaters and the Ashley Madison news.

When in doubt, don’t click on it!