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Originally published Friday, July 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

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OneDrive user wants separate password for privacy

Patrick Marshall provides advice on how to prevent other people who are using your PC from getting access to certain apps. He also provides tips on dealing with support-staff scammers and problems with a computer not going to sleep properly


Special to The Seattle Times

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Q: I have a touch-screen laptop with Windows 8.1. As expected, when I power on the PC, it asks for my password, then proceeds to enable the PC’s full list of programs, including opening access to OneDrive.

I realize for most people it’s convenient to have one password that opens everything. In my case, however, I have certain private financial folders on my laptop’s hard drive and would like to move them off the laptop and onto OneDrive.

Since other people occasionally use my PC, I want to separate OneDrive from this startup process and require use of a unique OneDrive password that only I would know.

I can’t find a way to set up this separate OneDrive password. As a result, I keep these files on a thumb drive. In addition to being inconvenient, I am also concerned that eventually this thumb drive could fail and I’d have a real problem.

I’ve looked or right-clicked every Control Panel tab that makes sense but can’t find any option to establish a separate OneDrive password. Can you guide me through the process?

— Will McAllister

A: If you’re using the desktop OneDrive app, which makes your OneDrive data available in Windows Explorer, there is no way to require a separate password to gain access.

You could, of course, not install that app and just access OneDrive via your Web browser, in which case, you’ll be required to give your user name and password. But that’s not very convenient if you access OneDrive frequently.

The simplest way to reach your goal would be to create a user profile for guests to use to login to the computer. When a guest logs into the guest account, your OneDrive data will not be available.

You can create a new user profile in Windows 8 by going to the Start screen and selecting PC Settings, then Other Accounts.

The only thing you need to remember is not to leave yourself logged in to your account when you hand over the computer to a guest.

Q: I keep getting calls from someone who sounds as if they are from India. The man says he is from Windows tech support. I have told them not to call, and they call often anyway. I finally asked him his name and phone number. He gave me 516-855-4218, his name was Peter Johnson and he was from New York. I know this is a scam and I would like to do something about this but I do not know how or what.

— Beverly McDonald

A: I take it that you haven’t been asking for support. Yes, there are a lot of scammers pretending to be support staff. If the call is always from the same number, you can block it. Depending on which phone you have, you may need to download an app for this.

Next, you’ll want to check out the Federal Trade Commission’s tips about tech support scams, which you can access at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams.

Finally, it’s a good idea to register your phone with the National Do Not Call Registry, which you can do at www.donotcall.gov/. After waiting 31 days since signing up, you can report any calls you feel you shouldn’t be getting to the FTC at https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2.

Q: I am running Malwarebytes’ Antimalware premium; my PC is an HP Envy tower, and it has Windows 8.1, 64-bit. I’m using Windows Defender anti-virus. After I run a Malwarebytes scan, most of the time the PC freezes up when logging back into either of the two accounts on the PC.

What does the PC do when it freezes up?

So far, doing the following seems to avoid running into the problem: Do not use the sleep command; let the system 1) turn off the desktop as configured (after 10 minutes) and 2) put the PC to sleep (after 20 minutes). I have been able to wake up the PC from this system-induced sleep, without problems.

— Ricardo Ardila

A: Generally, when there’s a problem with a computer not going to sleep properly, or having difficulties coming out of sleep mode, the cause is a drive that’s not fully compatible. Make sure all your drivers are the most recent drivers available. If you still have the problem, the only way to track it down is going through a potentially tedious process of trial and error, disabling drivers, then adding them back in.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/

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