passwords

Why can't I log into a website?

Joy from Santa Cruz, CA

Episode 1455

Joy signed up for a recipe website. She can log in on one computer, but not another. It says her password is wrong. What gives? Leo says it may be that the num lock is enabled, See if you can type into a word processing program to make sure you have 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 upper case and therefore can't accept it.

What happened to my emails?

Pat from San Diego, CA

Episode 1455

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

How do I recover my Facebook password?

Episode 1454

Brad from San Jose, CA
Facebook

Brad wants to know how to recover his brother's Facebook account without using his email. Leo says that there's an extreme account recovery system that involves sending a picture, and then Facebook will reset it. Here's how to recover his account on Facebook.

Leo also recommends using a password vault. LastPass is what he uses, but there's also 1Password. Then all he needs to do is remember one password.

Can I say no to Customs if they want to read my phone?

Episode 1451

John from Westchester, NY
US Customs and Border Protection

John is worried about traveling overseas and then having his mobile device or computer taken away and being forced to unlock it. Leo says it doesn't really happen all that often, though they do have the right to do it, and it hasn't been ruled on being unconstitutional just yet. He'll have to worry when they take his device into another room. Chances are, they've cloned the data or even installed something to monitor him. At that point, if he's security conscious, the only thing he can really do is replace the device to be sure he's secure.

How can I enter my password without using my phone's keyboard?

Episode 1448

Rich from Scranton, PA
Google Gboard

Rich is having trouble entering his password on his cellphone screen due to his Parkinson's disease. Leo says that there are plenty of accessibility options including the swiping keyboard. It would let him draw a line from key to key. It may be easier to do that than tapping the keyboard. Leo recommends using the Google Keyboard, GBoard.

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.

Are YubiKeys accessible for the blind?

Episode 1433

Tom from New Hampshire
YubiKey

Tom wants to know where he can find a YubiKey, and whether or not it's accessible for the blind. Leo says they are accessible, and he can get it at yubico.com. This is a little USB device that plugs into a USB port, and the computer sees it as a keyboard. The YubiKey will light up, and then press the button on the key. Just make sure the cursor is in the correct field that it will need to fill, and it will fill in the password. This doesn't work for an iPhone, however, because it doesn't have a USB port.