privacy

Why can't I log into Facebook?

Episode 1437

Kurt from Oshkosh, WI
Facebook Logo

Kurt just joined Facebook. Leo says it's a love hate relationship. You can reconnect with friends and family, but it's an annoying time suck. But Kurt is getting pushed by Facebook to post an image on his profile. Leo says that Facebook is doing that because they are trying to stop fake accounts. So he uploaded one and now he can't log in! Leo says that Facebook takes the time to verify users before they can re-login. It could take up to 72 hours.

Should I turn off my phone's background refresh and location services to save battery life?

Episode 1437

Mike from Maine
iOS Privacy Settings

Mike just upgraded to iOS 11.1 and he's wondering if turning off Background App Refresh and Location Services will save battery life. Does it make a difference? Leo says that he would do that for privacy issues rather than battery life. It's a good idea to change it to use his location only when the app is working. Apple would let him decide both by app. Leo does recommend leaving it on for his maps app, though. Apple does a very good job of managing battery life, and in most cases, turning off all those services is a finesse he doesn't need to really hassle with.

Can I make my Facebook posts private?

Episode 1413

Susan from Torrance, CA
Facebook Thumbs Down

Susan is worried that her boss at work can see her Facebook posts so she's changed her settings to friends only. Is that safe enough? Leo says that will work, however, Facebook does make mistakes and they do from time to time reset privacy settings without warning. Even Mark Zuckerberg's personal posts were outed by a glitch a few months back. So it's best to always consider a post she makes on social media to be out in the open.

How can I be private on the internet?

Episode 1408

Sherry from Canyon Lake, CA
Google Search Page on a MacBook Pro

Sherry is concerned because her personal information from public records show up in Google search results. Leo says that if it's public information, the only thing she can do is go to each site and demand they make her information private. But these days, it's easy to harvest that information from government sources online. And new sites pop up all the time. Privacy is really an illusion now. That's why celebrities usually create holding companies and make all their asset purchase through them, so that the paper trail is minimal.

What should I do about my data if I'm selling my computer?

Episode 1376

Jeff from Valley Village, CA
HDD

Jeff wants to do some spring cleaning by getting rid of some old computers, but is concerned about privacy and the data on the hard drives. Leo says that the easiest thing to do is to simply remove the hard drives. He could also use something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely wipe the drive. It erases everything by writing zeros across the drive, and then erases it again. If he does that several times, he'll be safe from everyone save the NSA. Solid State Drives, however, can be easier to get data off of.

Senate Votes to Overturn FCC Regulation Designed to Protect Privacy

Episode 1375

Senate Building

The Senate has voted to overturn an FCC regulation that was designed to protect customer privacy. The regulation that was put out in October of last year said that internet service providers would have to ask for customer permission before selling personal data, such as browsing history, current location, and more.

Read more at WashingtonPost.com

Turkish Crime Family Claims It Has Hacked Apple's iCloud

Episode 1374

Apple iCloud

The Turkish Crime Family is threatening to release hundreds of millions of iCloud account names and passwords if Apple doesn't pay them a ransom of millions of dollars. To prove it, they gave ZDNet 54 samples to confirm it. Apple, however, says they have never been hacked. But Leo says it's important for iCloud users to change their passwords just in case. While you're at it, if you haven't turned on two factor authentication, it would be a good idea to do that as well.

What is RFID and is it safe?

Episode 1367

Joe from Anaheim, CA
RFID chip

Joe wants to know what RFID is and how it works. Leo says it works by electromagnetic energy which powers it. It picks up the energy and then broadcasts a signal with an identifier number. Its range is not very far.

How can he protect himself from people grabbing his information via RFID? Leo says that there are wallets which have metal fiber in them that prevents the energy from passing to his chip and broadcasting it.

Leo Gets Warning From Comcast for Exceeding Bandwidth

Episode 1359

Leo has Comcast at home and he got a warning that he has exceeded his bandwidth cap of 1TB. Leo says he hasn't done anything different than before, however, and he wonders if the metering is accurate. Additionally, Leo has discovered that Comcast uses a man in the middle scheme and can take over his screen if they so desired. That's bad news because privacy issues abound.