Security and Privacy

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

Has my Browser Been Hijacked?

Malwarebytes

Episode 1583

Greg from Anaheim Hills, CA

Greg's wife has an iMac running El Capitan, but now the Safari app just goes to Yahoo Safefinder no matter what! Rich says that there's some malware on the browser, likely an extension. Rich recommends Malwarebytes, and give the iMac a scan. Also, go through the apps and see if there are any that are unrecognizable. CleanMyMac is a program that can also clear out malware. Greg can also look for a browser reset in the settings, which will wipe out everything and start over.

Is Alexa Listening in on our Drop-ins and Phone Calls?

Alexa

Episode 1582

Sheldon from Sherman Oaks, California

Sheldon hears about Amazon's listening in on commands with Alexa, but are they recording when users do a drop-in, or a phone call? Rich says that no, the system is designed to stop listening once the command is executed. Besides, if they were, that could kill the entire service if word got out that Amazon was recording the entire call/drop-in. 

But an easy way to test it is to make a call, and then give Alexa a command, If it reacts, then it's not recording. If it doesn't ... well, there would be an interesting answer from Amazon about that.

Have I Been Bit by a Phishing Attack?

Windows Defender.

Episode 1581

Robert from Walnut, CA

Robert got bit by a phishing scam about being a workshop presenter. He clicked on a link to download an attachment and nothing happened. He realized what he had done and disconnected his desktop. Now he thinks he needs to reinstall? Leo says Nuke from orbit. Do not install from in-place. He should want to back up data, wipe the hard drive, and then reinstall Windows from a known, good source. But he should make sure to know if he actually has malware. If he has a WInMail.dat file attachment, that's from Microsoft and older Outlooks use it. 

Should I Renew McAfee Anti Virus?

mcafee

Episode 1580

Fred from Fontana, CA

Fred is trying to import his contacts and calendars and gets a single PST file that he can't import. Leo says he can choose several different formats, including CSV. Fred also has a Dell computer and his free trial of McAfee has expired. Leo says GOOD! Get rid of it and use Windows Defender. It's one of the best AVS out there, and it comes free with Windows 10. You don't need anything else. 

2019 - Ransomware is everywhere

Arizona

Episode 1580

Leo says that while 2018 was the year Ransomware, 2019 is even worse. Arizona Beverages got hit by ransomware last week. The attack shut down sales operations for days, scuttled their networks, and servers. The network was hacked and encrypted, targeted by hackers with a ransom note posted to their website.  Leo says that Arizona struggled with trying to rebuild their operations for five days. Most of their servers hadn't been given security patches in years and their backups didn't work.

Is There a Good VPN for iOS Devices?

ExpressVPN

Episode 1578

Louis from Hollywood, CA

Louis travels with his iPad and would like to know if there's a VPN for iOS. Leo says you have a few ways to go.  Leo says that 1.1.1.1 is an app that isn't strictly a VPN, but it changes the DNS to give privacy from an ISP. The benefit is that it doesn't slow users down. But if customers want something to completely protect them at a public space, Leo says to purchase ones like ExpressVPN, or NordVPN. Both are offshore and don't log user activity. There's also Tiny Hardware Firewall as another option.

How can I Securely Send Attachments Online?

ShareFile

Episode 1576

David from Orange County, CA

David wants to know about securely sending attachments to clients with Exchange. Leo says that he prefers to send a link to the file saved in the cloud. It's secure, HIPPA compliant, and much easier than sending attachments, which can be notoriously insecure. Leo recommends ShareFile from Citrix. David can also set it to expire, use a password, and other security guarantees. It makes email smaller and more secure.

Free options include FireFox Send by Firefox, where David can send files up to 2.5gb.

Facebook Stored Millions of Passwords in a Simple Text File

Facebook

Episode 1576

Facebook admitted that for years, they have been storing up to 600 million member passwords in a single text file that was unencrypted.  The text file was also searchable by thousands of Facebook employees. Facebook claims nobody had abused the ability and will notify users if their accounts are compromised. So you may want to change your password anyway.

What is a Good Dashcam?

Owlcam

Episode 1575

Sundip from Orlando, FL

Sundip wants to know if he should get a Dashcam. Leo recommends a Garmin, and it's always recording in high def while giving an instant record if there's an accident. It has GPS and WiFi as well! The Owlcam, another product, also has LTE so it's always connected and instantly uploads in case of an accident or break-in. It connects to the OBD2 port for power.