Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Bend, OR Comments

Jim bought a pair of Samsung Galaxy S8 and the guy at the store said he doesn't need an antivirus app to protect it. Is that true? Leo says it is. Mobile phones don't really need that extra precaution, as long as he only gets his apps from Google Play Store. He should be careful what apps he gets, though, even then. Sometimes a junky app does get through. The benefit through Google Play is that if one gets through, they will remotely kill it.

Jim will also want to be sure to get his phone from a reputable company and carrier that won't get in the way of the monthly updates. In general, Leo no longer recommends antivirus because they spread so fast that he could get infected before the update even gets to it. Antivirus just would give him false confidence. It can also make his computer less secure because modern malware can hook into the antivirus and disable it. That doesn't mean he shouldn't have one, but the last, best defense is to guard his online behavior.

Here are some good tips to protect yourself online:

1. Stop running as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote your existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Stop using Java
5. Use a password vault like LastPass
6. Turn on second factor authentication

Watch Mark from Vienna, VA Comments

Mark is looking to buy a Chromebase. Leo says that if all he does is surf the internet and check email, the Chromebase is just as good as that Chromebook that Mark has. It's very easy to use, and secure too. He's seen a 24" Acer model on Amazon for $350. Is that a good buy? Leo says yes. It's kind of like an iMac in design, and Acer makes good stuff, but he's seen it for up to $300 more. Leo says to make sure he is comparing apples to apples with similar specs.

The real question is, is there a real difference between a Celeron and an i5 Core processor? Leo says that in most cases, no. Most of the stuff he'll be doing is online, and in most cases, it's people who do more advanced applications including video and photo editing that would see the difference. If it comes with a touchscreen, then he'll want one with more RAM. So it comes down to what he does with it. Leo says that when in doubt, go ahead and pay for the more powerful processor. He'll be future proofed that way. If he's on a budget, then it's OK to go with the more affordable option. Or he can spend the extra money on more RAM and a better display.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Shane from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Shane has an Nvidia Shield gaming device and every time he tries to buy something from the Google Play Store, he gets an error. Leo recommends clearing the cache, restarting and then resetting his Play account. The problem is that the Nvidia Shield has Android 7 and it doesn't give him access to his Google Play settings. That may leave Shane with only one option — to reset the Shield itself.

There is a way to do this in the menu settings, but it's not easy to find. There's obviously bad data in the cache of the Play Store. He'll need to clear that out. Another way to fix it is to log out of his Google account, reboot the Shield, and then log back in. That should clear it out as well. Shane should check out this page on XDA Developers.

Watch Melinda from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Melinda says that after she turns on her computer and goes into her browser, it takes a really long time to get to Gmail, and it goes to her eBay and other accounts. She wonders if she got hacked. Leo says perhaps. That kind of behavior points to being hacked. Maybe someone has gotten physical access to the computer. Did she make an enemy?

At this point, the safest thing to do would be to backup her data, then wipe the hard drive and reinstall her OS. Not only will this stop it, it will also make her computer run the same it did the day she bought it. Also, just to be safe, she should change all of her passwords.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Bob clicked on a link in an email, and now he's having issues with his phone freezing up. He pulled the battery and replaced it, and now it works OK. Was it malware? Leo says probably not. These days malware doesn't want to get noticed. It works quietly in the background.

Bob can restore his phone to the factory default. That will wipe the phone and then reload the OS. Then he can log back into his Google account and re-download all of his apps and data. He can backup everything by going to Settings > Backup and Reset > Activate Backup. Once it's backed up. Then he can reset it.

Photo Credit: Sylvain Naudin via Flickr

Watch Val from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Val is interested in LifeLock and wants to know if it's safe. Is it? Leo says yes. They were a bit over confident in the early days, but they are dedicated to getting in between you and identity thieves by putting fraud alerts on your credit history. But now they can't do that because of lawsuits. So now they own companies that are built to target fraudulent credit activity so that if anything unauthorized occurs, you get wind of it and they can shut it down. They will also help you fix your credit record should you be a victim of credit card fraud. Check out these articles on getting a credit freeze to protect you:

- "Credit freeze is best protection against identity theft" by Clark Howard
- "Report: Everyone Should Get a Security Freeze" by Brian Krebs

Watch Michael from Anaheim,CA Comments

Michael is worried that his Android phone isn't safe, especially with the text messages he gets from random numbers. Leo says it used to be vulnerable, but both Android and iOS have been patched and SMS text messages are safe, as long as he doesn't open the links he's being sent.

Watch Mike from Panama City, FL Comments

Mike is frustrated that his internet access is going through a lot of buffering, especially when he's streaming. Leo says a router needs to control his ethernet connection, not a modem. It's the one assigning IP addresses. Then he can put routers all over the house, but have them set in bridge mode so that they just pass the bandwidth along. Mike should try using different names for his routers, too. That way, he can join the nearest ones directly. Getting a mesh router is also be a good idea. They aren't cheap, but they definitely solve the problem. Leo recommends the Eeros. They work with wired connections.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)