Anthony wants to know if Carbonite and Time Machine backs up all user data or just his own? Leo says Time Machine will backup all user data, but he has to be logged in to his account to see it. Leo also thinks he can tell Carbonite to backup all seeable folders in the backup settings. So if he has admin privileges, he can do it. He'll want to go into his user folders to do it.
Facebook's Android app changed it's permissions to include reading and writing your personal text messages, download files to your phone, and read your calendar events and confidential information. The nice thing about Android is that it will warn you about permissions and changes in advance. Leo says that it may be just to have permission to verify your phone number as accurate, and to add addition features. But these changes only serve to fuel the feeling that Facebook is spying on you.
Ashley's having an issue signing up for Obamacare. His daughter signed up for the insurance through Covered California, and they sent her a letter saying they don't believe she really is who she says she is. They want her to scan her birth certificate and email it over the Internet. Leo says that authentication is one of the core problems with a lot of things, and is the target for identity thieves. Leo says that if it's being sent through the Covered California website, chances are it's encrypted and safe.
As 2013 comes to a close, Leo says that privacy, or the loss of it, should be viewed as the topic of the year. As the NSA has spread its reach further into our lives, even the major tech companies have taken out a huge ad campaign to say "stop spying on us." But there's also some nice things about a lack of privacy. Google has created Auto-Awesome Movies, a year end movie of all the photos posted to Google Plus. Leo says it's a great document to show the year, but it's also a horrendous invasion of privacy.
Facebook has changed their privacy settings, but this time they've eliminated the option to keep your page out of searches. This means that every member on Facebook will turn up in search results, even if they previously chose to not show up. This is largely linked to the graph search.
Leo suggests removing any personal picture if your name is fairly common, lock down your personal settings, and take out any way to contact you through the page. At least that way, you're not making it easy. If you really want to be anonymous, you can always delete your account altogether.
Michael Horowitz, author of Computer World's blog "Defensive Computing," has an interesting article called "Google knows nearly every Wi-Fi password in the world." If true, it wouldn't take much for the NSA or some other law enforcement division to get your Wi-Fi password and have access to your computer without a warrant.
Privacy Advocate and attourney Marcia Hoffman says that Apple's new Touch ID biometric password authentication may legally nullify 5th Amendment protections when it pertains to activity on your iPhone.
Andrew would like to be less trackable by the government. Should he ditch the smartphone and just use one of his old flip phones? Leo says the NSA could still find out who he calls and who calls him. Then they can triangulate that to find his location with cell towers. If he wants to be truly off the grid, he should get a burner phone. But that's a heck of a lot of trouble to go to.
Steve Gibson joins the show to talk about the latest revelations that the NSA is spending millions to break conventional encryption as they spy on us. Steve says that while the news is concerning, it only means that they're merely trying to do this. He says that the press all too often creates inflammatory headlines to sell content. There's no foundation to the rumor that the NSA has done all that. Encryption is still strong. They're just focusing on the weakest link in the chain.