Wifi router setup: Change the password. Turn off WAN Administration (so bad guys can't log into your router). Turn off UPnP (an Xbox technology that is less useful on most routers). Turn On WPA2 encryption (or WPA3 if present) for a password requirement. Turn on automatic firmware updates, or check up monthly for the latest firmware. A security flaw in your router would be a big problem!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
A new bipartisan bill will greatly expand the surveillance state by giving government the power to decrypt anything. Leo says that the Graham Blumenthal EARN IT Act will end any notion of privacy that we have. It's happened in Russia, Australia, Sweden, and now the US. It'll also be interesting how it will affect the new iPhone.
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.
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