Neil bought a Helm email server on Leo's advice. He also bought a domain through Hover to use with it. This is a home email service, and the idea is that you put your email on a server that runs in your own house instead of trusting a service like Google to handle it. Neil is wondering how to back the device up. Leo says one of the things he gets for $99 per year is that Helm backs it up over the internet. What's cool is that the contents of the email on the local server is encrypted with a key that only Neil has access to. Helm even provides a secure USB key to decrypt the backups.
Don is worried that his network may be compromised because he uses a shared internet network in his office building. Leo says there may be a weak link with a point of entry that's a result of the building, but it should be locked down pretty well. Leo recommends getting an IT consultant to help run his internet access. Employees may actually be a bigger risk if they fall victim to phishing scams. An IT consultant can help train the employees to be on the lookout for scams.
Manny wants to know if there's an advantage to having a paid email service vs. a free service like Gmail. Leo says that if he's not paying for it, they're making money off him somehow. That's what pays the bills. He can pay for Google's business email service, called GSuite. That would give him support. Free email is paid for by ads put on the page, and it mines data from email electronically, to focus those ads to what he spends the most time on.
Richard wants to know if apps on his smartphones can track him if it's off. Leo says no. No app can track him if the phone is off. But it's not very useful that way. He can either remove the app, or revoke its permissions. Can the government remotely turn it on? Leo says no. Not yet, anyway.
Parliament in Australia is pushing through an anti-encryption law that will make it not only illegal to use encrypted communications, but will also give law enforcement and other government authorities the power to use malware to crack an encrypted network. Leo says it will endanger the security of anyone using an online service and obvious violates an individual's privacy rights. Russia has a similar law, as does England.
Derek has to create a Google account, but he wants to prevent Google from having his information. He tried to use an app to mask his phone, but it won't work. Can he use a burner phone? Leo says that he'll have to jump through a lot of hoops to prevent it, but it can be done. A burner phone will work. Then he can create a Google Voice number to use with that. Or he can just put the burner into his car for emergencies. But every time he searches, Google will know what he searched for, even when he's using a private window. The reality is, his phone carrier and ISP will know everything.
Ed uses Proton Mail, but also Gmail. Gmail tells him he has a message at Proton Mail, but he wants to get rid of Gmail. Rich says one thing to do is just log out of Gmail and it will leave him alone. Another option is to look at what third party apps have access to his Gmail account at myaccount.google.com/permissions.
David is thinking about installing a home VPN. Leo says he understands the security concerns, but he won't like using it for very long. It will really slow down his bandwidth. Leo recommends a service called CloudFlare. It changes his DNS to 188.8.131.52, and then masks his traffic so his ISP doesn't know where he's going. He can set it at the router level and he will protect every device in his house.
Andy works as a remote IT guy and he's discovered that the company spies on his network. Leo says one way to solve this issue is to disconnect the XFinity router from the company computer. But if they insist on an always on connection, the Tiny Hardware Firewall may be a good solution. It'll connect to the VPN through a separate router and they wouldn't see any other traffic. Another way to do this, is to get rid of the XFinity router and use your own, like the Ubiquity Edge Router X, which gives you discreet lan options.