privacy

Can I Use a Vpn to Mask My Activity and Movements?

VPN

Episode 1780

Wallace from Fredrick, MD

Wallace wants to know if he needs a VPN or can authorities still track his activity and movements. Leo says that using a VPN will mask your activity unless your VPN keeps track of that activity. With a warrant, they would have to provide that data. As for movements, your cellphone has a GPS, and with a simple request (called a PIN Registry), the authorities can access your location at any given time for a fee. But that is changing as courts recognize that it is a violation of privacy and should require a warrant.

UK "Snooper's Charter" Gives Police Too Much Surveillance Power Online

Parliament

Episode 1778

Giving police in the UK too much surveillance power online, the so-called Snooper's Charter passed by British Parliament will enable law enforcement to surveil everyone's online activity. The new power will give police free rein to perform fishing expeditions looking for evidence-based on what apps people use, what sites they visit, and more. 

Go to HaveIBeenPwned to Check Possibly Compromised Data

The website "Have I Been Pwned", or HIBP, was created by Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt as a free resource for the public to check if their personal data had been compromised by a breach on the internet. You can visit HaveIBeenPwned.com and enter your email address or account password to see if either had been involved in a data breach. The way Troy has built the site ensures visitors can enter their passwords safely and securely.

How Can I Protect My Identity Online?

privacy

Episode 1770

Ed from Orange County, CA

Ed has an Apple Mac Air that he uses with Tunnel Bear VPN. He wants to do whatever he can to protect himself from identity theft. Leo says that there are several things he can do. First, register his own email domain. That way, anything that he signs up for, will come to him and he can see if that information gets sold. Then he can block the address because he knows it's been sold. Check out MySudo.com.  It lets users create a unique email and phone number for signups that aren't related to their own email.

Are Hackers Getting Into My Facebook Page?

Facebook

Episode 1764

Larry from Manhattan Beach, CA

Larry keeps getting notifications about a video he posted on Facebook. People are complaining that they can't open it. Leo says that it's a phishing scam and they likely got his email address on a mailing list, then hacked into his Facebook page. Larry changed his password. But it happened again a day later. Could his LastPass password be compromised?

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.