How to access the System Control Panel on Windows 10

Windows 10, when it was first released, made it obvious that the Control Panel app would eventually be removed from the OS. The Settings app would take its place.

The Control Panel has been a part of Windows for a long time and it is home to an extensive list of settings. Phasing it out isn’t going to be easy and with Windows 10, Microsoft has been doing it piecemeal. 

If you’ve updated to the Windows 10 October 2020 update, the Control Panel System setting is no longer accessible. If you click it, it opens the Settings app instead.

Access System Control Panel 

Microsoft appears to have redirected the System item from the Control Panel. It hasn’t removed the setting though. Users are unable to access it directly but it is there, much like the Control Panel’s Personalization setting panel.

Run box

To access the System Control Panel from the run box, follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. 
  2. In the run box, enter the following. 
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Tap the Enter key.

File Explorer

You can also access the System Control Panel settings from File Explorer.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Enter the following in the address bar.
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Tap Enter.

Desktop shortcut

The Run box and File Explorer method work but aren’t easy to use because you have to remember a long address that is not user-friendly. You can set up a shortcut that will open it directly.

  1. Go to your desktop.
  2. Right-click an empty area and select New>Shortcut.
  3. In the location field, enter the following.
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Click Next. 
  2. Rename the shortcut.
  3. Click Finish.
  4. Open the shortcut and it will open the System Control Panel.

Control Panel God mode

You can access a complete list of every single setting or app that Control Panel has if you open it in God mode.

  1. Create a new folder anywhere on your system.
  2. Select the folder and tap F2 to rename it to the following.
GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  1. Open this folder.
  2. File Explorer will open and list every single Control Panel item including the System Control Panel items.

Conclusion

The phasing out of the Control Panel still seems to be visual for the most part. Most settings that are removed are removed cosmetically. Functionally, they remain accessible and in some cases, they do not have alternative panels in the Settings app. This reflects on Microsoft’s poor planning and it tends to create problems for users who often cannot find how to change a setting on the OS.

The post How to access the System Control Panel on Windows 10 appeared first on AddictiveTips.

Should You Delete Facebook? 8 Pros and Cons

It seems like #deleteFacebook pops up here and there all the time lately. Of course, the world’s largest social network with billions of users is bound to have some controversy around it. However, Facebook’s image nowadays is intertwined with its flaws, scandals, and other problems. 

When you hear Instagram you think pictures, YouTube always makes you think of videos, but when you hear Facebook the first things that come to mind are probably privacy issues, ads, or scams.

No matter how bad the reputation, Facebook remains the most popular social media giant, and you still have some friends and relatives that you like on there. If you’re not sure whether it’s time to leave Facebook or if you should keep your profile, have a look at the main pros and cons that we put together that will help you make up your mind. 

Reasons to #DeleteFacebook Once And For All

If you’re not a fan of Facebook, some of the reasons listed below might seem obvious to you. But if you’ve never thought of deleting Facebook before, they might become a revelation. Here’s why you should consider deleting your Facebook account for good.

Ugly User Interface

UI is a big part of your experience on the site as a whole. You want the app that you’re using to be esthetically pleasing and user-friendly. Facebook fails at both. If you’ve never used or seen Facebook before and just went on the site for the first time today, most likely you’d find it ugly and inefficient. 

Everything from the menu bar to the settings seems disorganized and out of order. Most of it is plain unnecessary, like separate menu positions for Friends and Friend Lists or for Games, Gaming Video, and Live Video on the Home page. On top of that, your main feed on Facebook is covered with targeted ads of things from your recent Google searches.

Facebook Hurts Your Productivity

Due to Facebook’s desire to achieve everything at once, the platform has lost its original purpose of connecting people around the world and became a mess. It’s a mixture of a social network, a gaming platform, a media player, an advertising platform, a job search board and more. 

While this might be considered a good thing, since Facebook has all you could ever need at the same place, in reality it’s very distracting and inefficient. You come on Facebook with one purpose in mind, and get lost among other intrusive components of the app. 

Using Facebook Makes You Vulnerable to Hackers

If multiple Facebook privacy scandals and data breaches weren’t enough, it turns out Facebook is also a go-to tool for hackers and cybercriminals to steal information from user accounts. 

