Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Derek has to create a Google account, but he wants to prevent Google from having his information. He tried to use an app to mask his phone, but it won't work. Can he use a burner phone? Leo says that he'll have to jump through a lot of hoops to prevent it, but it can be done. A burner phone will work. Then he can create a Google Voice number to use with that. Or he can just put the burner into his car for emergencies. But every time he searches, Google will know what he searched for, even when he's using a private window. The reality is, his phone carrier and ISP will know everything.
Steve is having trouble with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. After about 2 minutes, both apps crash. Leo says that it could be malware infecting his browsers. But more likely there's a render driver that both browsers use which is causing the crash when he visits certain websites. Leo recommends doing a thorough scan using Windows Defender, and he should also run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the command line. To get to that, he can press the Windows Key and type MRT. Leo also suspects that Java is broken.
Patrick hears Leo talk about Lastpass a lot, but he wants to know if Apple's password vault is secure. Leo says that Apple uses Keychain and it's very secure. It only works on Apple devices, though. And with iOS12, Keychain does autofill.
(Disclaimer: Lastpass is a sponsor)
Leo says whenever he's on communal Wi-Fi, as he will be on the cruise, a hotel, or a coffee shop, everyone's on the same network. Nowadays, places like these are getting better about making it more secure, and it isn't as risky as it used to be. But there is a potential risk that someone else on that network could snoop on him. Whenever he's using email, shopping on Amazon, or banking, all of that traffic is already encrypted. Leo thinks using a VPN on cruise ship Wi-Fi would probably slow his connection down to a point where he wouldn't be able to stream content online.
Chris wants to know if he really needs Webroot and Windows Defender. Leo says he doesn't need Webroot at all, and it's likely they paid the computer company to put it on. He should free to uninstall it. Windows Defender will do a great job and it comes free with Windows 10.
Steve's Windows 10 machine won't update beyond 1803. Leo says that Microsoft pulled 1809 because of some bugs. It will be fixed and available again soon, though. Feature updates aren't critical — it's just the security updates that are important. But if it's preventing him from getting security updates, then it could mean the update is blocked and he'll have to clear 1803 in order to get back to updating. Microsoft has a troubleshooter for blocked updates, and Leo recommends running it.
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 cell phone calls will be robocalls. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas. They forge the caller ID, and will even do it with the recipient's area code and prefix. The reality is, legitimate companies will not be calling. They'll be using mail. Jessie can log her number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.
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.
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.