security

Why Do Some Sites Block My VPN?

BBC

Episode 1632

Dan from Orange County, CA

Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.

Are Mesh routers secure?

eero Mesh Router

Episode 1631

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul wants to know more about Mesh Routers and Internet of Things, but is concerned about security. Leo says that if you stick to main brands like Eero and Netgear, they will keep their firmware updated for security purposes. Leo recommends the Eero. But you may have to pay a monthly security subscription, which Leo hates.

Update your PC to Windows 10 version 1909 Soon

If you are using Windows 10, you will need to upgrade to the new version 1909 soon. Version 1803, which came out Spring 2018, is already going out of support! It will reach its end of service on November 12, 2019. The reasoning is likely because Microsoft really believes in users keeping their Windows systems updated, secure, and safe. Even though you may not be able to discern the differences in 1909 (or use the new features), the security patches are the most important aspect of this situation.

How can I protect my private information online?

FireFox Send

Episode 1623

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry is a mobile notary, and some companies want him to provide his private information via email. He doesn't want to do that. Leo says you shouldn't because it's not secure with servers that are between you and them. What Leo recommends is ZIPPING it with a password, then send them the password to them by phone. 

Firefox also has a service called FireFox Send, which would enable you to send documents with a secure link that will expire after a brief time. ShareFile is another option.

How Can I Find Drivers for an Old Laptop?

 ACER Aspire

Episode 1618

John from Ohio

John's first computer was an ACER Aspire laptop. He wants to upgrade his operating system, but he isn't sure if it's 64 bit or 32 bit. Leo says that Intel was using 64-bit architecture long before everything moved from 32 bit, so he'll likely have it. But John is having trouble finding drivers. Leo says that companies that stop development often don't offer those drivers online, so many driver archives have sprung up. But often users don't get what they think they are getting. And Microsoft usually stops writing security updates for old computers, making them a security threat online.

Have I been hacked?

:(

Episode 1617

Ross from Manhattan Beach, CA

Ross is worried he may have been hacked after searching for the Quicken Support number online and calling them. Could he have gotten a phony number? Leo says never Google phone numbers unless you go directly to their website. Leo says that hackers will buy ads for specific search error messages, and it could be that Ross had been compromised after giving them access to scanning the computer. Leo says it would be prudent to scan his system. Before doing that, since Ross is very savvy, he could do a search with Malwarebytes first. Ross did and found nothing. That's good news.