privacy

Examine the Layout of a URL to Check its Legitimacy

When you want to find out if you should stay away from typing in a suspicious and possibly fake web address, check the URL's TLD (top-level domain) which should imply whether the site is legitimate or not. For example, if a web address reads Google(dot)com/blahblah then it is a legitimate Google page. However, bad guys can spoof Google and create an address like Google(dot)badguy(dot)com which may easily deceive many victims at first glance. Always be cautious of deceptive URLs and links that can infiltrate your device if clicked.

Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook to Focus on Privacy

FB

Episode 1572

In a new announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is moving towards a more privacy-focused experience, including encryption, private groups, and more. Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook doesn't have a reputation for security and privacy, and they plan to change all that. With sharing on Facebook going down by 25%, especially with younger users, Zuckerberg says that the social media network is going to move from a town square, to your own living room. It's a serious PIVOT.

Be Cautious of Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software

If you're going to use antivirus software, you may want to choose something other than Kaspersky. While Leo believes Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, is a great person, his company is Russian and may be prone to manipulation or seizure by the Russian government/military. In any case, Leo simply recommends excellent alternatives with less baggage. While we don't know for sure what goes on with companies like Kaspersky or Huawei, it's best to err on the side of caution.

How do I set up my Helm email server?

Helm

Episode 1565

Neil from Phoenix, AZ

Neil bought a Helm email server on Leo's advice. He also bought a domain through Hover to use with it. This is a home email service, and the idea is that you put your email on a server that runs in your own house instead of trusting a service like Google to handle it. Neil is wondering how to back the device up. Leo says one of the things he gets for $99 per year is that Helm backs it up over the internet. What's cool is that the contents of the email on the local server is encrypted with a key that only Neil has access to. Helm even provides a secure USB key to decrypt the backups.

How can I protect my network on a shared internet access portal?

Keyboard

Episode 1559

Don from Lake Forest, CA

Don is worried that his network may be compromised because he uses a shared internet network in his office building. Leo says there may be a weak link with a point of entry that's a result of the building, but it should be locked down pretty well. Leo recommends getting an IT consultant to help run his internet access. Employees may actually be a bigger risk if they fall victim to phishing scams. An IT consultant can help train the employees to be on the lookout for scams.

What's the advantage of using a paid email service instead of Gmail?

Email

Episode 1557

Manny from Vero Beach, FL

Manny wants to know if there's an advantage to having a paid email service vs. a free service like Gmail. Leo says that if he's not paying for it, they're making money off him somehow. That's what pays the bills. He can pay for Google's business email service, called GSuite. That would give him support. Free email is paid for by ads put on the page, and it mines data from email electronically, to focus those ads to what he spends the most time on.

Australia to Pass Anti-Encryption Law

Episode 1547

Parliament in Australia is pushing through an anti-encryption law that will make it not only illegal to use encrypted communications, but will also give law enforcement and other government authorities the power to use malware to crack an encrypted network. Leo says it will endanger the security of anyone using an online service and obvious violates an individual's privacy rights. Russia has a similar law, as does England.

How can I prevent Google from knowing everything about me?

Google

Episode 1541

Derek from Costa Mesa, CA

Derek has to create a Google account, but he wants to prevent Google from having his information. He tried to use an app to mask his phone, but it won't work. Can he use a burner phone? Leo says that he'll have to jump through a lot of hoops to prevent it, but it can be done. A burner phone will work. Then he can create a Google Voice number to use with that. Or he can just put the burner into his car for emergencies. But every time he searches, Google will know what he searched for, even when he's using a private window. The reality is, his phone carrier and ISP will know everything.

Is FakeSpot a good plugin for my browser?

Fakespot

Episode 1533

Alexander from Los Angeles, CA

Alex has a browser plugin called Fakespot, which checks the reviews on Amazon to determine if they are legit or not. It promises to weed out the bogus ones. Leo says that's an interesting concept, but he has concerns that the plugin is selling his search data. He'll want to read the privacy policy and see if they are in compliance with the EU GDPR regulations. It will also send him targeted ads. It's not really a big deal, but at least he can opt-out.