password

Has my personal information been hacked?

HaveIBeenPwned.com

Episode 1726

Jim from Oneida, NY

Jim is getting a ton of emails, that his accounts are being reset. He's worried. Leo says that if your password has been changed, that could be a bad sign you've been hacked. So go into all your accounts and change the passwords again. Set up 2 Factor Authentication for your phone. This will prevent someone else from doing that. Stop using related passwords. Use passwords that are random and distinct for every site. The only way to handle that is with a password manager like Last Pass. You can also set up an authenticator, like Google Authenticator or Authy.

How can I wipe a Windows computer that's locked with a password?

Windows 10

Episode 1462

Don from Los Angeles, CA

Don recently got a used PC, but it's locked with a password. Since the password prompt comes up after the PC has loaded Windows, Leo says it's easy to wipe it and reinstall the operating system. All he needs to do is download the Windows 10 installation tool from Microsoft called the "Media Creator's Tool", and put that on a thumb drive. Then he can boot to that drive, format, and reinstall it from there.

How can I unlock my MacBook Air?

Apple MacBook Air

Episode 1245

Elizabeth from Costa Mesa, CA

Elizabeth bought a used MacBook Air, and when she got it, she wiped it. Now it doesn't work right. Leo suggests signing into iTunes and redownloading the OS update and installing it. But she can't turn off the firmware password utility. Leo says that if she can prove ownership, Apple will unlock the laptop for her.

It sounds like Elizabeth has fallen into the trap of Apple's Activation lock. Here's a few tips on how to wipe out that firmware password from OSXDaily.com