Q: We really need your help. We’re on a 32-gigabyte data plan, supposedly enough for 60 movies! However, while one cellphone averages under a half a gigabyte per month and the second under 6 gigabytes, the two desktops, both Windows 10 Home computers (Ethernet-connected through a Verizon password-protected router), consume the remaining 26 gigabytes. We bump up against the limit every month.
We neither game, nor stream movies, nor listen to music online. Yes, the occasional YouTube clip, but mostly just browsing multiple web pages.
What can I check to see how all the data is being used? I am not very computer literate.
— Fred C. Smyth, Whidbey Island
A: Believe me, I’ve dealt with the same issue. Some apps – both on cellphones and computers – run in background and consume a lot of data. If you know which ones they are you can prevent them from running in the background.
With regard to your cellphone, you didn’t say which one you’re using so I can’t give you specific steps. But I suggest you call your cell service provider and ask them how to check on which apps are consuming data.
With regard to your computers, go to the Start button and then launch Settings. Next, click on Network & Internet, then on Data Usage. In the display that opens, click on “View usage per app.” You’ll then see a detailed report of how much data has been consumed by each app on your computer.
Be prepared to be surprised!
Q: We are a small, three-person admin team. We would like to securely share the admin password to our server (bluehost.com), which we will change periodically for security reasons. Once one admin changes the password the others will be notified to follow a secure prescribed process to get the newest password. Do you know of such a process?
— Richard Wilkinson, Kent
A: A good password manager, especially one with an enterprise edition, should do the trick. I haven’t done a formal review of enterprise-level password managers, so I can’t recommend a specific product.
But I recently subscribed to LastPass and am very happy with it. It does support secure password sharing, making it easier for families and business associates to share access to accounts selectively. When a shared password is changed, it is updated for all users designated as sharing that password. And LastPass does have an enterprise edition that offers a central administrative dashboard as well as policies and reporting tools. It also offers broad support for enterprise network directories.
Q: I have been trying for months to get completely off of Facebook. I receive what appear to be messages from people I know, but when I try to open them there is only the title of the message, maybe a small picture … but no message.
I have tried to unsubscribe from Facebook but it doesn’t work. Any suggestions?
— Jim Woods, Lacy
A: To get completely off Facebook, you’ll want to delete your Facebook account. You’ll find step-by-step instructions here. I tried it and it worked for me.
Also, when you say you’re receiving messages, do you mean in your email account? That may be people forwarding messages from Facebook to your email. Deleting your Facebook account won’t stop that.