Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Has my cable router been hacked?

Episode 1661

Charles from Virginia Beach, VA

Charles bought the CM1000 cable modem and an Netgear ORBI Router. But he's heard of a hack in cable modems. True? Leo says that there is a vulnerability called "cable haunt" that will allow someone to take over your cable modem. And there's no fix because your cable internet company doesn't want to do it since it'll take your internet down while they fix it. Additionally, the cable company wants him to pay for customer support every month to fix it. Leo says you have to keep putting pressure on the cable company to fix it. There is a workaround though.

How can I cut the cord and still watch cable news?

Episode 1661

Zack from Los Angeles, CA

Zack thinks that cable has gotten too expensive, especially since he only watches two news channels. He wants to cut the cord and go "over the top" to the internet. Leo says that with CNN, you have to buy a package that includes CNN. So that means you have to either do cable, or use something like YouTubeTV to get it. But that will give you everything you want. SlingTV is another option. ScooterX says if you go to go.cnn.com you can get CNN Go. But even if you could cut the cord, your internet prices will rise. So you're really not saving money doing that.

Why am I getting a popup in my AOL mail?

Episode 1661

Sue from New York

Sue is on AOL and is having issues with "Guce." What is that? Leo says it's adware by AOL that seeks to bypass adblockers in your browser. Guce is owned by Verizon, which also owns AOL and they don't like you using ad blockers or reading your email without ads. So it will redirect you to guce.advertising.com. But many consider it a browser hijack, which would turn it into malware.  Go into your browser settings under extensions and see if you have an adblocker installed. You can either turn off the adblocker, white list Guce, or better yet, GET OUT OF AOL! Leo recommends GMail.

What is a good alternative to Gmail?

Episode 1661

Jason from Virginia

Jason would like to move his email away from GoDaddy, but he doesn't want to use Gmail. Any options? Leo says the nice thing about having your own domain, is that you can move it anywhere, and even to another registrar. You may need to jump through a few hoops, but it can be done. You can also go into the domain record and forward your email to another host. It's under the MX record. Leo recommends using a paid one, because it will not only give you support, but they won't close your account out of nowhere. Should he run his own server? Leo says no. Don't do that. Its too much work.

How do I remove a browser hijack in Safari?

Episode 1661

Sean from Woodland Hills, CA

Sean's wife has MAC she recently upgraded to Mojave, and after updating to a "new flash player," she's now having problems. First her Safari browser has defaulted to the BING search engine. Leo says that BING isn't too bad, but it's clear her browser has been hijacked by a browser hijacker or "launch demon." And if her search engine has been changed, there's a good chance other things have happened as well. Check your browser extensions to see if there's anything nefarious there.

Will a VPN protect my kids from seeing bad stuff online?

OpenDNS

Episode 1660

Jim from Denver, CO

Jim wonders if a VPN is really worth it for daily life, and can it be used to control the content his kids watch? Leo says maybe not. But Leo says that OpenDNS certainly can.  It enables you to filter content so that kids can't go where you don't want them. A VPN is used to carve out a tunnel online so that others can't see what you're doing. So it's the opposite. But OpenDNS is great for protecting your kids from the stuff out there. A new router can also do the same.

Why am I using up so much data?

Cellular Data on iPhone

Episode 1660

John from Valencia, CA

John recently discovered that he was being charged 2.1GB for Sunday, even though it was Saturday when he found out. What gives? Leo says it's likely based on UTC Universal Time Zone or Greenwich Mean Time. So that's why it's listed as tomorrow. But if you have had data used up when you're not using it, then someone may be "borrowing a cup of wifi" from you. You can also check your router's data logs. Call AT&T and tell them that you aren't using that much data.

Is my Microsoft Account secure?

Microsoft Account Login

Episode 1660

Don from Springfield, IL

Don has noticed someone from the Ukraine has tried to log into his Microsoft account on a weekly basis. Should he be concerned? Leo says as long as you don't use the same password, have 2-factor authentication, and have a password manager like Last Pass, there's no way he can get into it. But make sure you have 2 Factor turned on just in case someone manages to guess the password. It will then ask for an authentication code from you through Microsoft Authenticator, which notifies you via text. It's very secure.