Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Jim ran GRC Shields Up scanner on his router and he discovered that port 443 was open, not stealth. Is he vulnerable? Leo says you have to have port 443 to run on the internet, but it should be in "stealth mode." You'll also want to find out what's using it. NetStat will help you determine that. Wireshark will also do that. His fan is also running a lot. Leo says that may mean your computer is getting hotter. Probably needs to have the dust cleaned out of it.
Based on deals with Mastercard, Visa, Uber and others, Facebook is poised to launch their own cryptocurrency. But the Global Coin Consortium has bowed out. Leo says it should be nicknamed "Zuck Bucks," and the major problem is, that Facebook users will have to tie their bank accounts and other financial information to their Facebook account, and considering their security challenges, that's not going to end well.
Target's computerized cash registers went down yesterday, leaving customers left holding the literal bag with no real way to pay for them. Some employees got around the problem by using their personal phones to check out using the online interface. Target assures it wasn't a data breach, but Leo isn't so sure about that. It has happened before.
Valerie is having issues with her email, she can receive but she can't send. Leo says that's due to a validation issue since her email provider doesn't support standard protocols. Google will block email IP addresses due to spam. Leo recommends using Gmail or other well-known email providers. So get a new email provider!
David needs to extend the WiFi in his apartment building. Will an extender do the job? Leo says it will, but at the cost of cutting bandwidth speed in half, because the base station is relaying the signal and spending half the time talking to the router. Leo recommends going with a MESH router. Eero is a good one, as is NetGear Orbi. But there are plenty more. Just about every router company makes a mesh model now.
Scott needs a remote PC option because LogMeIn has gotten pretty expensive. Leo says that RemotePC is a great option.
Tom wants to set up a virtual private network at home. How can he do that? He's worried about getting bit by ransomware. Will a VPN prevent that? Leo says that no. If you click on something, a VPN can't help you. But a VPN will keep your traffic private, so no one can see where you're going. But even then, it has its limitations. While it burrows an encrypted tunnel to where you're going, once you get there, it's no longer encrypted. So you have to trust that where you're going will keep your privacy. And your provider still sees your traffic.
Known as Project Libra, Facebook will launch its own cryptocurrency through partnerships with Visa and other companies. Leo says that while interesting, the problem is it requires users to connect all their financial information with their Facebook profile. Hmmmm. That's not going to fly
FedEx delivers for Walmart. Amazon delivers to UPS. Are major companies taking sides? Amazon says that customers don't really want choice because there are too many choices out there. So they offer "Amazon's choice" to make it easier for shoppers to buy what they want. The technique is called Dark Patterns and it causes changes in the algorithm. Once you order Amazon's choice, you start getting more results like that.