Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

How can I protect my kids online?

Episode 1432

Ron from Mountain View, CA
Google Family Link

Ron got his granddaughter a Google Tablet and his parents want him to set it up with parental controls. Leo says that there's built-in settings for Google Play. He could also restrict it at the router level using OpenDNS and the router's own settings. This won't help when the phone is taken outside of the home network, however, so here are some options that can run on the phone itself:

Do I really need a router?

Episode 1432

Jim from Long Beach, CA
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi Router

Jim has an internet enabled TV and he is about to subscribe to the internet, but does he really need a router? Leo says yes! It sits between him and the outside world and rejects security assaults by hackers. The router will also handle multiple devices, so if he has mobile phones, smart devices, a desktop or laptop, he's going to need a router to handle all that traffic. And his internet company will likely give him a router that can handle all that.

Why doesn't two factor authentication work on my Gmail anymore?

Episode 1431

Saren from Los Angeles, CA
Google Authenticator

Saren hasn't been receiving the two factor authentication code he normally gets for his Gmail account. He would normally get it through his Google Voice number. Leo says it's insecure to send those two factor codes through SMS, because someone could spoof his number and get the text message. Google may have even stopped supporting SMS in favor of its Google Authenticator app.

How can I listen to The Tech Guy show on my phone?

Episode 1431

Jerry from Pennsylvania
iHeartRadio

Jerry used to be able to listen to Leo's show on his phone, but he hasn't been able to lately. Leo says that there are dozens of ways to listen to the show and he recommends iHeartRadio to do so. What's happened is that many radio stations have opted not to provide their own streams due to cost. They are more in favor of having it stream from a central app, which is iHeartRadio. Jerry can also listen through TWIT.tv.

Is using your Facebook login for another website safe?

Episode 1430

Ivan from Farmington, MN
Facebook

Ivan wants to know what he's giving away when he logs into a site using his Facebook ID. Leo says that's called Single Sign-on, which makes it easier to sign in. Many services, including Google and Twitter also offer it as a convenience. It's a user verification system that doesn't require him to create an account, nor does it give them access to his account. But it gives Facebook, Google, and Twitter access to more information about where he visits. It's safe to use it, but if he's concerned, he can create a dummy account that he'll only use for that purpose.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1430

Johnny Jet

Delta has added automatic checkin to its mobile app, including downloading the boarding pass to your phone. But Johnny Jet says that sometimes it doesn't work so it always pays to have a printed backup, or you'll have to wait until everyone boards before they let you on. Delta also says that the best time for booking holiday travel is coming up within the next few weeks. So if you want to fly for Thanksgiving, buy by Nov. 1st. Sometimes you don't want to buy too far in advance because it can be very expensive.

How can I be safe using a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Episode 1430

Joe from New Jersey
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Joe wants to know about the Tiny Hardware Firewall. Leo says it's a clever solution for those who want to use open Wi-Fi hotspots safely. Tiny Hardware Firewall will give him an additional layer of protection by encrypting all of his Wi-Fi traffic with a virtual private network. Leo adds that it also adds another layer called the Black Hole Cloud service which gives users their own cloud server. This makes it lightning fast. The Tiny Hardware Firewall is about $35, plus a fee for their VPN, which could be about $100 a year.

New Bill Would Make it Legal to Hack Back Hackers

Episode 1430

Hacker

A new bill being proposed would allow computer users to hack back any hackers that strike them. This will give them the ability to destroy any data stolen from them, as well as giving a little digital pay back. Leo says that it's hard to know where the attack is coming from and you could make matters worse for some innocent person who was also hacked, with their computers and email addresses used as an alias for the real hacker. He also says this is asking for trouble because hackers are far more sophisticated than their victims.