Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Bruce also has issues with the login keychain of his MacBook. Leo says that Keychain is great for secure storage, but people often forget their keychain password when they lock it. If he can't remember the password, he can always create a new keychain. Use the same password that he uses to log in. That should unlock it.
Doug does a lot of traveling on the road and he uses a open Wi-Fi hotspots a lot. He's worried about the security of using those hotspots, though. Leo says that using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good solution, as it burrows a secure tunnel through the hotspot so that all of his data is encrypted. He'd be totally safe and secure. The downside though it that using a VPN will slow him down a lot, and they are a challenge for some to set up. And the reality is, more and more of what he'll be doing online is encrypted anyway.
Scott wants to know if doing a restore would get rid of any malware that may be on the system after its been compromised. Leo says yes, it will. Those popups are trying to get you to call them and install software. So if he didn't do that, he's probably OK. But if he did, not only will he need to get rid of the malware, but if they charged him, they will now have his credit card information. So he'll not only have to backup his data and erase the hard drive, he'll have to cancel that credit card as well.
Steve was robbed recently and they got ahold of his laptop. Even though it's password protected, can they get his personal data? Leo says absolutely. A password is only to keep someone out who walks by. But if they have time, they can use password crackers to brute force the password free. That's really the most serious issue -- if he has any banking information and passwords on it. But considering that the theives may have been homeless, Leo hopes that they likely won't have the tools to take advantage of it.
George wants to know how to avoid malware. Leo says to practice safe computing. Here's a few steps:
Lee gets a popup that says his computer is infected and he can't get rid of it. Leo says it's a scam, and Lee should never call the 800 number that pops up. Lee went into the task manager to kill the popup, but it kills the browser as well. Leo says that Chrome should be catching the popups and stopping them. He's now getting a popup with a bluescreen. Leo says that's a clever ploy, but it's not an actual "blue screen of death." It's just a window.
Greg is worried he's going to be nailed by Cyptowall. If he were to be infected, would he have some warning? Leo says you can sometimes see it happening, but it doesn't give you a warning. It's not instant though, in that it takes time to encrypt the data and if he has a hot backup, always backing up, the encrypted files can infect the backup. Having an offline backup will guard against that.
Laxman likes Leo's new show The New ScreenSavers and wonders if there's a Call for Help segment. Leo says there is and he can email them to make that request. They choose the best calls and then call that person back.
Bob would like to create a master drive that he can put in a safe deposit box that has all his private information on it. Leo says that's a good idea, but he doesn't really have to go to that extreme. One option is Google Docs, which would be sharable to his attorney.
For years, Leo has advocated using the password vault Last Pass to guard your passwords. But this week, Last Pass got bought by Log Me In, which Leo says doesn't have the best track record regarding software security. There are other options out there, so Leo isn't backing off the need for a good Password vault. But whether it will be Last Pass? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Leo is using KeePass.