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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:
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.
Jeff is building a house and he wants to know the best way to wire up the house. Leo says that if he has bare open walls, he should put in conduit. That will future proof his home for whatever comes down the line. Then he can run Cat6 Ethernet, if he can afford it. Cat 5e is just as good, and more affordable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The website that Equifax set up to allow people to see if their personal data had been compromised by hackers has been found to be filled with more malware. Even worse, your salary history has also been compromised. Learn more about it at krebsonsecurity.com.
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.