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Episode 1560 January 26, 2019

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sam from Torrance, CA Comments

Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can. Never buy an IOT device that isn't from a reputable company that is committed to security. That includes a commitment to auto updating them. The other idea is to put the IOT on a separate network via VLan, or separate routers. PLUME routers have a way to create a network for only internet access and doesn't offer access to anything else on your network. Ubiquity's EDGE router can also do it.

Watch Suzanne from Placentia, CA Comments

Suzanne uses Hotmail and all of a sudden, she's getting hundreds of spam from subscribed newsletters. She also got an email about an order for a GoPro camera bought at Walmart. Leo suspects that someone doesn't like Suzanne or has stolen her identity. It's a new scam where hackers overwhelm your email address with bulk emails to distract you from the actual identity theft going on. It's called "Chaff." The idea is to be so overwhelmed with spam and bulk emails, you miss the stolen credit card activity. Shame on companies that allow signups without a double opt-in via email. Suzanne should not only change her passwords, but cancel her credit cards and have her credit watched by her bank.

One thing she can do is set up a mail filter for "unsubscribe" that will direct that bulk email into a separate folder and delete it.

Watch Rick from San Diego, CA Comments

Rick just bought a new motorcycle and is worried about it getting stolen. Is there a lojack or a GPS he can install onto the bike? Leo says that LoJack used to sell one, but they have discontinued it. Scorpio is commonly mentioned. It's a hands free motorcycle alarm with GPS.

Scooter X offers this -

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jack from Garden Grove, CA Comments

Jack's iMac runs El Capitan, and his iMovie and Garage Band have stopped working. He has been told he has to upgrade to get them working back. But he's hesitant. Leo says that it's OK and you should upgrade. Apple isn't like Windows. You can safely go to Mojave, or at least High Sierra. Why did your apps stop working? That's a puzzle. Maybe your graphics card is too old? Or Apple may have just broken the connectivity. Upgrading to Mojave though is important for security reasons.

Watch Robert from Long Beach, CA Comments

Robert has a bunch of old computers and wants to know if it's safe to bring them to e-waste collection. Can they get to my data even if I wipe the drives? Leo says it depends on how much you trust them. Leo says that data is never really erased, only earmarked to be overwritten. But check to see if they guarantee your data will be wiped. Derik's Boot and Nuke (or DBAN) can do a pretty thorough job though. because it overwrites the drives with random 1s and 0s. Or, just take the hard drive out and donate the rest. You can even then take it apart and destroy it. Modern operating systems also have a secure delete, and that means they not only delete your file, it overwrites it. So it's gone.

Check out this story on a study that showed how easy it is to recover data -

And this -

Watch Ron from Payson, AZ Comments

Ron does some things online where his wife and he have separate passwords, and some where they share passwords. Is there a password manager for that? Leo says that it's called shared passwords and almost every password manager supports that. Basically, you send an invite and share it over as long as they are using the same password manager. LastPass has a Family Password manager. One Password is also a good one.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Patty from Painesville, OH Comments

Patty has new iPad and she hasn't been able to unlock it. There is a process that Apple uses called "IForgot" that will help you to recover and reactivate your iPad. Here's a tech note on how - This page will walk you through. If that doesn't work, then your next move is to go to a nearby Apple store or call Apple support. You'll also need to know your AppleID.

Watch Tracey from Irvine, CA Comments

Tracey's husband has retired and they've bought a travel trailer to see the sights. But they quickly surpass their data caps on their mobile devices and is looking for an alternative. Leo says that you can buy a larger data plan. It really comes down to how much data you need from month to month. Part of Tracey's problem is she has three kids who are also on the plan. So they blow through 22 GB is days. Using a satellite dish is possible, but you have to aim it every time you stop, the gear is expensive, and the caps are small and slow. But Exceed by Wild Blue is the best. Google FI is a great because you pay by the GB. $10 a GB, with a $60 max cost.

You can also get a data only device like a MiFi card. Most carriers have them. There's also mobile internet plans for hotspots, so you an put in a data only SIM and go from there.