privacy

Sending Private Information Online

FireFox Send

When sending private information online, it is best to avoid doing so through email as the email servers between your email provider and the other person's are not that secure. However if you need to send private information via email, Leo recommends zipping your file content and sending them the password to access the zipped content through another means such as phone via text message.

Other services that you can use to send such highly confidential information are FireFox Send or ShareFile!

Faceapp Causing Concern to Privacy Advocates and Congress

FaceApp

Episode 1611

The mobile app called FaceApp is causing concern with privacy advocates, and even members of Congress because people are concerned that their photos are being uploaded to servers in Russia. But the developer, who worked for Microsoft when he got the idea, assures that all photos are uploaded to Amazon cloud servers. The bigger concern is that the terms of service grant FaceApp the ownership of your likeness forever. Leo says, though, that it's just legal-speak that's written in the broadest possible terms.

Can my company spy on my data at home?

Episode 1609

Chris from Long Island, NY

Chris wants to know if he uses the professional version of Microsoft 365 at home, can his company see what he does? Leo says only if you use the corporate One Drive. Courts have upheld that if you use company resources, they have every right to look at your data without warning. So they can spy on you. So it's always best to keep your personal and business stuff separate. So it's wise to use a personal version of Office, just to be sure. Or go with Google Docs or an open source office like Libre Office.

Should I Use Cortana?

Cortana

Episode 1605

Ken from Merced, CA

Ken wants to know if he should make Cortana his personal assistant in Windows. Leo says no. It's more hassle than it's worth and Leo turns it off on all his Windows devices. It's really only worth turning on if the user actually uses it.  But it's a huge privacy leak because Windows sends data to Microsoft to make Cortana more useful -  LOTS of data. So Leo isn't a fan of that. 

Can the iPhone Show Me where I am?

Google & Apple Maps

Episode 1587

Mark from Reno, NV

Mark needs to prove where he was to someone. Leo says that you can see where you've been by going to google.com/dashboard. Click on maps, then more, then timeline. If it's enabled in the application settings, you will see a history of where your phone has checked in within the network. It should go as far back as 18 months at least. If that isn't good enough, you could contact your carrier as they will have that information available. But that information is only available to law enforcement as they can get access to that information without a warrant. So using Google is your best bet.

Apple Cracks Down on Apps that Fight Phone Addiction

 Our Pact

Episode 1587

Relying on a policy that no app can duplicate a function that Apple offers, Apple has removed 11 of 17 screentime and parental control apps.  Some app makers have been shut down. OurPact, with 3 million downloads, was pulled, eliminating 80% of the developer's income. Kids Locks and Custodio have filed a complaint with the EU as a result. But Apple claims it's a privacy issue as the apps take too much personal information. Or are they just protecting their bread and butter? Leo says it depends on how you feel about it.

Use Reputable Apps to Scan Sensitive Documents

If you are scanning important, sensitive documents with your cell phone and sending those files over the internet, make sure to use an app from a reputable, reliable company. Do not use apps from relatively unknown developers, where images could potentially be intercepted. On Android phones, use Google Drive's scan option. On iPhone, open the Notes app and hit the + sign, then tap the "Scan Documents" option. Evernote Scannable is also a legitimate high-quality (free) scanning app.

Is Google Recording our Duo Video Calls?

Duo

Episode 1582

Christie from Mission Viejo, CA

Christie wonders about Google Duo, the Google version of Facetime. Could Google be recording those? Rich says not likely. The video and audio are encrypted, so that would be difficult to do. However, the metadata is fair game. Who she called, how long she was on the call, where she is, etc. But the reality is, free services still cost "something", so it comes with the expectation that some monetization is going on to pay for it.