There could be many different ways that hackers will try and get a hold of your data, including dodgy Facebook connected apps, quizzes, and fake adverts with malware. Make sure you’re taking all the preventative security measures and know how to recover your Facebook account if it gets hacked. 

Facebook Scams

Facebook isn’t doing too well in protecting its users from scamming attempts either. Your Facebook account can become a great source of sensitive personal information that scammers will use for phishing when trying to steal your account. Especially if your profile is set to public and if you ever accept friend requests from strangers.

Another common type of a Facebook scam is when a user forwards you a link on Messenger. If you get an unknown message from a stranger with little to no explanation and an attached link – most likely they’re using it to spread viruses or hack into your account. 

Reasons to Stay on Facebook

Naturally, Facebook isn’t all bad. It’s still the biggest communication platform online, and it does offer plenty of networking opportunities to its users. Before you make the decision whether you should delete your Facebook account, here are some reasons that will make you consider staying on Facebook. 

Jobs on Facebook

Facebook can help you with finding a job in more than one way. First of all, with such a wide outreach of Facebook, simply sharing a post that you’re open to new work opportunities can attract a potential employer’s attention and solve the problem. 

Another way to find a job would be by personally reaching out to your Facebook friends. Specifically to those that you know work in the same business industry as you do. Networking is a great job searching strategy, and where better to do it than a place with over 2.7 billion people. Finally, you can use the Jobs on Facebook tool to search and apply for jobs near you. 

For the Sake of Good Memories

Many users have had their Facebook account for years now. That’s a lot of happy memories and emotional moments that you’ve shared with friends and family online. You might want to stay for the sake of keeping that digital history in case you ever want to go back and look through it.

Instead of scrolling all the way down to a specific memory, you can use Facebook’s Memories tool to look back at what happened years ago on the same day, whether it’s a picture you were tagged in, or a post that you shared. 

Ability to Look People Up Online

Since almost everyone’s on Facebook, it’s become a go-to tool for when you need to look someone up or verify that they’re a real person. That can be handy when you meet someone through an online dating app and want to make sure they’re not a scammer or a bot. 

Your Digital Social Life

Once you delete your Facebook account, you’ll see how much of your social life is actually tied to the platform. We don’t realize how much Facebook helps us stay in touch with others and keep up-to-date with the main events in their lives. 

If you ever have to work from home, Facebook can become one of your main sources of socializing. People often change phone numbers and email addresses, but they’re most likely to have the same Facebook profile page. You can also use Facebook search for social gatherings and events in your area, both online and offline. 

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

For many users the decision of deleting or keeping their Facebook account comes down to what’s easier: deactivating your account still takes time and effort. If after all you decide to get rid of your Facebook account, make sure you download and delete your data from Facebook first. 

Have you ever thought of deleting your Facebook account? What’s the main reason why you decided to stay on or leave Facebook? Share your Facebook experience with us in the comments section below. 

How to Make a WordPress Site Secure

Launching your own WordPress site these days is pretty easy. Unfortunately, it won’t take long for hackers to start targeting your site.

The best way to make a WordPress site secure is to understand every point of vulnerability that comes from running a WordPress site. Then install the appropriate security to block hackers at each of those points.

In this article you’ll learn how to better secure your domain, your WordPress login, and the tools and plugins available to secure your WordPress site.

Create a Private Domain

It’s all too easy these days to find an available domain and purchase it at a very cheap price. Most people never purchase any domain addons for their domain. However, one add-on you should always consider is Privacy Protection.

There are three basic levels of privacy protection with GoDaddy, but these also match offerings of most domain providers.

  • Basic: Hide your name and contact info from the WHOIS directory. This is only available if your government allows you to hide domain contact information.
  • Full: Replace your own information with an alternative email address and contact info to cloak your actual identity.
  • Ultimate: Additional security that blocks malicious domain scanning, and includes website security monitoring for your actual site.

Usually, upgrading your domain to one of these security levels just requires choosing to upgrade from a dropdown on your domain listing page.

Basic domain protection is fairly cheap (usually around $9.99/yr), and higher levels of security aren’t much more expensive.

This is an excellent way to stop spammers from scraping your contact info off of the WHOIS database, or others with malicious intent who want to get access to your contact information.

Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess Files

When you first install WordPress, you’ll need to include the administrative ID and password for your WordPress SQL database in the wp-config.php file. 

That data gets encrypted after installation, but you also want to block hackers from being able to edit this file and break your website. To do this, find and edit the .htaccess file on the root folder of your site and add the following code at the bottom of the file.

# protect wpconfig.php
<files wp-config.php>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</files>

To prevent changes to .htaccess itself, add the following to the bottom of the file as well.

# Protect .htaccess file
<Files .htaccess>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</Files>

Save the file and exit the file editor.

You might also consider right-clicking each file and changing the permissions to remove Write access entirely for everyone.

While doing this on the wp-config.php file shouldn’t cause any issues, doing it on .htaccess could cause issues. Especially if you’re running any security WordPress plugins that may need to edit the .htaccess file for you.

If you do receive any errors from WordPress, you can always update permissions to allow Write access on the .htaccess file again.

Change Your WordPress Login URL

Since the default login page for every WordPress site is yourdomain/wp-admin.php, hackers will use this URL to try and hack into your site.

They will do this through what’s known as “brute force” attacks where they’ll send variations of typical usernames and passwords many people commonly use. Hackers hope that they’ll get lucky and land the right combination.

You can stop these attacks entirely by changing your WordPress login URL to something non-standard.

There are lots of WordPress plugins to help you do this. One of the most common is WPS Hide Login.

This plugin adds a section to the General tab under Settings in WordPress.

There, you can type in any login URL you want and select Save Changes to activate it. Next time you want to log into your WordPress site, use this new URL.

If anyone tries to access your old wp-admin URL, they’ll get redirected to your site’s 404 page.

Note: If you use a cache plugin, make sure to add your new login URL to the list of sites not to cache. Then make sure to purge the cache before you log back into your WordPress site again.

Install a WordPress Security Plugin

There are a lot of WordPress security plugins to choose from. Of all of them, Wordfence is the most commonly downloaded one, for good reason.

The free version of Wordfence includes a powerful scan engine that looks for backdoor threats, malicious code in your plugins or on your site, MySQL injection threats, and more. It also includes a firewall to block active threats like DDOS attacks. 

It will also let you stop brute force attacks by limiting login attempts and locking out users who make too many incorrect login attempts.

There are quite a few settings available in the free version. More than enough to protect small to medium websites from most attacks.

There is also a useful dashboard page you can review to monitor recent threats and attacks that have been blocked.

Use the WordPress Password Generator and 2FA

The last thing you want is for hackers to easily guess your password. Unfortunately, too many people use very simple passwords that are easy to guess. Some examples include using the website name or the user’s own name as part of the password, or not using any special characters.

If you’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, you have access to powerful password security tools to secure your WordPress site. 

The first step to improve your password security is to go to each user for your site, scroll down to the Account Management section, and select the Generate Password button.

This will generate a long, very secure password that includes letters, numbers, and special characters. Save this password somewhere safe, preferably in a document on an external drive that you can disconnect from your computer while you’re online.

Select Log Out Everywhere Else to make sure all active sessions are closed.

Finally, if you’ve installed the Wordfence security plugin, you’ll see an Activate 2FA button. Select this to enable two-factor authentication for your user logins.

If you aren’t using Wordfence, you’ll need to install any of these popular 2FA plugins.

Other Important Security Considerations

There are a few more things you can do to fully secure your WordPress site.

Both the WordPress plugins and the version of WordPress itself should be updated at all times. Hackers often try to exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of code on your site. If you don’t update both of these, you’re leaving your site at risk.

1. Regularly select Plugins and Installed Plugins in your WordPress admin panel. Review all plugins for a status that says a new version is available.

When you do see one that’s out of date, select update now. You may also consider selecting Enable auto-updates for your plugins. 

However, some people are wary of doing this since plugin updates can sometimes break your site or theme. So it’s always a good idea to test plugin updates on a local WordPress test site before enabling them on your live site.

2. When you log into your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a notification that WordPress is out of date if you’re running an older version.

Again, backup the site and load it to a local test site on your own PC to test that the WordPress update doesn’t break your site before you update it on your live website.

3. Take advantage of your web host’s free security features. Most web hosts offer a variety of free security services for the sites you host there. They do this because it not only protects your site, but it keeps the entire server safe. This is especially important when you’re on a shared hosting account where other clients have websites on the same server.

These often include free SSL security installs for your site, free backups, the ability to block malicious IP addresses, and even a free site scanner that’ll regularly scan your site for any malicious code or vulnerabilities.

Running a website is never just as simple as installing WordPress and just posting content. It’s important to make your WordPress website as secure as possible. All of the above tips can help you do so without too much effort.

How to hide snap packages from lsblk on Linux

Snap packages are an excellent Linux technology that the community is embracing, as it offers a lot of features and benefits. However, sometimes Snap packages can cloud out your command-line output when the lsblk command runs in the terminal, and it can be incredibly annoying.

In this guide, we’ll go over how you can take steps to hide Snap packages from the lsblk command-output via a command. We’ll even go over how to make the filter permanent, so you never have to worry about it again! Here’s how to do it.

Why do Snap packages ruin LSBLK output?

Snap packages are file systems of sorts, with the program sandboxed (AKA isolated) from the rest of the system. Snaps being in a Sandbox has many positives, like the ability to have things come pre-configured, stay in a confined space away from the user, etc. However, they can also introduce some serious annoyances for Linux users.

Despite how excellent they can be, the problem is that because Snaps present to Linux users as filesystems (although isolated), they appear when the Linux user runs the lsblk filesystem command. It effectively clouds out real hard drives with tons and tons of Snap package information, and it can be incredibly annoying.

Run LSBLK without Snap packages in output

It is possible to filter out Snap packages from the LSBLK tool when running the lsblk command to view your computer’s file-systems. To do it, open up a terminal window and execute the lsblk command with the -e7 command-line switch. This switch will remove SquashFS filesystems (Snap packages) from the output.

lsblk -e7

If you see Snaps appear in the lsblk command output on the root account, this command will also work there. To filter out Snaps while using the root account (or logged in as sudo -s), take the sudo command and place it in front of lsblk -e7.

sudo lsblk -e7

If you dislike running the sudo command, it is also possible to log into root and then use the lsblk -e7 command. For example, I can quickly log into root with su and then execute the filter command.

su - 

lsblk -e7

The “e” (AKA exclude) command-line switch for the lsblk command is potent and has many excellent features and options. For more information on the “e” command-line switch and how you can use it to make a filter out various things, please check out the lsblk manual. 

To access the lsblk manual, open up a terminal window and enter the man lsblk command. Or, save the manual to a readable text file with:

man lsblk > ~/Documents/lsblk-manual.txt

Making the Snap filter permanent

While it is handy to know that the “e7” command-line switch, when run with the lsblk command, will filter out Snap packages from the command output, it’s rather tedious having to remember to enter it each time. If you’d like to make this filter permanent, you can set up what is known as a Bash alias.

A Bash “alias” is essentially a “shortcut” command that tells the command-line that you want to execute a specific command when entered in the terminal. We can use this to make the lsblk -e7 command work when you enter the lsblk -e7 command.

Backing up your Bashrc

Before we go over how to set up the Bash alias that will automatically filter out Snaps, a backup of your Bashrc must be made. This backup will make it easy to revert the changes if need be.

To make a backup of your Bashrc, enter the following command in a terminal window.

cp ~/.bashrc ~/bashrc-backup

Once your Bashrc is backed up, keep it in your home directory. Or place it somewhere for safekeeping. 

Setting up the alias

To set up the Bash alias for lsblk, start by opening your Bashrc file for editing purposes using the Nano text editor. 

nano ~/.bashrc

Once inside of the Nano text editor, find a blank space. If your Bashrc file is filled with text, scroll through it, and find somewhere to type and enter the code below. Or, place your new alias directly below existing aliases if you have some already set up.

alias lsblk='lsblk -e7' 

After writing out the new alias in the Nano text editor, press the Ctrl + O button on the keyboard. Once this button is pressed, press the Enter key to tell the Nano text editor to save your edits.  Then, exit the text editor by pressing the Ctrl + X command.

