security

Top Security Tips Prioritized by Regular Users Vs. the Experts

Episode 1205

A recent study done by Google on its security blog comparing the security practices of regular users versus the security experts. Regular users said antivirus topped their list of security priorities, followed by using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, only visiting websites they know, and not sharing personal information.

Security experts' say installing software updates is the number 1 priority, followed by using unique passwords, use two-factor authentication where its available, use strong passwords, and use a password manager.

Why is my used Android phone overheating?

Stephanie from Venice, CA

Episode 1205

Stephanie has a pair of Samsung Galaxy S3 phones she got from eBay. Leo says that the very first thing she'll want to do is wipe the phone. She should restore it back to its factory configuration. The bottom line is that she doesn't know what's on that phone since it's from a stranger. Also, if it's overheating, that means that there could be spyware on it that's constantly phoning home and overworking the chip. Remember, when buying something used, especially from eBay, you're inheriting someone else's problems. So always do a reset when you get it.

Why does my office network refuse to reroute URLs?

Dave from LaMesa, CA

Episode 1202

Dave's office is having trouble rerouting URLs within his office network. Leo suspects there's a redirect block on the network. It could be a rule that's been put on the network. Another option is to flush the DNS cache to wipe out that file so it can properly reroute. He can open a command line (windows Key +R) and type IPConfig /flushDNS. This way it won't rely on the list of DNS settings on his router or network and then moves on to the DNS registrar for the proper DNS address. It then will put the proper DNS in his router and it shouldn't happen anymore.

Change Your LastPass Master Password

On June 15, 2015, password manager LastPass made an announcement that its password database was hacked and some user account information had been stolen. Since LastPass has uses encryption and many layers of protection to slow down hackers, the damage will be minimal for LastPass users. While the hackers may have obtained the database of master passwords, they still don't have immediate access to everyone's passwords. That information has been encrypted, salted, and hashed, so it would take quite a bit of effort to break into it.

How can I save passwords in my browser?

Vicky from Temecuila, CA

Episode 1198

Vicky works out of her house in California, while her office is back East. Since they've added McAfee on her computer, her passwords aren't being saved in her browser. Leo's not a fan of McAfee, but since Vicky has no choice, she should check her settings to see if there's something triggered that's preventing it. Can she use post it notes? Leo says sure, because she works at home and that's not going to hurt. She can also keep a notebook.

Are plugins causing issues with my browser?

Arelia from Riverside, CA

Episode 1195

Arelia is having issues with her browser and she thinks it may be due to a plugin she installed. Leo says she's probably right. Plugins like Flash, Shockwave or Java are easily hackable and dangerous if not kept up to date.

Leo recommends using Google Chrome. Chrome has Flash built in and it's always updated. If she likes the browser she's using, then she'll have to get the latest version of Flash from Adobe.

How secure is home automation?

Bob from Tehachapi, CA

Episode 1190

Bob is interested in home automation, but he's concerned with security. Can it run amuck? Leo says that it's such a new thing, we don't really know all the downsides yet. Keyless entry is the challenge, especially with a car. A car uses keyless entry with the keyfob signal by proximity. You can actually buy a booster to send it out further. But that's a security flaw. Anything with a computer can have flaws and bugs in programming. So it is possible and Bob's right to pay attention to it. But we're in the very early days. Just remember that a lock is an illusion, not a security feature.