Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Morgan from Southern California Comments

Morgan has a Panasonic VHS / DVD recorder and she's trying to record TV sequentially on her DVD. She gets error messages, though. Leo says that the recorder could be finalizing the DVD as it stops recording. It could also be the media discs that Morgan is using. They could be cheap or defective. There are companies online that sell DVD sampler packs. She can also try DVD-RW discs. Morgan is having trouble with both formats, however.

That leaves Leo to believe that there's a hardware issue. James from the chatroom suggests getting the latest firmware. RustyBones in the chatroom suggests Verbatim discs. John in the chatroom suggests going into the menu setup and make sure she's using the proper media settings too.

Watch Bob from Manhattan Beach, CA Comments

Bob runs a program called "Evidence Eliminator" which wipes and overwrites his hard drive. It erases everything, though. Is there a better option?

Leo says why not just use private browsing mode in his browser? (Firefox and I.E. - Private Browsing, Chrome - InCognito). Each session is private with nothing saved. Remember that while he can wipe out his local footprint, his ISP knows everywhere he goes. Those programs, such as Evidence Eliminator, are red flags too.

There are a number of alternatives to Evidence Eliminator, since it went out of business:

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from Ann Arbor, MI Comments

David is buying a new Chevy Volt car and it has an optional navigational package. It's about $1,000 and has an upgraded sound system. Is it worth getting considering smartphones have GPS?

There are pro's and con's to both options. The advantage to having the navigation system built in is that it will have a nice, big screen, and Chevy says Siri integration is coming. The disadvantage to it is that it may be more difficult to use, and updating the maps is cumbersome. It will require updating them through a USB stick or a burned DVD. Those updates can also be very expensive.

If he doesn't get the built-in navigation, he could use a tablet or a phone mounted in the car. The advantage of this is he can use MotionXGPS, which will cache the best maps locally so he doesn't even need to be connected to 3G to use it. He could also use Waze, which is crowd-sourced traffic and road conditions kept up to date by other Waze users. The disadvantage to this is that it will use his phone's bandwidth, and he may run into issues with state or local laws on using the phone or tablet while driving.

Leo says it is nice to have a built-in GPS in the car, but he also notices that some of the time he'll still use his smartphone or iPad's navigation. Leo says a lot fewer people get the in-car navigation now, since most people opt to use their phones now.

David also is wondering whether or not to have OnStar. Leo says that's for little old ladies who don't know where they're going. Getting the one built into the Chevy Volt isn't a bad idea though.

Watch Jeffrey from Southern California Comments

Jeffrey's Samsung LCD TV got cracked after the Wii remote got tossed into it and now there's rows of dead pixels. Leo says that unfortunately, there's no way to fix that. Even if there was, it would cost more than the TV is worth. He'll need a new TV.

Watch Ashar from St. John's Newfoundland, Canada Comments

Ashar is first wondering about a travel bag to put all of his technology in. Leo has a backpack that has a backup battery built into it so he can charge his devices.

Ashar is also concerned with data roaming. Leo says it's very expensive, which is why he'll want an international data roaming plan, but he will want to be sure that the international data roaming plan is supported by the country he's going to. If he's going to be in Pakistan for awhile, he should see if Verizon will unlock the phone while he's there. He can then buy a SIM card in that country and it'll save him a lot of money.

Watch Sam from California Comments

Sam got a popup from what claims to be the FBI requiring him to buy a Moneypak card to get rid of it. It's a scam, malware (more specifically called ransomware) on Sam's system designed to blackmail him into sending them money. He can restart in safe mode and run his antivirus software to clear it. Norton and McAfee both have removal tools for it, too. Even if he clears that off his system, there could be other stuff that has been installed as well, though. So at this point, it's just best to backup his data, format the hard drive and re-install from a known, good source.

Ashar in the chat room says that is a great resource to look up these things.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from Moreno Valley, CA Comments

Bob turned on his computer and found a new account named "John" on it. Leo says that's cause for concern. It could be a form of malware that gave a hacker remote access to the system. Why they'd choose a standard account, vs. an administrator account is somewhat of a mystery. Steve Gibson talked about a new malware issue that's popped up recently. It's a really nasty flaw in routers that was just discovered last week that exploits universal plug n play. Bob should run GRCs Shields Up to see if his router has that flaw. It's a good idea to delete the account. He can also turn off Universal Plug 'n Play (UPnP).

From the chatroom, the "John" Account is a Phantom Account installed by ESET's Anti Theft Utility. So it's normal for ESET customers.

Watch Gary from LaVerne, CA Comments

Gary got a spam email message and now it's been forwarded to everyone on his contact list. He got failure notices from the message being sent to addresses that didn't exist. Leo says that it's not unusual to get failure notices where he has no control. Spammers can "spoof" the return address by using another user's email address as the return address. Nothing he can do about that, but the good news is that they'll soon move on to another email.

Leo says it's more likely that malware has infected his system and by viewing the email, the virus has installed and gone into his email account to harvest his contacts. This is one of the dangers of having HTML turned on in an email account. He should go into his email settings and turn that off. Use good passwords to prevent brute force attacks from cracking the password. Also, he can tie his phone to his email account so that if someone tries to change the password, he'll get an alert on his phone and will have to input a code from the phone in order to change the password.

Watch Ben from El Paso, TX Comments

Ben keeps getting offers from Kim Komando, with warnings that iPads are starting to get hacked. Leo says that he's never seen an iPad get hacked. The very way that the iPad works makes it very difficult for a virus to take over the iPad. Leo thinks there's scare mongering going on here for getting attention to their program.