Security and Privacy

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

Google Bans Zoom on Employee Computers

Google

Episode 1685

Due to security issues, Google has banned the video conferencing software ZOOM from all employee computers.  While Zoom is much easier to set up and use for most people, it does install a web server on your computer, that ends up being left active after you uninstall it. Leo says that Zoom has hired some new security experts in order to shore up their security, and Leo says that's the right move. Until then, Leo recommends JITSI. It uses the browser's WEBRTC feature, so there's nothing to install 

Will my Windows 7 computer continue to work?

Windows 7

Episode 1684

Irene from Dana Point, CA

Is has a Windows 7 computer and is concerned that it will stop working due to the end of life. Leo says no. It'll keep working, and during the crisis, Microsoft continues to update security patches. So you'll be safe for at least the end of the year. It's important to keep your computer updated, especially Windows Defender. Set your updates to automatic. But all that won't protect you against your own behavior online. Be careful what you click on. Don't install a third-party version of flash. Go to Adobe and manually download the updates and use Firefox as your browser. 

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.

Using Zoom has multiple security and privacy issues

Zoom

Episode 1684

While Zoom is helpful in keeping people connected during the Covid19 isolation, it also has huge privacy issues. Firstly, Zoom installed a web server on the background of Apple computers that would stay even if you uninstalled the software. Apple has fixed that, but Zoom was very slow to respond. There are also security issues with "Zoom bombing" where trolls are crashing meetings and posting offensive material.

Issues With Zoom Security for Users

zoom

Episode 1683

Zoom operates a web server on your mac when you use it, and if you uninstall it, the server stays on your computer and is a security risk. Leo says he understands why it was designed that way, but having to keep it on your computer makes your computer a bot, and that's a bad thing. Zoom was also reporting your personal data to Facebook if you installed it on a mobile device. VERY BAD. When initially apprised on it, they didn't act right away. Now they're saying they have halted development to fix the problem.

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.  

How can I stop Apple from charging me for things I didn't authorize?

Apple

Episode 1676

George from Laguna Nigel, CA

George is being billed hundreds of dollars by Apple that he didn't authorize. He tried changing the credit card, and they just resubmit the bill. But he doesn't get an email from Apple letting him know the charge is being made. Leo advises going to your iTunes store account settings and look at your purchase history. It will also show subscriptions. The itemized purchase history, though, will enable you to track down where the charges are coming from. It may also be in-app purchases that are causing it and you can remove those.