Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Advice for hijacked Yahoo! mail

From the Reader Mail Department

A Reader wrote in with a question that might be pertinent to some of you..

Contact Tech Paul
Message:” I’m almost sure people have cracked my password to yahoo, because everytime I want to open my account, the password does not work
How do I find out who has gotten into my yahoo email?”

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

A: Unless it is someone in your own environment (with access to your computer) I doubt anyone could figure out who has “broken into” (and it sounds like, ‘hijacked’) your email account. In the recent past, Yahoo has been “hacked” and 100,000’s of email address/passwords stolen, many times. (for example,

But I wouldn’t worry about the “who” so much as I would worry about regaining control of your account; and the way to do that is through Yahoo!.
(Usually the process is started by clicking the “forgot my password” link.)

Try these methods, in order.


If you verify that you were indeed hijacked, you might have luck writing to Yahoo! and asking for an investigation… But since Yahoo! Mail is a free service, I doubt there is much they’ll do. But you can try.
And a computer forensics specialist might have methods I am unaware of, but they do not work cheap.

Good luck, and regards, TP

Today’s quote:I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” ~ George Washington

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

November 3, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, passwords, tech | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Block Websites

Preventing access to websites is called “blacklisting”. (Parents, take note.)

In yesterday’s article, I mentioned that I was going to boycott any website that started showing me image advertising – just won’t go there no more – and I used the Geekspeak word ‘blacklist’. Which prompted a few letters asking how that was done. Today I will show you how it’s done.. and I’ll try to keep the Geekspeak to the very minimum.

acl If you should decide that you want to block access (called “access control”) to websites you do not approve of, or think may be dangerous to you and/or your family, (and yes, there’s plenty of those) there are several strategies and methods — which you choose will probably be decided by how many websites you wish to block and for how many machines.

Simplest first: The web browser.
Say I just wanted to make sure my own, one machine, here, (or perhaps my child’s) never went to MSNBC, regardless of what I accidentally clicked or Googled (or perhaps I discovered a website that tried to do a “driveby” virus download) – I could add that site to my browser’s Do Not Go There list.

In Internet Explorer:

  • Click Tools, and then Internet Options
  • Next click on the Security tab
  • Now click on the red-circle icon for Restricted sites
  • Click the Sites button


[Notice that the URL for the web page you are currently on is – by default – filling the “Add this site” pane… Which is fine if you happened to be on the site you want to block; but you may (probably) want to manually type in URL for the website. You can add more than one – just separate the URL’s by comma+a space.]

  • Click the Add button. You will now see the URL(s) listed in the blocked Websites list pane. (You can add as many sites as you want.)
    If you make a mistake, click on the list entry, and then the Remove button.
  • Click Close to close that window, then OK to close Internet Options. You’re done.

Other Web browsers can work much the same way (though may use slightly different wording) though my preferred “alternative browser”, Firefox, needs an Add on for this (called Blocksite).

A better way: In the “home computing” environment, it was assumed that it would mostly be parents – wanting to prevent their children from visiting “mature” websites – who would desire to block (blacklist) Internet access. Because of this, most ‘Internet access control’ tools can be found under Parental Controls though, obviously, you do not need to be a parent to take advantage of it.

A good place to get started learning about enabling Parental Controls (to block websites) in Windows is here, Set up Parental Controls (and a brief video can be seen here); and on an Apple Mac, here.

Better yet: The best place to block Internet access is at the front door.. which in computer land is the device known as the “router” (or “wireless router”, or “WAP”), if you have one. Here you can block access by machine, time of day, and more.

This screenshot shows me blocking the website MySpace on a Linksys router, as well as by some “adult” keywords. It is taken from my step-by-step How To article here, Protecting your network–use your router for access control.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 23, 2011 Posted by | browsers, computers, Firefox, firewall, how to, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, PC, security | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft Office 2010 Technology Guarantee

Buy Office 2007 Today, Get Office 2010 Free

Today I received notice, via Amazon, that for a limited time Microsoft is offering a free upgrade deal. Purchase, install, and activate a qualifying Office 2007 product between March 5, 2010, Office 2010 logoand September 30, 2010, and you’ll be eligible to download Office 2010 at no additional cost. The Microsoft details page is here.

I noted, also, that Amazon’s price for Home and Student Edition is very competitive, and I was pleased to see that the option to have it on disc was free too. The Amazon page is here.

Some thoughts on Office 2007/2010:
I have been using “the new Office” since the beta of Office 2007, and am currently running the beta of 2010. I find the modest improvements in 2010 quite nice, but since I am not doing a lot of “online collaboration”, nor in a true business environment (no cubicle for me), I am not able to leverage all of its advanced features.

I have no trouble with the “new” Ribbon menu bars, and I love being able to preview, and then apply, formatting ‘dynamically’. But – and this is a pretty big ‘but’ here – longtime users of Office (97 – 2003) do not always find the transition to the new menus so… pleasant. Fortunately, Microsoft provides many aids for easing the transition to the newer way, such as the Office 2010 menu to ribbon reference workbooks. There is a learning curve going from Office 2003/older, yes.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 9, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, MS Word, News, shopping for, software, tech, word processors | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Restrict Roommates Internet Use

Quick Tip — Use Your Router’s Advanced Features For Best Use Of Shared Connections

If you are in a house with multiple computers, and you want to restrict “the amount of Internet” those other machines use, you can use settings (aka “options”) in your router and give yourself #1 priority.

Today’s topic comes from a question from a (younger) fella who lives with roommates, and they all “share” his connection. Which is fine with him except for when their online activity slows down his surfing or online gaming.
So he wanted to know how to make sure he got “first dibs”. (Though I confess, he called it “more bandwidth”.)

Tip of the day: Use your router’s advanced abilities to limit other computers’ Internet usage.

1) Open your browser and access the router’s Control Panel. (for instructions, see Protecting-your-network – use-your-router-for-access-control)


2) Find the Advanced Settings tab for “QoS” (Quality of Service).
On a Linksys router, that is under “Applications and Gaming”, but yours may have a different name.

3) Give your PC’s MAC Address a rating of “Highest”
* To get the MAC, open a command prompt (Start >Programs >Accessories) on your machine and enter “ipconfig /all” {no quotes}. Look for “Physical Address”. A MAC address will look like 01-23-45-67-8A-9B.

* Note: You might also want to set other machines to “low”.

4) Enable, Save, and exit.

That’s it, your done. Now your Internet “data packets” will go first, and any other Internet user will have to wait for your request to finish.

[note: there are some other priority tweaks you can make here too. Click on the image to see large version, and note my arrows.]

Today’s free download: EncryptOnClick is a very simple to use program that lets you securely encrypt and decrypt files… basically, with a click.

[addenda: You can further limit the amount of bandwidth your roommates use by setting keyword and website blocking that will cripple their P2P file downloading and video watching — the two biggest bandwidth hogs. The access control article (above) has the How To.]

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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February 18, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, Internet, networking, performance, routers, routers and WAPs, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments