Security and Privacy

Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.

Do I need PC Accelerator Pro?

Episode 1764

Leslie from Calabassas, CA

Leslie teaches the blind to use computers, and one of his students is getting a popup for a "system optimizer." Leo says that it's a scam. Those popups are designed to get your credit card by showing you false positives from the Windows Event Viewer. The popup isn't actively harmful, but it is annoying. You can go into Programs-Features-Find PC Accelerator Pro and remove it. If it isn't there, then you'll need to Google PC Accelerator Pro Removal Guide. But be careful, some of those can be malware themselves.

Why Use a VPN?

ExpressVPN

Episode 1758

Vino from Las Vegas, NV

Vino wants to know why people use a VPN. Leo says that a VPN is a virtual private network. It burrows an encrypted tube from a user's computer to the destination. It's very good for Privacy and Security. Especially when on public WiFi. VPNs can also mask physical location, so people don't know where users are. Great if a user wants to watch TV in another country like Great Britain.

What about the incognito mode in a browser? Leo says that private browser mode doesn't mask IP address. So people can still see where the traffic is going to.

How can I use a VPN with my Ubiquity router?

ExpressVPN (Sponsor of the TWiT network)

Episode 1756

Bernie from Lakewood, CO

Bernie wants to use ExpressVPN (a sponsor of the TWiT network) using his Ubuity router. How can he put it on and keep it working for his main network and his guest network? Leo says that there is a recommended list of routers that you can use with ExpressVPN; sadly, Ubiquity isn't one of them. But some of the privacy features a VPN does are available from your Ubiquity router. Your DNS lookup, for instance, can be secured using your browser via DNS over HTTPS via DOH. It's deep into the settings. You can also use another DNS server that can block them.

Government Hacked By Nation-State Hackers, Perhaps Russia

SolarWinds

Episode 1755

Russia may have hacked several local, state, and federal government agencies this week, according to the NSA and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. With all the hallmarks of Russian hacking group "Fancy Bear," Leo says that the hack was discovered because the group went too deep and too far and triggered security software designed to detect such attempts. 

Why do I have to keep resetting my Windows password?

Windows 10

Episode 1754

Daniel from Fresno, CA

Daniel is having an issue with Windows 10, getting a notification that his Microsoft account has had its password changed. He has to verify his account. Then after a few days, the process repeats. Leo suggests turning on two-factor authentication and installing the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone. It may be that someone keeps changing Daniel's password. Using two-factor authentication that will alert you and require an authenticator will prevent that. 

How Can I Unfreeze My Password After a Stuck Authentication?

Authentication

Episode 1753

Don from Dana Point, California

Don is having issues with his Microsoft authenticator app on his Samsung phone. Leo suspects an update didn't complete. So he says to remove the authenticator app and clear the cache. Start from scratch. Reinstall it all. Then he will get back in and use the fingerprint reader for authentication. That's the easier method. 

But get rid of every trace of it first.

Dashlane or LastPass? Leo says to use the one you like. There's also 1Password. Bit Lane. Leo has been using LastPass for a decade. But either LastPass or DashLane works fine.

Why Do I Have to Grant My Security System Access to My Photos and Videos?

Eufy

Episode 1752

David from Anaheim, CA

David has been looking at home security systems and they are so expensive for monthly fees. So he went with Eufy, which doesn't. But it won't allow him to share videos without access to his personal videos and photos, and his search history. Leo says they need access to a camera roll in order to save and share from it since that's where the videos are stored. That's a normal thing for iOS security. But that shouldn't impact search history. But Apple will split up each permission and then users can say no. Or say yes now, and then turn it off once he's shared the video.