Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Midnight Rider works for a city that runs on Windows XP. They are going to be running antivirus on their computers after Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, and he's wondering if that's going to be adequate. Leo says the antivirus, including Microsoft's own antivirus program will still be kept up to date. However, it won't protect against a user installing software that could be malicious.
Bob says that Windows 8 has changed the way make a user run as "limited user." Leo says it's frustrating that Microsoft doesn't make it easy. Apple makes it really easy to create a limited user, and Windows should do the same. Installing software should be something that only an admin can do, but it should also be easy to escalate to Admin in order to do so. Apple requires an admin password challenge, rather than a yes or no clickbox.
We talked last week about a flaw in iOS and OS X Mavericks called "Goto Fail" that would allow a malicious user to intercept the traffic of any secure transaction. Apple patched the bug on iOS with iOS 7.0.6 quickly, and just earlier this week they patched Mac OS X Mavericks. Make sure to update both iOS and OS X so that your computers and mobile devices are secure.
An analysis of all the patches that Microsoft released in 2013 shows that nearly 100% of all exploits and vulnerabilities could be removed if administrator rights were revoked, and users ran as a limited user.
Admin rights key to mitigating vulnerabilities, study shows (ZDNet)…
Joe wants to know how to wipe the information from his Ford Sync. How do you "DBan" a car? Leo says that's a good question. The only thing he can do is clear the GPS, and use the on board utilities to empty his data. But even then it's not completely gone, and it may be that he can't completely wipe everything.
John is going digital in his company, and he's bought several old Motorola Zoom tablets for his employees. He wants to know what security software he can install. Leo says first thing is to update the Android software to the current OS, Kit Kat. He can also set his password and PIN to only allow 10 tries. He can also install Lookout to remote wipe it should it get lost or stolen.
John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.
Facebook's Android app changed it's permissions to include reading and writing your personal text messages, download files to your phone, and read your calendar events and confidential information. The nice thing about Android is that it will warn you about permissions and changes in advance. Leo says that it may be just to have permission to verify your phone number as accurate, and to add addition features. But these changes only serve to fuel the feeling that Facebook is spying on you.
Larry upgraded his MacBook Air to OS X Mavericks. He's turned on the firewall and File Vault, and used a separate account that isn't the admin account. Is there anything else he needs and will Apple push a notification when there's an update? Leo says yes, Apple will, then he can log into his Admin account and update.