Q: I have a small but irritating problem. When I log into sites and I make a mistake, these mistakes appear in the drop-down box forever. Is there a way to delete unwanted logins? My browser is Google Chrome.
— James Wingard
A: What you’d want to do then is to turn off the “autosuggest” or “autocomplete” feature in your browser. When the feature is on, the browser remembers what you filled in that field on that site and offers those as suggestions the next time you go to fill in that form. Yes, including entries you’ve made that have errors.
Just how you turn off that feature depends on the browser you’re using. In Google Chrome, click on the three dots in the upper-right corner and then selected Settings. Next, in the window that opens click on Autofill. That will offer options for you to control in great detail what Chrome will fill and what it won’t. You can also either turn the feature off entirely or you can selectively delete entries that you don’t want Chrome to offer, such as those entries you made in error.
Q: I think you may have listed hard drive wiping software in a prior column, but I cannot find it. Do you have recommendations? Also, if I hook my new Windows 10 laptop up to my old Windows 7 CPU, will I see that drive listed so that I can direct the software to wipe it (and not my new Windows 10!)?
— Toni Cross, Seattle
A: I don’t actually recommend specific products unless I’ve done a recent product comparison. That said, I can tell you what I’m using myself: DBAN. It’s a free, open-source tool that you install to a flash drive.
You then configure your computer to boot using that flash drive and run the data-wiping program from there.
Exactly how you configure your computer to boot using the flash drive depends on the make of your computer. But in general, when your computer is booting you’ll see a message informing you to hit certain keys if you want to configure the BIOS (basic input-output system). Then look for an option for selecting bootable drives.
Be aware, though, that DBAN has certain limitations. As Blancco Technology Group, the company that offers DBAN, notes, the free program cannot detect or erase SSDs (solid-state drives) and does not provide a certificate of data removal for auditing purposes or regulatory compliance.