Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Is online banking through a browser secure?

Episode 1730

John from California

John is worried that his identity will be stolen, along with his money, if he does online banking through his browser. Leo says that browsers are equally secure, as long as they keep getting patched on a regular basis. The issue isn't the browser, it's the system itself. The weak link in the chain is you. If you get an email that seems to be from your bank and you click on the links inside, it's likely a fake and your log in has been stolen due to a phishing attack. That's the kind of thing that can happen. Banks will never email you. Keep that in mind.

Johnny Jet ... Aloha

Johnny Jet

Episode 1729

Johnny Jet is heading back to Hawaii after the state set a reopening date of October 15th. So far, it's only Oahu and you need to be tested within 72 hours of travel, and it's only through CVS or Kaiser Permanente. If you don't have a test, you will have to either turn around and go home or quarantine for five days. New York has also reopened to six states, including California.

American has transcontinental deals from California to New York for as low as 12,000 miles per seat. 

How Can I Clean Up and Manage My Personal/Business Contacts?

Contacts

Episode 1729

Rich from Rochester, NY

Rich has a need to remove contacts from his personal contacts account and then replace it in his business account. Leo says that he doesn't know any automated way to do that. The only real way is to do it manually. He recommends turning off syncing. Then export contacts as a CSV file. Clean up that contact list, then make a copy of the cleaned-up version. He can also use an app like Contacts+ to merge duplicates. Do this for both personal and business contact lists, then import them. Rich will likely have to do this periodically. But keep sync off.

TikTok To Stop Working by Nov. 12th With No Deal for US Sale

TikTok

Episode 1729

The popular social media video platform TikTok may stop working in the US on November 12th if a deal isn't made to sell it's US operations to a US company by then. Leo says that while Oracle was reported to have agreed to purchase the platform, the company has said they would only have a vested interest in the company that would route all traffic to their servers. Walmart is also believed to be interested in investing in a new arrangement, Leo says probably for eCommerce rights. But it's all for naught if a deal isn't reached that will meet presidential approval.

NBC/Peacock and Roku make up. App to Appear Soon

Peacock

Episode 1729

Caught in a battle for months, which culminated with NBC threatening to pull content from all eleven of its streaming channels, both streaming platforms have come to an agreement that will put Peacock on the Roku platform soon. Maybe within weeks. Leo says brinksmanship is becoming the norm, with a battle having to be waged before parties come together with a mutual agreement.

How Can I Stop Zoom From Dropping?

Zoom

Episode 1727

Amy Rose from Tulare, CA

Amy is a second-grade teacher and they are getting ready to head back into the classroom for doing zoom calls to her student. The problem is, her wifi hubs keep dropping the internet signals. She's told her cordless phones are causing the problem. Leo says it could be, depending on what frequency the phone is operating at. 2.4 GHz is a very congested spectrum and cordless phones operate on that, so it could be interfering. 

But Leo suspects there could be other problems as well. 

How Can I Block Ads Online?

UBlock

Episode 1727

Edward from Whittier, CA

Edward wants an ad blocker for his browser. Leo says that UBlock Origin is the one he recommends. While his program is advertiser supported, he supports ad blockers because online ads represent a potential security risk. The ads also can be tedious when they are popups or use too many ads on a page. But on the other hand, Leo recommends throwing the sites a few bucks a year to make up for it.

Can he get an ad blocker for YouTube Music? Leo says there is ... it's called a paid subscription. If he pays for YouTube Premium, he can enjoy YouTube content ad-free.

Does cutting cable save money?

Amazon Fire TV

Episode 1726

Tierney from Panama City, FL

Tierney cut the cord recently with the Amazon FireStick. She also uses a VPN. She says she'll never go back. Leo says that if you pit the streaming services against each other, you can also keep the prices down on streaming. But eventually, the ISP will raise your rates because you're not using their cable service. Tierney may want to check with another internet service provider in the area to see if you can get a better deal on internet access. Then take that to your current ISP and see if they'll match it.