security

How can I secure my WiFi router?

TP Link Router

Episode 1684

Bruce from Carlin, NV

Bruce wants to know how he can secure his WiFi router. Leo says to first enter the router address (198.x.x.x) and then change the default password. Then, turn off Administer via WLan. This will prevent someone from the outside controlling your router. Step 3, turn off UPNP (aka universal plug-in play). This prevents a device inside of your network, like an Xbox, opening up your router to the internet when you don't want it to. Lastly, turn on WPA2 security encryption.

Are my older Hue Lights secure?

Philips Hue Lights

Episode 1684

Alan from Charlton, MS

Alan wants to know if Philips Hue Lights would work as lights for a video webcast. Leo says since they can change colors, they can look really good on camera. But he also hears that older Hue bridges are being placed into its end of life. Leo says they are depreciating the older models, but that doesn't mean they won't continue to work. But the problem is, any bulb that is connected to the Internet may result in a security issue for your network. That's the main thing. It's important to get all the patches you can. But in most cases, you'll likely be fine.

Is Norton Safe to Use for Antivirus?

Defender

Episode 1681

Stan from Irvine, California

Stan heard that Symantec-Norton broke up and is now called Norton Lifelock. He doesn't trust it right now and wants to know what he needs to do for it. Leo says he doesn't need it anyway. Windows Defender comes with Windows 10 and it's always updated. It also uses sandboxing so that if Defender is compromised, the rest of the OS won't be. And it's free. So get rid of Norton.

What about Lifelock? Leo says Lifelock still has value, but you can do a lot of that by putting a freeze on a credit rating so that nobody can mess with it. Contact all three reporting agencies for that.  

Don't Connect Your TV to the Internet

If you're wondering if TVs are secure, they are! Just don't connect them to the internet! It sounds simple, but the temptation can be real for those who want to use apps to go online. If you keep the television offline, it can't secretly watch you (assuming the company behind it is shady). Get an Apple TV or Roku device, which are kept up to date. If your TV gets infected, the issue can even bleed into your network...which would be a huge problem.

Is my wifi secure?

WiFi Signal

Episode 1674

Mike from Yakama, WA

Mike is worried that his WiFi network is compromised since his encryption was bypassed. Leo said that WEP was hacked, and routers went to WPA. And then WPA2. But the latest news is that "Krack attacks" have gotten into WPA2. Leo says it's largely sensationalized headlines and that it's very hard to do and requires a lot of time being on the network itself. Also, by now, most routers have been patched against Krack. So it's not really anything to fret over. And WPA3 is on the horizon, with new routers turning it on with a software upgrade.

Here are some things you can do:

Be Very Careful and Skeptical of Email Attachments, Even From "People" You Know

Most of the malware and ransomware that comes through the internet and onto our systems is thanks to email attachments. If you see an "invoice" with an artificially rushed, demanding tone from a powerful figure (such as your work boss) and they've attached a "PDF", be very skeptical and do not open it. The same goes for links, since they can take you to a very shady site. Make sure to update your computer with security patches to prevent infection from background exploit kits across the web.

Is ChromeOS the most secure laptop operating system?

Episode 1670

Jose from Modesto, CA

Jose wants to know if he should get a Chromebook. Leo says that a Chromebook is great for those looking to get stuff done, but most of the things they do are online and in the cloud. Can he get the same by putting Linux on an older laptop and still be secure? Leo says that you can, but you have to update it regularly to keep it healthy. Leo recommends PopOS. But there's also an obscure OS called Qubes because it's very locked down. But it's very hard to use as well.