privacy

Don't Use a "Free" or Super-Cheap VPN Service

A VPN is a way to mask an online user's physical location, which is a great way to maintain privacy and security....while also allowing one to watch TV & Netflix in another country (Japan)! VPNs do what "incognito modes" in browsers don't. However, you don't want to sign up for a super low-cost or free VPN service, as those can be quite suspicious. They have to be making money somehow, and it is likely by selling user information (sort of the antithesis of what VPN users want).

How can I use a VPN with my Ubiquity router?

ExpressVPN (Sponsor of the TWiT network)

Episode 1756

Bernie from Lakewood, CO

Bernie wants to use ExpressVPN (a sponsor of the TWiT network) using his Ubuity router. How can he put it on and keep it working for his main network and his guest network? Leo says that there is a recommended list of routers that you can use with ExpressVPN; sadly, Ubiquity isn't one of them. But some of the privacy features a VPN does are available from your Ubiquity router. Your DNS lookup, for instance, can be secured using your browser via DNS over HTTPS via DOH. It's deep into the settings. You can also use another DNS server that can block them.

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.

Allow the Relevant Permissions for Your iOS Apps Requesting Access

If an application needs to share Photos and Video to an iOS device, it needs to store the files in the Photos album of your device in order to work. On an Apple device, the permissions will be granular. If you want to send a picture through an app like Facebook Messenger, you will get a pop-up asking for your permission to access your device's photos. That is normal, so don't freak out. If an app is asking for permissions to certain areas of your iOS device (like Contacts, Location, etc.) that don't seem to relate to the app's function, be wary.

Apple announces new Macs with Home Grown ARM based Chips

Apple's M1 Chip

Episode 1746

This past week at their "One More Thing" event, Apple officially announced three new Macs containing their new in-house Apple Silicon processors. The new M1 processor promises high performance at low power. Apple announced three new models, two laptops and one desktop. The models include a new 13" Mac Air, new 13" Macbook Pro, and a new generation Mac Mini. But this doesn't mean that Apple has completely abandoned the Intel platform.

How does eBay know what I buy on Amazon?

eBay

Episode 1740

Jerry from Hatfield, PA

Jerry has been shopping on Amazon for some tools, and recently when visiting eBay for alternative shopping, he's been getting a notification from Amazon about what he's been doing online. That's creepy. Leo says it's probably Google doing it, in spite of using a VPN. If you're still logged in, they can track you. Amazon may also be selling your search activity with eBay. It's in the terms of service that they can do that.

The Giz Wiz ... Camfected

Dick

Episode 1737

Dick joins Leo to talk about a new device to combat "Camfecting." That's when a hacker takes control of your webcam with your knowledge or your permission. A webcam privacy cover can help stop that. It's basically a webcam cover slide.  It can be easily applied and removed from the device without any traces. You can get a pack of 6 Webcam Cover Sliders for around $8.99,

TikTok and WeChat are still running after deadline

TikTok

Episode 1730

September 20th was supposed to be the day that Chinese social media companies TikTok and WeChat were supposed to be turned off if both weren't sold to a US company. In the eleventh hour, ByteDance, which owns both companies, has managed to avoid the shutdown thanks to a tech partnership with Oracle and Walmart. The new company, dubbed TikTok Global, will also have a 40% minority stake in US investment, plus a 19% stake to Oracle and Walmart. That's a majority that pleases the commerce department and the White House. So the shut down has been delayed for a week.

How Can I Protect My Credit Cards From Being Hacked?

privacy

Episode 1717

Randy from North Hollywood, CA

Randy's credit cards and bank cards have been hacked and stolen. He uses different companies. Did they steal his card numbers because of shopping online? Leo says to look at the common thread. Leo says to look at the common thread. Someone clearly got to where Randy keeps all those numbers stored. So they may have hacked into his Amazon account or his Google account. Make sure those numbers are blocked. The good news is, that his credit card companies will be monitoring it and will warn him. They will then lock the card and reissue them.