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.
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.
Luke wants to know more about Starlink and if it can be used for tracking people on the road. Leo says that Starlink satellites do not have photo surveillance capabilities, they are more like a cellular satellite, sending data up to the satellite and down to a receiver on the ground. It's very simple. Besides, there are plenty of surveillance satellites up there already. Not only that, but a mobile phone has GPS and it can be used to track every move one can make, even if they turn it off. And law enforcement can use it to track. It's a great violation of privacy that Google has fought.
Georgia wants to know how safe online banking is. Leo says it's very safe now, and you don't need to worry about having your bank account compromised. Nor do you have to have a separate computer dedicated to banking. All websites now are encrypted by design. Google began requiring that last year. Just be safe with your online behavior. Don't click on links, open attachments, or reply to emails from a bank. They will never contact you.
Bob wants to know if he can use his old Samsung Netbook on the Internet. Leo says that Netbooks were woefully slow and underpowered and didn't wear well. It also lowered the expectation of what we should pay for a laptop. It also was driven by Windows 7, which has stopped being supported by Microsoft, and as such, might be a security issue. At some point, a hack may be the risk. Leo says that Bob could upgrade it to Windows 10, or he could even run Linux on it. PopOS is one.
Or better yet, upgrade to a new Chromebook.
There's a bug in iOS14 that notifies everyone in your contact list what is in your clipboard. 56 apps are getting the data from your iOS clipboard and then passing it along to others. Leo says it's a common tool in app development to access the clipboard, but the bug is making it sharable.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is getting sued for sharing the contents of the clipboard as a violation of California's new privacy law. Linked in claims it was all done unintentionally, and Leo believes that's the case.
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).