security

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.

How can I prevent my email from displaying images?

Gmail

Episode 1613

Sam from Eugene, Oregon

Sam has worked hard to minimize his bandwidth by turning off images in his email account. But it the image still flashes briefly, what gives? Leo says that what Sam has discovered is that while the email account isn't displaying the image, it's set to display your email as HTML, and that means it's still downloading them, and that can trigger a virus or exploit. What you need to do is use an email client that only downloads the ASCII text email and not display emails in HTML. That will prevent it. Thunderbird is free and is very good. Turn off HTML and image loading.

Why is My iMac Overheating?

iMac

Episode 1612

Chuck from Thousand Oaks, CA

Chuck is using Firefox and recently he's been getting error messages. Leo says that may be due to keeping a lot of tabs open. Should he go back to Safari? Leo says that it's about as good, privacy-wise, as Firefox. But for search, he's currently using StartPage.com for searching anonymously. Use that, and it's just as private as Firefox.