Mike is wondering how good the encryption is in Microsoft Word and Excel documents. Leo says it's actually pretty good and that it's adequate, but not uncrackable. Leo says it's hard to crack stuff on the web when a service can slow the attacker down. But if someone can get a document that's locked and own it, there's nothing to stop them from trying a million passwords a second, and brute-force that document. Having said that, Microsoft has started using strong encryption on documents. The weak link will be the password.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carlos wants to know about biometric behavioral passwords. Leo says that the idea has been around for awhile. Google uses gate analysis to know if you're the one holding the phone. It could be the future.
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.
Jerry has been using an app to hack a neighbor's Wifi for free WiFi. Leo says that is a violation of federal law and Jerry really shouldn't be doing that. And it probably doesn't work anyway since most wifi routers are using WPA2 these days and that's a lot harder to crack.