The Tech Guy Blog

How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Leo has talked a lot on the Tech Guy show about using two factor authentication wherever possible to ensure the security of your online accounts. Two factor authentication requires more than just a 1 factor to login. This could include two of the following: something you are (such as biometrics like fingerprints or iris scans), something you know (a password), or something you have (a smartphone or hardware key). This could be called many things, including “Two-Step Verification” and “Two-Factor Authentication” depending on the site.

KRACK Wi-Fi Flaw: What You Need to Know

You may have heard about the latest Wi-Fi vulnerability in the news called “KRACK” or “Key Reinstallation Attack.” This is a security flaw in the WPA2 protocol that could allow a third party to intercept network activity between a router and a device. It does this by taking advantage of a problem with the way the client (your mobile device or computer) authenticates with the access point (the router).

Try an Alternative Launcher on Android

One of the benefits to having an Android phone is that you can customize and change almost everything about it. You can even change the way your apps and widgets are presented to you by changing what's called the "launcher." The launcher is a lot like Explorer on Windows or the Finder on the Mac. It's the program that allows you to see files and applications so you can run them. The iOS launcher is called SpringBoard, and Apple doesn't let you use any other launcher. On Android, however, you can download third party launchers that change the way your home screen operates.

Apps to Help Track Purchases and Subscriptions

Rich DeMuro filled in for Leo Laporte this weekend, and recommended a couple of apps that will help you make purchases and track them. First is an app called Earny. This tracks purchases that you make at major retailers and looks for price drops. Prices change all the time, and we typically check prices before we buy things, but not afterwards. If Earny sees a price drop on a recent purchase, it will collect a refund for you by reaching out to the company. The pro to using this app is obviously the cash you'll get back from purchases.

Putting a Freeze on Credit Files

In the wake of the Equifax breach, many people have explored options on additional security and damage control. Putting a security freeze is a step above fraud alerts and can prevent thieves from getting credit in a victim's name, even if they have their social security number. For those under 65 years of age, putting a credit freeze costs $10 (so a total of $30 for all three major credit bureaus). Freezes can be requested by mail or online, and the bureaus must place the freeze within three business days of receiving the message.

How to Use Facebook Safety Check

Facebook's Safety Check feature is a good way to tell your friends and family that you're alright if you're in the midst of a disaster like Hurricane Harvey. You can find the Safety Check in the "Explore" section of the mobile app. You can get to it by tapping the hamburger menu on the bottom right corner. Once you tap into Safety Check, you'll see the current Safety Checks around the world or you can create a Safety Check. Then you can see people that are marked safe, and mark yourself safe if you're in an affected area.

Clean Up Google Chrome

One of the best web browsers available right now is Chrome, which comes from Google. It’s fast and secure, and Google does a good job of keeping it up to date as well. But even Chrome can slow down and have issues after awhile. If you’ve had problems with Chrome, here are some things to try to get it back to its typical performance.

Prevent Your Accounts From Being Hacked

Securing your online accounts is vitally important. The consequences of being hacked can be great — someone could lock you out of your email account. If that account is used for password recovery for your other accounts, then a hacker could get access to all of those as well. There are a few basic things that you should make sure you do to protect your email account:

1. Provide a secondary email address for recovery.
2. Provide a phone number for password recovery.
3. Turn on 2 Factor Authentication.

Take Screenshots in Windows and Mac

Taking screenshots used to be something that would require a third party program. This was especially true if you wanted more sophisticated capabilities, like the ability to annotate screenshots. While there are still third party programs for doing this, many of these features have been integrated right into the Windows and Mac operating system. Here's how to make use of the screenshot features in Windows and Mac.