Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Are Google Chromebooks secure enough for use in schools?

Episode 1254

Janice from Tehachapi, CA
Samsung Chromebook

Janice is hearing that her school may be getting Chromebooks. But Janice is worried the school might not want to get them because of privacy concerns with all data being stored in the cloud. Leo says that the data will be in the cloud whether it's with Google or not. And it's understandable to be concerned. The EFF tells us that we should be. So it's a legitimate issue.

Did I get a virus?

Joanne from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1254

Joanne has gotten a WinZip popup that says she needs to scan and repair her computer. Leo says that is likely a phishing scam that wanted to get her to click on something and install it. She should be very careful with links that she didn't request. She shouldn't accept offers from strangers, as it's likely malware.

How can I see who is logging into my account?

Clay from Highland, CA

Episode 1253

Clay keeps getting email from Google saying someone tried to access his account with a link to say "check your devices." Leo says it may be legit, but he should never click on links in email. Instead, if he's a Gmail user, he can go the bottom of his Gmail and find a link that gives him information on who has used his account. He shouldn't ever click on a link or button embedded in his email. It could be a spoof or phishing scam. Always go straight to the source.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1253

Johnny Jet joins us to talk about a great app called Seateroo, where you can swap seat assignments with whoever is also on the site. It usually costs per seat, and the price ranges. Think of it as StubHub for airlines. Leo wonders how the airlines feel about it, and Johnny says it's so new that they haven't chimed in yet. Seataroo holds onto the money until after the flight and then makes the transfer if everyone is happy.

How can I get back control of my router?

Paul from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1253

Paul has a NetGear cable modem/router and he suddenly can't access it to make any changes. Leo says that routers are really cheap computers and sometimes it can get bit-rotted just like any other computer. Paul should try doing a factory reset. Then he should be able to log in and re-enter all of his settings. It's a good thing to do once in a while anyway.

How can I create my own version of Jarvis for home automation?

Greg from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1252

Greg just bought a house and he's in the process of remodeling it. He wants to create a home version of Jarvis. Leo says that home automation is a geeky thing and he was hoping that Apple would make it easy with their Home Kit. That would be the best way to do it. It's the Internet of things, and his Hub would be his iPhone. He could have an iPad built into a wall, but technology changes so fast, it may be better to hang it -- not embed it. But he can have smart window shades, a Nest smart thermostat, iDevices, water sensors, and an internet enabled deadbolt lock.

Is it secure to connect to the internet through a third party router?

Mike from Grants Pass, OR

Episode 1252

Mike lives in a remote area and he usually accesses the Internet via his mobile phone. He also has point-to-point internet, which is not only expensive, but he's concerned with security because the service requires a router connection in bridge mode with DHCP. Leo says that routers can be secure as long as he connects with encryption via WPA2. Routers are essentially dumb boxes that can protect him from attacks. But that depends on how they handle their security. It can be just as secure as his home network, or it can be wide open.

How can I create a TV broadcast online and talk to the camera operators?

Larry from Ashland, OH

Episode 1252

Larry visited the Brickhouse to see Leo's operation and got motivated to up their podcast game. They've boosted their lights and added a switcher. They got Blackmagic 4K cameras. Now they need a way for the director to talk to cameramen and talent. How can they do it inexpensively?

Leo says that doing a simple conference call would work. Often this is how it's done with a phone line and headsets. Mobile phones are remarkable. We're using consumer grade electronics to reinvent television, and if he thinks out of the box, he can too.

How can I export my Google Maps data?

Episode 1252

Kenny from Temple, TX
Google Maps

Kenny wants to know how he can export his Google Maps searches. Leo says he can go to Google.com/Dashboard to see all of the data that Google has collected on him. He can then export the Maps data, along with any other data he wants, at Google.com/Takeout. He should make sure to export it as a KML file for his GPS location history. He can also export his saved places, but he'll have to convert that, since Google puts it in a GeoJSON format.