encryption

Back Up Your BitLocker Recovery Key

BitLocker is an encryption tool for Windows users that helps protect data from unauthorized people. It requires Windows Pro, Enterprise, or Education, but is not available for the Home edition. If you have turned on BitLocker from the Control Panel, you should save a copy of the recovery key to your Microsoft Account (or somewhere else secure). If you do not have a way to access this recovery key and cannot authorize another way, you will be forced to format your computer.

Why Did Windows Turn On Bitlocker and How Can I Get In?

BitLocker

Episode 1821

John from Algarve. Portugal

John is getting a message asking for his BitLocker key. He's never turned it on. Leo says that BitLocker is a Windows encryption app, and it uses certificates to unlock and lock it. It sounds like John may have turned it on during setup without realizing it. If he didn't make a backup copy of the certificate, and he loses it, he may be in trouble. But it does offer to save the certificate to a Microsoft account, so look there to see if the cert is there.

Why Won't iDrive Back Up My Encrypted Files?

VeraCrypt

Episode 1818

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

Gary wants a program to encrypt his individual files. He's using EaseUS File encrypter, but his iDrive backup won't back them up. Leo says a number of programs will Encrypt before he backs them up. So it sounds like EaseUS may use a backup that doesn't give iDrive permissions to backup. That's likely where the hangup is. Leo recommends using VeraCrypt.

How Can I Backup Programs From My DVR?

AT&T UVerse

Episode 1816

Scott from Orange County, CA

Scott's wife is a TV news anchor who recorded her broadcasts on DVR. How can they back those up? Leo says it depends on the DVR, and sadly it isn't a matter of taking the hard drive out and connecting it to your PC. Every DVR manufacturer has put encryption on the hard drive because of copyright. TIVO has something called TIVO to Go, which makes it easier. But a more proprietary DVR like AT&T UVerse may be near impossible save for one option: the analog hole. You can put a computer with a video capture card between the TV and the DVR using the analog component cables.

Why Is My Wifi So Slow?

WiFi

Episode 1812

Bill from Sallisbury, MD

Bill works from home. Lately, he's been running into interference on his wifi network. Leo says that's probably just congested as just about everything now in your home connects to the internet, especially security. And when you multiply it by all the houses in your neighborhood, and that WiFi band is dealing with rush hour. How to keep them all secure? Leo says the best you can do is keep all your devices updated. But change the name of your router and make sure it's using encryption.

Is WPA2 Secure?

WiFi

Episode 1776

Jeff from Pasadena, CA

Jeff is getting a warning about his WPA2 WiFi encryption. Should he move to a new router? Leo says that WPA2 was cracked, but he'd really have to have someone targeting him to really worry about it. WPA3 is the new standard and routers are starting to include it, but Leo doesn't think there's anything to worry about. He could check the router's firmware update to see if they offer it now. How about separating the SSID for the 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz bands? Leo says he can do that, but won't really have to.

Make a Backup Copy of Your Strong Passwords

First of all, get a password manager such as Lastpass (TWiT sponsor), 1Password, or Apple's Keychain. Any password manager is better than no password manager. Secondly, it might be a good idea to create a backup (like your important computer files) of those strong passwords in case something goes wrong with accessing your vault of account information. Maybe make a USB key of passwords and store it in a super safe and secretive location at home just for worst-case scenarios regarding your master password.

How can I encrypt an audio stream so no-one can listen without being invited?

Password

Episode 1751

Troy from Fontana, CA

Troy has been working with his church to stream services every week. What they need is a live stream audio solution that they can lock down and protect. A password that grants people access to the stream when invited. Leo says that in reality, there's no solution that can be used that can't be cracked. One good solution would be to require listeners to visit a portal or website first. But even that can be bypassed with a link. Byta can encrypt a stream. You could try them. 

Is the government monitoring my LastPass activity?

LastPass (a TWiT Sponsor)

Episode 1744

Mario from Lancaster, CA

Mario works at a government agency that has stiff security. He uses LastPass (a sponsor of the TWiT network) on his devices and wants to know if the government can see his data or his passwords? Leo says it's possible. They may have key loggers or screen readers that can see your activity and certainly monitor your online activity. He wouldn't be surprised if they have custom certificates that allow them to snoop, even if you're using encrypted security. But LastPass probably keeps Mario's activity safe.