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Safety when walking away from your computer, Offline video playback, Browser privacy

Safety when leaving your desk includes locking your computer with a password. Soon you will be able to tether your phone to your Windows 10 so that when you walk away (taking your phone with you) your computer will lock. When you come back you unlock it with a password. However, there are many ways to do this without involving a phone and waiting for the next version of Windows 10. The first one is to hold down the Windows key (the one with the four square “flag” on it) and tap the letter “l”, as in lock. Or, you can set your screen saver to activate quickly and to prompt for a password when you come back. Another option is to make sure your computer prompts for a password when you wake it from sleep and then set a keyboard shortcut for sleep. Of course, if you have a laptop, this is much easier, just make sure your laptop, Mac or PC, goes to sleep when you close the lid, then prompts for a password when you open it back up.

If you are mapping out travel with Google Maps, you can make lists of points of interest, like restaurants and places to visit, and share them. Interesting, this only seems to be available in the iOS or Android versions of Google Maps, not through a normal web browser. The basic process is search and find places in Google Maps and then “save” them to a new list, named however you want. Since these lists are private to begin with, you have to go into Sharing Options to make them shareable with a link you send to the people in your group.

Often you want to just download video from the web, video that you “could” just play on-line but you want it on your computer. Here is an article link to quite a few services and applications that can help, depending on what video service you are wanting to download from, <http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/18-free-ways-to-download-any-video-off-the-internet/> or try the bit.ly equivalent of <http://bit.ly/1yvTvWT>.

Sometimes you need a web browser that keep as much of your surfing private, more than the private surfing option available in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Edge. The first, and probably most likely to keep information private, is the Tor browser, from <torproject.org>. Due to how it works to make your traffic anonymous, it can feel a bit slower than your regular browser. Nothing will hide everything, but it goes a long way. Other options include: Epic Browser <epicbrowser.com>; SRWare Iron <srware.net> (click on the American flag in the upper right corner to get the English version of the site); and Comodo Dragon Browser <comodo.com> (scroll to the bottom of the page and look in the lower left column for Comodo Dragon to click on.)

Using the Facebook app on smart phones is going to become more annoying in public if you don’t use ear buds or have video auto-play disabled. Facebook will have sound fade in and out as you scroll through all of those cat and cute animal tricks videos. You can disable it; within the Facebook app you start by tapping the three horizontal line button so you can then go into either Settings – Account Settings – Sounds (for iOS) or App Settings (for Android) and then slide off the slider for “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound.”