Security and Privacy

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

How can I save passwords in my browser?

Vicky from Temecuila, CA

Episode 1198

Vicky works out of her house in California, while her office is back East. Since they've added McAfee on her computer, her passwords aren't being saved in her browser. Leo's not a fan of McAfee, but since Vicky has no choice, she should check her settings to see if there's something triggered that's preventing it. Can she use post it notes? Leo says sure, because she works at home and that's not going to hurt. She can also keep a notebook.

What's a good home security system?

Karen from Pacific Palisades, CA

Episode 1196

Karen has had breakins in her area lately and wants to get a security system for not only her home, but also looking out to the street. Leo says she has two choices - one to record locally, and one that records to the Cloud. Leo says that the Cloud option, which is done by DropCam, enables her to access her feed from the internet and she can easily go back in time. They're all driven by Wi-Fi and Leo used to use them at the Brickhouse all the time. DropCam is a Google owned company.

Are plugins causing issues with my browser?

Arelia from Riverside, CA

Episode 1195

Arelia is having issues with her browser and she thinks it may be due to a plugin she installed. Leo says she's probably right. Plugins like Flash, Shockwave or Java are easily hackable and dangerous if not kept up to date.

Leo recommends using Google Chrome. Chrome has Flash built in and it's always updated. If she likes the browser she's using, then she'll have to get the latest version of Flash from Adobe.

How can I make my router more secure?

Episode 1192

Marco from Portugal
Asus Router

Marco just heard of yet another router hack called NET USB that is breaking into routers. Leo says that's because most router companies use the same code and it has bad security. The irony is that these hacks don't effect Apple routers like the Airport. So that makes the Airport a better way to go. But they are more expensive. If he can't afford to buy them, then he should get a router that is DDWRT compatible (like Asus), then he can use open source firmware to keep it locked down.

How can I protect myself from identity theft?

Peter from Dana Point.CA

Episode 1188

Peter had his credit cards stolen. Leo says it's a very common thing. The good news is that in the US, the banks take all the liability, and this Fall, a new credit card will come out with chips and PIN numbers to guard against theft. Another option is to sign up for one time use credit card numbers, or numbers that can be used with just one merchant.

How do I protect my computer from malware?

Jim from Houston, TX

Episode 1188

Jim has been watching some of Leo's podcasts and is concerned with security on his PC. What antivirus software should he use on Windows 8.1? Leo says that Microsoft ships Windows Defender for free and that's all he needs. But he should remember that an antivirus is only as good as his own behavior. What about MalwareBytes? Leo says that while Malware Bytes is effective, he can actually do more harm than good if he doesn't know what he's doing. And if his computer has been infected, he will have no idea if he actually removed all of it or not.

Why can't I get back online after removing malware?

Ed from Philadelphia, PA

Episode 1186

Ed has discovered malware on his computer so he took it off and now he can't get on the internet. Leo says that Malware comes through any browser and when you get malware, or in this case adware, removing it can be problematic. Installers will attach the malware or adware to a critical system file and then when you remove it, you also remove the critical files for your system.