Now that the alias is set up, close your terminal window and re-open it. Then, enter the lsblk command. It should automatically filter out Snaps from the lsblk output.

How to undo the Snap filter

Decided you don’t mind having Snaps show up as devices when running the lsblk command on your computer? Run these commands to undo it.

rm ~/.bashrc

mv ~/bashrc-backup ~/.bashrc

The post How to hide snap packages from lsblk on Linux appeared first on AddictiveTips.

How to run the sudo command without a password

The sudo command is an excellent part of the Linux command-line. It allows users to execute root commands without needing to log into root, protecting their security. The problem is, to use the sudo command, you’ll need to enter your password.

Having to enter your password to execute the sudo command is undoubtedly an excellent security feature, but it can be incredibly tedious and annoying. If you’re OK with the trade-off in security features, you can make it so that password isn’t required to use sudo.

Method 1 – running sudo commands without password temporarily

The easiest way to run sudo commands without a password is to do it temporarily — meaning no editing to the system files to change settings. To do this, the sudo -s command is used.

The sudo -s command grants the user a Sudo shell. Essentially, you log into the terminal with your user and password and are given a root shell. You’ll then be able to enter any command as if you were doing them with the sudo command.

To use the sudo -s command, start by opening up a terminal. Then, enter the command below. 

sudo -s

You’ll then see your terminal prompt logged in to the Sudo shell as root. From here, enter any command you’d like to run with the sudo command without having to enter a password. 

It is possible to access the Sudo shell at any time, in any user. To exit the Sudo shell, enter the exit command. 

exit

Method 2 – adding passwordless sudo to Linux via sudoers file

If you want to execute Sudo commands without having to enter the Sudo shell each time, you can enable passwordless sudo. Passwordless sudo is a configuration file change that, when enabled, will make every sudo command run without a password.

However, before we begin, please understand that passwordless sudo is a considerable security risk. If you have a weak password set for your user account and then you enable passwordless sudo, a malicious attacker may be able to infiltrate your system. Be sure that your user account’s password is secure by changing the password.

To change your user account’s password, start by opening up a terminal window. When the terminal window is open, execute the passwd command. 

passwd

After executing the passwd command, you’ll be asked to change the password to your Linux user account. Be sure to enter something secure and memorable. When your password is changed, follow the step-by-step instructions below to enable passwordless sudo via the sudoers file.

Step 1: Execute the visudo command to open up the sudoers file for editing. You should always use the visudo command to edit this file rather than /etc/sudoers, for security purposes.

sudo EDITOR=nano visudo

Please note that if the visudo command does not work with the sudo command, you can also access it by using su to log into root.

su -

EDITOR=nano visudo

Step 2: Once inside of the Nano editor,  locate the line of code root ALL=(ALL) ALL and press the Enter key on the keyboard to write a new line directly under it.

After pressing the Enter key, write out a new line of code. Be sure to change “user” in the code line below to your user account, or the code will not work.

user ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD

Step 3: Press the Ctrl + O button to save the edits to the configuration file. After saving the edits, exit the editor by pressing the Ctrl + X button. 

With the configuration file changed, you’ll be able to execute any sudo command without the need to enter a password!

Allow specific commands to be exected without sudo password

If you don’t want to have the sudo command work without a password for every single terminal command, you can restrict it so that only specific things can run without a password. Here’s how to set it up.

First, open up the sudoers file with the visudo command below.

sudo EDITOR=nano visudo

Inside of the Nano text editor, look through and find the root ALL=(ALL) ALL line of code. Then, press the Enter key to create a new line directly below it. After creating a new line, add in the following code, but be sure to change “user” to your username.

user ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:

After writing out the code above, add the commands you would like to run without a password. For example, to make the cp command work in sudo without a password, you’d do:

user ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/cp

To add multiple commands, separate them with a “,”. When done editing the sudoers file, press the Ctrl + O button combination on the keyboard to save the edits. Then, press Ctrl + X to close Nano.

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