Security and Privacy

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

Why am I not getting my Windows updates?

Episode 1532

Steve from Tacoma, WA

Steve's Windows 10 machine won't update beyond 1803. Leo says that Microsoft pulled 1809 due to some bugs. But it's coming back soon fixed. Feature updates aren't critical, BTW. Just the security updates are important. But if it's preventing you from getting security updates, then it could mean the update is blocked and you have to clear 1803 in order to get back to updating. Microsoft has a troubleshooter for blocked updates, though, and Leo recommends running it.

How can I stop Robocalls?

Episode 1531

Jessie from Durango, CO

Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected, or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cellphone calls will be robocalls. Making a cellphone useless for phones. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas, they forge the caller ID, and will even do it with your area code and prefix. The reality is, that legitimate companies will not be calling you. They'll be contacting you via mail. You can log your number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.

Have I been hacked?

Episode 1531

Jay from Tuscon, AZ

Jay gets an email of a scam that says it has his login information and knows where he's been online. It even tells him his password. And unless he gives them $800 in bitcoin, they'll expose him. Leo says it's called ransomware. Leo says it's probably from a data breach. Check out HaveIBeenPwned.com. And read this article on Krebs On Security - https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/07/sextortion-scam-uses-recipients-hack.... It's bogus. You can ignore it.

How can I reactivate my Facebook account?

Facebook

Episode 1529

Tom from Carson, CA

Tom's wife hasn't been able to log into Facebook since last Friday. Leo says that last Friday Facebook logged over 90 million people out of their accounts due to a hack. Many were deactivated until they can prove it's their account. And with over 90 million compromised accounts, it could take awhile. When her account is reactivated, she will have to re-login manually, turn on 2 factor authentication, and it would be a good idea to change her password.

Has China Hacked All Our Corporations?

Episode 1529

According to Bloomberg, China added a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, to network motherboards that would allow China to Spy on corporations. The chip was discovered by Amazon Security, which notified federal authorities. The servers were created by Chinese company Elemental, and are on everything from network business servers to NAVY WARSHIPS. Investigators have discovered that the chips were installed by the PRC at the manufacturing plant. But here's the twist ... everyone is now denying it.

Should I renew my antivirus subscription?

Antivirus

Episode 1528

Bob from Ventura, CA

Bob has noticed that Leo hasn't been advocating for antivirus software lately, and his subscription is expiring. Should he renew it? Leo says that most malware hacks are Zero Day now, and security programs aren't really effective against them. Antivirus software even can cause problems. In general, antivirus software isn't really worth subscribing to. Windows Defender is free and offers protection that is perfectly fine. The best defense is his online behavior, and keeping the OS updated.

Have my email accounts been hacked?

Email

Episode 1526

Linda from Colorado

Linda thinks her email accounts on Google and Yahoo have been hacked. She tried to log in, and it says "account no longer exists." What can she do? Rich says she may or may not have luck recovering it because Google has billions of accounts, and there's no deal tech support. Here's a good place to start to recover her account: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/7682439?hl=en.

Is surfing the internet on LTE secure?

4G LTE

Episode 1522

David from El Monte, CA

David wants to know if he's secure surfing the internet on his mobile device. Leo says that nothing is unhackable, but LTE is encrypted and very secure. A phone can be hacked, even at the radio level, though. It's also possible for someone to spoof his SIM card. But it's too much work for the average hacker. It would have to be a state level attack in order to accomplish it. Wi-Fi is less secure, and if he's relying on WPA2 or any other Wi-Fi connection, it's possible to hack it. But that's not easy, either. Odds are, there's really not all that much to worry about.

Will a VPN keep my web traffic private?

Episode 1522

David from Anaheim, CA

David is thinking about installing a home VPN. Leo says he understands the security concerns, but he won't like using it for very long. It will really slow down his bandwidth. Leo recommends a service called CloudFlare. It changes his DNS to 1.1.1.1, and then masks his traffic so his ISP doesn't know where he's going. He can set it at the router level and he will protect every device in his house.

How can I recover my Windows 10 password?

Windows 10

Episode 1521

John from Dana Point, CA

John has a Lenovo X5 and he put a special PIN code password into his computer. Now it won't accept the code because of the special characters he used. It also won't accept his fingerprint ID. Leo says that there should be an option to recover his account with his Microsoft ID. He should go to another computer and sign onto his Microsoft account to make sure it's working and valid. He can reset it with a new login, just in case. Then he should see if the recovery option appears.