privacy

Should I use NextDNS?

NextDNS

Episode 1702

Pete from Amesbury, MA

Pete heard about a device to keep his iPad private called NextDNS. Does it use a VPN? Leo says that DNS is essentially the internet address system in IP numbers. DNS is the phone book for it. NextDNS bypasses your ISP so that they don't know what you're browsing on. It will encrypt the traffic to NextDNS and back. But your browser is still visible. The thing about VPNs is that they are a tunnel that encrypts everything and slows things down. Leo uses NextDNS on all his devices, but you'll go through the free tier pretty quickly. But it's not very expensive.

Are ASUS Mesh Routers Private?

ASUS

Episode 1701

Carlo from Ontario, CA

Carl bought a new Asus Mesh Router and he's worried about privacy since they also use Trend Micro drivers. Should he be concerned? Leo says there's always a risk, but Asus is a reputable company and if they made a deal with Trend Micro, they would mention it in their privacy statement. But he doubts that there's much if anything to worry about. There's too great a risk to lie about such things. 

Law Enforcement Now Has the Right to Get Your Browsing History

Chrome

Episode 1695

Falling by one vote, Congress failed to pass protections that would prevent government officials from accessing your personal browser history without your knowledge or consent. And there is no warrant required. Now they can just go straight to your provider and ask for it. Leo says time is ideal to start using a virtual private network (VPN).

Apple and Google develop location based app for tracking CoVid19 Exposure

Apple & Google

Episode 1690

Thanks to a new feature in both iOS and Android, if you encounter someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, the phone will be able to alert you based on the person's location data, and that of others they have encountered. And if you're sick, it will enable medical professionals to track the path of infection through phone location data. It's called "contact tracing." The new feature has met with protest though, because Apple won't give governments all the information. It will also be a voluntary download.

Don't Connect Your TV to the Internet

If you're wondering if TVs are secure, they are! Just don't connect them to the internet! It sounds simple, but the temptation can be real for those who want to use apps to go online. If you keep the television offline, it can't secretly watch you (assuming the company behind it is shady). Get an Apple TV or Roku device, which are kept up to date. If your TV gets infected, the issue can even bleed into your network...which would be a huge problem.

How can I stop Apple from charging me for things I didn't authorize?

Apple

Episode 1676

George from Laguna Nigel, CA

George is being billed hundreds of dollars by Apple that he didn't authorize. He tried changing the credit card, and they just resubmit the bill. But he doesn't get an email from Apple letting him know the charge is being made. Leo advises going to your iTunes store account settings and look at your purchase history. It will also show subscriptions. The itemized purchase history, though, will enable you to track down where the charges are coming from. It may also be in-app purchases that are causing it and you can remove those.

Why do I have to give AirBNB my ID?

Airbnb

Episode 1666

Gail from Huntington Beach, CA

Gail is planning a trip for a family reunion using AirBnB. She ran into an issue where she needed to provide a copy of her ID in order to rent. Leo says that's due to issues of fraud and theft. Many online sites are now requiring proof of identity. And the information is public record. So it's not like they can't find out who you are. The question is, do you trust AirBNB to keep your information private. If you don't, then you shouldn't. But Airbnb doesn't want to damage their reputation. Then again, breaches of security happen often. 

Is Being Constantly Connected Worth Losing Privacy?

IP Address

Episode 1665

Andy from Pine River, Minnesota

Andy wants to know really, what are the pluses and minuses to being so connected to the internet. Leo says there is a trade-off. The bonus is, we have access to just about every piece of data we need. The downside is, we sacrifice privacy as online services know everything about us. But just how invasive is that? They don't know everything about us, just activity. So while the privacy angle is complex, it's also overrated. Targeted ads aren't bad if they're useful