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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Richard wants to know if apps on his smartphones can track him if it's off. Leo says no. No app can track him if the phone is off. But it's not very useful that way. He can either remove the app, or revoke its permissions. Can the government remotely turn it on? Leo says no. Not yet, anyway.
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.
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.