It's time for another batch of Web tips. Last time I told you where to find user guides and compare camera sizes online; this week I'll tell you about a couple super-useful browser plug-ins.
Avoid Fake Online Stores with Zscaler Safe Shopping Plug-in
Suppose you're in the market for a Turbo Widget 9000. You do a little Web searching and discover that Widget Specialities Unlimited sells it for $50 less than everybody else. The online storefront looks a little wonky, but, hey, you got here via Google, so it must be okay, right?
Wrong. Hackers routinely create fake stores, and sometimes even compromise real ones in order to steal customer data. How can you protect yourself against these kinds of threats?
One option: Install Zscaler Safe Shopping, a browser plug-in that warns you about fake and compromised onilne stores. (Note: That link takes you to the newly released Internet Explorer version. Safe Shopping is also available for all other browsers, as described in this Zscaler blog post.)
Once installed, the plug-in relies on a continually updated list of bad domains. If you happen to visit one of them, you'll see a warning, so you know to steer clear.
It's kind of like my perennial favorite Web of Trust, but with a focus on shopping.
And it's worth noting that even if you have a robust security suite installed on your PC, it's not likely to detect a fake or compromised Web store. This is a free and easy way to get some added piece of mind before you plunk down you credit card (virtually speaking).
Resume YouTube Videos Where You Left Off
YouTube videos are getting longer all the time. Heck, you can now watch full-length movies on the site thanks to integration with Google's new Play service.
So where's the in-video bookmark option? What happens if you get interrupted in the middle of a clip and have to close your browser, shut down your PC, or whatever? Without a lot of pesky clicking and searching, how can you find your way back to where you were?
Look no further than Pause for Later. True to its name, this browser extension marks your spot in YouTube videos and lets you easily resume them later. It also keeps a record of the videos themselves, thus saving you from having to bookmark them or search YouTube again.
To get started, just head to the Pause for Later site and sign up for a free account. Then install the extension that matches your browser; the developers have one for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari--though in some cases you might be installing a bookmarklet instead of an extension. No matter--the end result is the same.
Now, when you need to pause a video, you click the newly added Pause button (or the bookmarklet) instead of the actual YouTube pause control. That'll steer you directly to the Pause for Later site, where you can view all your paused videos--and, with a single click, resume any one of them.
By clicking the Action button alongside any video, you can also restart from the beginning, mark it as unwatched, copy the link to your clipboard, and more. It's a decidedly handy way to manage YouTube content--and a lot less cluttered and confusing than YouTube's own video manager.
Pause for Later also promises to work with Hulu and Vimeo, though in my tests it didn't actually save my spot in videos from those services; it merely saved a link to them.
Basically, if you've ever had to leave a YouTube video in the middle and wished for a way to save your place, now you've got one. Check it out.
If you've got a hassle that needs solving, send it my way. I can't promise a response, but I'll definitely read every e-mail I get--and do my best to address at least some of them in the PCWorld Hassle-Free PC blog. My 411: [email protected]. You can also sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.