Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Pat from San Diego, CA Comments

Pat woke up the other day and all her emails had vanished from her Gmail account. She uses her web browser to check her mail every day, clicking on "all mail," first, then deleting and emptying her trash. Leo says that she doesn't ever need to delete her email or empty the trash. Trash gets automatically flushed every 30 days. Leo suspects that Pat may have accidentally deleted more than she thought. For instance, if she hit command A, that will select everything and then delete. Unfortunately, Gmail is a cloud-based option and there's no real backup other than that. So when she deletes something, she's deleting it from the cloud. Moving forward, Leo recommends not deleting anything!

Also, on the outside chance that someone else has changed her password and deleted her emails, it's a good idea to change it again and then set up 2-factor authentication. That way no one can change her password without her knowledge.

Watch Mike from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Comments

Mike wants to wipe a hybrid SSD using Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Is that a good idea? Leo says that SSDs are written to differently than spinning drives, and it also uses a technique called "wear leveling," which writes sectors randomly. This makes it difficult to fully and securely wipe a drive to prevent it from being recovered. He can do it to erase a drive, but it won't really remove the data. That's why Leo recommends encryption. Using BitLocker on Windows, or some other technique to secure data with encryption. That way if it is read, it'll only be jibberish.

Image By Hans Haase (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Antonio from Chico, CA Comments

Antonio signed up for Google Docs and he's been offered Norton to protect his files. Leo says he hates antivirus, and Norton is one of the worst. Leo recommends staying with Microsoft's Defender and keep it updated. At the end of the day, it's his behavior online that will be the last line of defense. So, here are a few things he can do to protect himself online:

- Stop running as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote his existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
- Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
- Don't click on links in email.
- Only get your software from original vendors.
- Stop using Java
- Use a password vault like LastPass
- Turn on second-factor authentication wherever possible

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Art from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Art is wondering if he should expand his internet speeds to 100Mbps to watch Netflix. Leo says that 50Mbps down is fine for watching Netflix, but the more devices he has on his network, the more bandwidth he'll need. The more mobile devices, internet of things boxes, and simple computer access, 100Mbps+ is more realistic.

Watch Jose from Modesto, CA Comments

Jose wants to know when he'll be able to upgrade to the Fall Creator's update for Windows 10. Leo says that it's always a good idea to wait for Windows to offer it, but this week Microsoft opened it up to all devices, so he can go download and install it. Leo recommends using the Windows Media Creation Tool to put the update on a thumb drive and then run the installation utility to update it.

Watch Adrian from Irvine, CA Comments

Adrian's wife did a sliding pattern to lock her mobile phone and now she can't remember it. How can she unlock it? Leo says that in theory, Android doesn't want to give users a way around it, otherwise it would be useless for security. However, it's possible that if she has a Samsung account, she could have it backed up. There's also a way to do it by connecting it to a PC running Android Device Manager. Through that, she could unlock the phone. Here's how to do it from trendblog.net.

Watch Doug from Newton, KS Comments

Doug is looking for a new all-in-one computer with a nice screen. His needs are simple. Leo says for Windows, the HP EliteOne is gorgeous. They start at $1000 and they're nicely equipped.

Watch Mary from Van Nuys, CA Comments

Mary is a Luddite who hates the obsession with technology. She feels that she's being forced down the road of technology and she'd rather not, especially since she's been hacked twice in the last six weeks. Leo says that for what Mary uses a computer for, she doesn't need Windows at all. Mary would be better off with a Chromebook. It's far simpler and not hackable. It's a very simple and highly secure operating system that she can just directly connect via ethernet, and when she turns it on, it will go straight to the web browser. There's nothing to install and she'd just let Google handle security. She'll never get hacked again, and it's not expensive either. Another option is an iPad.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joy from Santa Cruz, CA Comments

Joy signed up for a recipe website. She can log in with one computer, but not another. It says her password is wrong. Leo says it may be that the num lock is enabled. She should see if she can type into a word processing program to make sure she has the right password, and then cut and paste it into the password field. If that works, then it may be that the site thinks it's uppercase and therefore can't accept it.

Watch Nam from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Nam gave his daughter a used iPhone 6, but after fixing the charging port, the fingerprint reader doesn't work. Leo says that Apple has disabled it because it was fixed by a third party. It's really for their own protection. If he takes the phone into Apple and tells them what happened, they should be able to restore the function, but understand that they may not.

Image: "Apple iPhone 6 Plus" by Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Watch Bud from Montana, CA Comments

Bud wants to know if there's a hearing amplifier out there for his mobile phone. Leo says his cost $6,000, so that's not practical. Some earphones have apps that would pipe the sound directly into his ears from the phone. Then he could just use Bluetooth headphones, but it wouldn't be the ultimate solution. This is all about to change as companies are designing their products to work with Bluetooth wireless earbuds. Bragi, Starkey, and even Apple are going to be leading the charge in this field.

Watch Nikki from Burbank, CA Comments

Nikki bought a Chromebook and she thinks it's wonderful with no worries about security issues. However, the main account to open it crashes a lot and boots her back out. What can she do? Leo says she can "Powerwash" the Chromebook to get it back to factory default settings. She can do it before logging in. She can find out how to do this at support.google.com (here).

It also may that the Chromebook doesn't have enough free space. But even then, if the Chromebook has backed her files up to the cloud via Google Drive, so she can safely Powerwash the Chromebook to clear it out. She can even verify that her files are there by going to drive.google.com on her mobile phone.

How is the HP Chromebook? Leo says he doesn't have experience with it, but they're all basically the same design. He prefers Samsung and Asus.