Security and Privacy

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

How do I set up my Helm email server?

Helm

Episode 1565

Neil from Phoenix, AZ

Neil bought a Helm email server on Leo's advice. He also bought a domain through Hover to use with it. This is a home email service, and the idea is that you put your email on a server that runs in your own house instead of trusting a service like Google to handle it. Neil is wondering how to back the device up. Leo says one of the things he gets for $99 per year is that Helm backs it up over the internet. What's cool is that the contents of the email on the local server is encrypted with a key that only Neil has access to. Helm even provides a secure USB key to decrypt the backups.

How can I prevent popup ads when I visit websites?

LastPass

Episode 1564

John from Los Angeles, CA

John is finding that when he goes to a website, he gets an additional window open with an advertisement. Leo says that's called a browser hijack and it's usually caused by an extension he doesn't recognize. John should look in his browser settings and extensions, and then see if there's anything in there he doesn't recognize. Chances are, there is.

Can I use NFC with Yubikey to unlock my data?

YubiKey

Episode 1563

Laverne from Not the Bronx

Laverne made a secondary Yubico key on her network. She wants to know if her Galaxy Note 9 Android phone will unlock via NFC since it has a chip. But she gets an error message. Is it the key, or the phone? Leo suspects the phone isn't seeing the code as it needs to. She could try the YubiKey app that is available through the Google Play store.

Do password managers off shared passwords?

Episode 1560

Ron from Payson, AZ

Ron does some things online where his wife and he have separate passwords, and some where they share passwords. Is there a password manager for that? Leo says that it's called shared passwords and almost every password manager supports that. Basically, you send an invite and share it over as long as they are using the same password manager. LastPass has a Family Password manager. One Password is also a good one.

Is there a secure way to remotely lock or unlock my door?

Episode 1560

Sam from Torrance, CA

Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can.

Collection #1 Password Hacks Prove to be Older than Believed

Episode 1559

Yesterday's story about Collection #1 - a package of hacked email passwords, is actually now reported to be a few years old, so the damage is not as great as previously believed. But Leo still says that it's a wise idea to go to HaveIBeenPwned.com/passwords and see if your account has been hacked. And then change your password. In fact, it may be a good idea to change it anyway, and turn on 2 factor authentication while you're at it.