Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Richard is having problems logging into Windows on an old HP computer. He's tried to reset the password, but it's not communicating with Microsoft. Leo says that if there isn't anything on the computer he can't afford to lose, then the best thing is probably to start over and reinstall Windows. Not just reset. But reinstall with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Make sure to erase the existing accounts. Start completely over. And that's not a bad thing, because whoever worked on the computer before, clearly messed up the reset.
Jan is trying to fire up an old HP laptop and it's asking for a Windows login password. She doesn't know it. It's Windows 8. Leo says that there are some cracks that can hack a Windows 8 login. But she needs to be careful that she isn't making the problem worse with malware. If she doesn't need the data, the easiest would be to wipe the laptop and reinstall Windows. Then, if she has a backup, she can just restore it.
Vick is concerned with network security, especially with ransomware. Leo says it's important to adopt a layered approach to online security, especially with employees. Train your employees to be able to identify so-called Phishing attacks and malware. Be aware of spear-phishing attacks, especially when working from home via VPN. Password management is important, too, with rotating passwords. Have good offline backups, so if your network is compromised, you can get back up and running. It's a complicated full-time job, but it's worth hiring someone to do it.
Amazon Sidewalk will begin operating on June 8th, and it's got the media sounding what Leo calls a scare tactic. What Amazon Sidewalk is, will be a wireless network for things like location tracking of tagged animals and devices and the white paper indicates Sidewalk will be private and secure. It uses Amazon Echo and Alexa to create a neighborhood-wide mesh network for being able to locate your devices.
Mario picked up a new HP computer, and he's now constantly getting popups when he's online. How does he get rid of them? Leo says that there's malware that can cause popups. Leo thinks Mario may have some malware installed on his computer from visiting a site he shouldn't have. It's a very common issue for Windows machines. Leo recommends going to the Windows recovery menu (Windows Key plus R) and select "reset this PC." If that doesn't do the job, you may need to go for the more radical option and have Windows reinstall itself. That's in the same menu.
Vee wants to know if she needs any more protection than her router to keep her safe online while she's teaching. She doesn't need to add anything to the router itself, but the best thing is to guard her online behavior and keep everything online up to date. Update the OS regularly, when available, as well as the apps. Your browser should automatically update. Also, the router needs to be kept up to date and periodically, it pays to look for an update for it. Also, change the password from default. Turn off WAN administration. And turn off UPnP (Universal Plug n Play).
Now that EDGE has replaced Internet Explorer as Microsoft's default browser, the company has announced a new Kids mode that can be turned on in the settings. There are two modes based on age .... 5-8, and 9-12, which can whitelist various websites and block others. Leo says that whitelisting will help parents to prevent their kids from going to sites they don't want them to visit. If a kid wants to go to a page that's not on the White List, a parent can be asked for permission.
Richard is having a major problem with Facebook. Someone hacked into his account and altered all his information. So he's lost complete control of every account he uses. Leo says that's what Two Factor Authentication , with an authenticator app. It can guard against. You can also set up trusted contacts, which can aid in verifying who you are as you are trying to get control back. But since it's too late for that, you can only hope to get ahold of someone at Facebook to get help in getting control of your account back.