Did you know that Chromebooks have an auto expiration date?

When buying a Chromebook it is a good idea to determine the “Auto Expiration Date”, for the model you purchased. The “Auto Expiration Date” is the date when you may stop receiving important updates (for new features and crucial security patches). Typically, Chromebooks have a minimum 5-year window of updates; but, I am now seeing that some of the new Chromebooks, produced in 2020, will have a minimum 8-year window of updates. I am also seeing various models, produced in the past, where Google has extended the window of time for receiving updates.

When a Chromebook reaches its’ “Auto Update Expiration” date you will receive a notification saying “This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading”. The Chromebook will continue to function but could become a security risk at that point.

You will often see older Chromebooks at bargain-basement prices, so be wary and check for the “Auto Expiration Date”.

So, how do you go about checking the “Auto Expiration Date” on a Chromebook?

The best answer I can give to that question is this. Visit Google’s “Auto Update Policy” site where you can look up your Chromebook Model to determine the expiration date; OR, If you are using a Chromebook with “Chrome Education Upgrade or Chrome Enterprise Upgrade”, the AUE date is available in the Google Admin console. According to this site, Google publishes a model’s AUE date on this page after its release, giving buyers time to make purchase decisions.

In closing, “Please check the AUE date when making a Chromebook purchasing decision”.


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Recover Product Keys, Serial Numbers, and Licenses With LicenseCrawler

LicenseCrawler is a portable app that will scan your computer for software product keys, serial numbers, and licenses. This comes in real handy when you have misplaced the original licensing information or when you are setting up a new computer. It is also a nice addition to the tech toolbox if you are in the profession of computer repair and troubleshooting.

LicenseCrawler is FREE for non-commercial use.

Source: LicenseCrawler

Crypto Notepad – A Windows Type Notepad With (AES) Encryption Capabilities

Crypto Notepad is a notepad similar to the default Windows notepad, but, with security built-in. You can password protect your notes with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Don’t let that big word scare you off. Simply download, unzip (portable app), run and then assign a password to the note(s) you create.

It is often necessary to protect important notes in order to prevent them from being accessed by others, but text editors that offer encryption features are sometimes too complex for users who just want a secure Notepad alternative. Crypto Notepad stands out through its relatively simple design, as it looks very similar to the standard Windows Notepad. It offers a few extra features, such as encryption and a customizable UI, but it remains lightweight and very easy to use.

Source: Crypto Notepad

A simple tool that displays the details of all Web browser addons/plugins installed on your system…

Download, unzip, and run BrowserAddonsView to display the browser addons and plugins (i.e. extensions) that have been installed on your system. I ran this on my PC and it quickly (lightning speed) picked up every single extension I had installed. I can see this being used to troubleshoot issues where a rogue browser extension (or plugin) has been installed and has compromised the operation of your computer, your privacy, and your security.

Web Browser Plugins And Extensions List

BrowserAddonsView is a simple tool (by NirSoft) that displays the details of all Web browser addons/plugins installed in your system. BrowserAddonsView can scan and detect the addons of most popular Web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. For Chrome and Firefox, BrowserAddonsView detects and scans all Web browser profiles if there are multiple profiles.

Source: Web browser addons / plugins viewer

Lock Your Android Apps AND Protect Your Privacy With Norton App Lock

Nearly everyone that carries a smartphone has sensitive information on the phone. Typically this information is accessed by an app that is installed. Most folks don’t think about the security of this information until they misplace or lose the phone. For example, apps that store pictures, personal and financial information, and even control the devices in your home could be compromised if the phone ended up in the wrong hands. Yes, most folks password-protect their phones; but, many do not (which is a disaster waiting to happen). Even if you do password protect your phone there is a high probability that someone else, who wanted to compromise your phone’s information, would find a way to get to the information. It could even be someone you trust.

To give you a layer of protection, which is FREE, I suggest you take a look at Norton App Lock. Norton who has been around for years has developed an app lock that is more secure and not battery hungry compared to many of the app locks available where a crafty person can bypass the security.

Screenshot Image

You can read more on Norton App Lock by clicking on the source link below, but in summary what this app does is give you the ability to password protect whatever app you want by assigning a PIN, Password or Pattern. For example, I assigned a PIN to my Gmail app on my phone. In order to launch and open the Gmail app, a PIN is required. I have also locked down other apps on my phone, as well. This added layer of security gives me a better feeling knowing my information is safe in the event the phone is compromised.

Source: Google Play Store – Norton App Lock

Can You Protect Notes With A Password In OneNotes For Windows 10?

One question that you see circulating in the “Q&A” forums on the internet, regarding Microsoft OneNote for Windows 10, is “Can you password protect your notes?“. The answer is a resoundingly “yes”. After exploring the various password options using the OneNote version for Windows 10, the Android version and the web-based version; I will tell you that you can add password protection with the Windows 10 version and the Android version. The option to password protect a note in the web-based version does not exist. Also, you can not password protect individual notebooks, but you can password protect individual sections within a notebook.

Password protecting the more sensitive notes in OneNote is important to me; especially, in the event, I lose my smartphone or someone other than myself accesses my computer. Is the password protection sufficient? I say yes because you need to jump through a couple of layers of security to get to the notes. For example, to get to the password-protected notes on my computer and smartphone, you would first need to access my two devices with a password (or other forms of security); then, you would need to access the protected notes with a password. Sort of like the two-factor authentification that you hear about and should be using.

If you want to learn “how to” protect notes with a password in OneNote for Windows 10, CLICK HERE, where you will be directed to the OneNote support site. The screenshot below pretty much tells the story on how to do this from your computer…


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