Security and Privacy

Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.

Britain Passed the Most Extreme Surveillance Law Ever in a Democracy

Episode 1341

Britain passed the "Snooper's Charter," which is being claimed the most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy. Current Prime Minister Theresa May introduced it before she was Prime Minister. She's tried two times to pass it, and after four years, it was passed on Wednesday by both houses of Parliament. The law will force internet service providers in Britain to record every internet customer's web history in real time for every place they visit. It discourages encryption. It gives law enforcement and intelligence agencies the power to hack into devices of any citizen.

How could my son get a job in IT?

Manny from Parkland, FL

Episode 1337

Manny's son wants to get into IT, but he's wondering how he could get a job. Leo says that certifications are the diplomas of the IT world. Microsoft and Cisco has CERT programs. He should look at the certs he wants to get and then sign up to get that training. There's even a hacker cert for those who want to work in IT security. Leo suggests ITPro.TV for getting the right training to qualify to test for the certs. Once he gets that first job, then it depends on how good he is at it for getting that second job.

Is it safe to update my browser to read an HTML file?

Rick from Glendora, CA

Episode 1335

Rick has a free file viewer, and it's asking to update the HTML. Leo says don't trust that. HTML is the language of the web and the browser reads it. He doesn't need a special "update" to view it. The first thing Rick needs to do is run Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. He can do this by pressing Windows Key + R, then typing "MRT" and hitting enter. He should do the full scan.

What do you think of the Tiny Hardware Firewall?

Episode 1334

Patrick from Long Beach, FL
Tiny Hardware Firewall keychain

Patrick heard Leo talking about Tiny Hardware Firewall in the past, and he also uses it. The idea of this is not unique to this company. It's actually created by HotSpotVPN. They buy inexpensive boxes and then put firmware in them that routes everything through their VPN. As part of a subscription to their VPN, or as part of the hardware purchase, you'll get this automatically. The downside is that the Tiny Hardware Firewall must use HotSpotVPN, and can't use a different service.

What's a good password vault?

Episode 1331

Kevin from Granada Hills, CA
LastPass

Kevin is looking for a password vault or manager to store all his passwords. Leo says that the best password is long and strong, with random characters, letters, and punctuation symbols. But he'll never remember it. That's why Leo recommends LastPass, which can not only generate the passwords, but also can keep them safe. 1Password is another. This also creates a single point of failure, though. There's nothing wrong with having a notebook that he can write them down in.

Could a repair shop install monitoring software on my computer?

Wallace from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Episode 1325

Wallace took his computer into a repair shop, and now he's concerned that they could have put monitoring software on his computer. This is a legitimate concern, and often times it happens remotely with people calling that claim to be from Microsoft or something. If someone has physical access to the system, though, all bets are off. Taking a computer into a repair shop is an absolute act of trust. There's not much he could do about it, though, if he needed to bring it in. There's no certification process or national organization of computer techs, so he'd just have to trust them.

Can I monitor my employees internet activity?

Walter from Land O'Lakes, FL

Episode 1326

Fred's friend has a company and he wants to monitor his employee's online activity. Leo says that's doable and totally legal. Every employee needs to understand that if he's using company hardware anywhere, the company has the legal right to monitor his activity. It would be a good idea to advise them so they know ahead of time that it can happen. He should establish an appropriate use policy in the office at first. Fred should check out PrivacyRights.org for documents and information.