privacy

How secure is Tor?

Episode 1243

Juan from Los Angeles, CA

Juan is looking to use Tor for encrypted security. Leo says that Tor was invented by the US Navy and it works by making your traffic obscure. Tor is used for anonymity, and it's a bit difficult to set up, but using a Tor browser makes it a lot easier. If Juan is concerned about privacy online, Tor is a good option to look into.

Adjust Your Facebook Settings to Reduce Spam Friend Requests

There seems to be an increased amount of spam activity happening on Facebook lately, and you may have noticed an increase in the amount of bogus friend requests you've received. As a general rule, if you don't know the person in real life, they shouldn't be a Facebook friend. There is a way to at least reduce the amount of requests by making an adjustment in Facebook's settings.

Why do I have to use my real name on Facebook?

Episode 1220

Jack from Anaheim, CA

Jack is a teacher and he uses Facebook to keep an eye on his at-risk students in case they post suicidal thoughts online. Now Facebook is questioning whether he is a real person or not. Leo says Facebook's new policy requires users to use the same name as is on their ID. This is to prevent bogus accounts from being created, or from identities being stolen. It's likely someone complained to Facebook that Jack wasn't using his right name, even though there's a very good reason not to. Jack could Google student names and then look at their Facebook page without logging in, though.

Why does Microsoft need access to my data in Windows 10?

Microsoft Windows 10

Episode 1209

Dave from Riverside, CA

Dave wants to know more about Microsoft accessing user data in Windows 10. Leo says that Steve Gibson refuses to ever use Windows 10 because of the security features. But Leo has read the Microsoft EULA and it's no different than an ISP or any other online service. Microsoft is at least disclosing it. We have a 4th amendment right to privacy, but we also live in a dangerous time of terrorism and we have to make a provision for fighting it. There must be a balance and that's the debate that's raging.

How secure are smartphones?

Episode 1177

Derek from Seattle, WA

Derek wants to know how secure cellphones are today versus 20 years ago. Leo says that they are secure because of digital networks that are encrypted. Back in the 90s, cell phones were analog, making them really easy to eavesdrop and "snarf." It was even possible to clone them. But just because you have digital security, doesn't mean you're completely secure. Law enforcement can pay a small fee and get the meta data from your wireless company via a pen register request. Also, there's GPS data, super cookies, and social interaction.

Can someone find my home address from my email address?

Episode 1174

Anthony from Depot Bay, OR

Anthony wants to know if someone can track his email address to where he lives. Leo says no. It can list the servers it's been through, but not the physical location. If the server was in his house, then maybe. But if he's not running his own mail server, then he's OK. Unless he's broken the law and the authorities can find him through his internet address.

Radio Shack to Sell Off Customer Information in Fire Sale

Episode 1173

Although they promised customers that they would protect private information, Radio Shack has announced that they will be selling off customer information as part of the Fire Sale portion of their Bankruptcy. State governments and even AT&T have announced lawsuits to stop it. AT&T says that the privacy information should remain confidential through the sale and that Radio Shack should only sell to companies in the same business. But the lesson is clear, if you gave Radio Shack your information, they're now considering it an "asset." So much for privacy policies.