Safer Login Options

Logins without passwords are increasingly common, and something Microsoft has been pushing hard lately. Going “passwordless” does not mean you no longer need authentication; you just use something other than a traditional password. Think of those codes you sometimes get when logging into a website, often financial sites. Passwords suffer as an authentication method for many reasons—easy to guess, poorly stored on the server, rarely or never changed—so the use of what are basically one-time codes or some kind of biometric login (say, a fingerprint) is seen as a safer method. Microsoft Authenticator is the software you could use on your phone to provide that one-time code, untethering you from having to remember your passwords. Just don’t lose your phone.

Untangling everything USB-C can do means learning a bit more about what USB-C really is. It is a type of plug that has different capabilities, depending on what the manufacturer wants to include. USB-C cables can use USB 2.0 or 3.2 speeds; they can handle different charging wattages; and they might have Thunderbolt support (if so, Thunderbolt cables can be either “active” or “passive”). The connector is the same for all but the capabilities aren’t, so you must carefully read the packaging to avoid buying an adapter that may not deliver what you think it should just because the cable fits.

Spotify seems to be draining iPhone batteries. Until Spotify figures out a fix, you can turn off Background App Refresh for Spotify. This is in Settings, General, Background App Refresh and then slide off Spotify. You might want to turn off Background App Refresh for other apps as well, such as Facebook. One other purported fix for Spotify’s battery drain is to uninstall and reinstall it.

Paywalls are here to stay. But there are ways around them. The one that I find works best involves getting comfortable with your browser’s settings for erasing cookies and site data, most specifically for the site whose paywall is blocking you. Opening that site in Incognito mode can often accomplish this same thing. Other methods include pasting the headline into Google or doing a Facebook redirect—which means pasting “https://facebook.com/l.php?u=” (without the quotes) before the actual URL. These two methods work if the blocking site has made some arrangement (financial, most likely) with Google or Facebook.