Security and Privacy

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

How can I get my home security system to work on my windows?

SimpliSafe Entry Sensor

Episode 1556

Ron from Warsaw, IN

Ron bought a SimpliSafe home security system, but he doesn't know how to install the sensors on windows that crank outward. Leo says that's not going to work if they close a circuit like magnets. There are other kinds of sensors, including strip sensors that can work with it. They're designed for casement windows. But will they work with Ron's system? Only SimpliSafe knows for sure.

(Disclaimer: SimpliSafe is a sponsor)

Do I need to pay for antivirus software?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1556

Kevin from Moreno Valley, CA

Kevin has an old laptop and wants to know if he needs Webroot antivirus. Leo says that back in the day, Webroot was very good. But lately, If he's able to update to Windows 10, Windows has its own antivirus called Windows Defender which is very good. Before Windows 10, Microsoft had Windows Security Essentials. Both are essentially the same, and they're free.

Is 2 Factor Authentication by SMS secure?

Smartphone and computer

Episode 1555

Carmine from Chicago, IL

Carmine has 2 factor authentication on most of his systems, but some use SMS, and he thinks that's not very secure. Leo says that there will always be a trade-off between security and convenience. But SMS is far easier to crack than independent authentication through an authenticator. Leo says to contact the cellphone company and have them put their additional layer of authentication on her phone.

How can I retrieve deleted data from a smartphone app?

iPhone 5

Episode 1554

Laurie from Burbank, CA

Laurie's father had a security camera that would send videos to his iPhone. They've since been deleted, and he recently passed away, but she wants to find a way to recover them. How can she do that? Leo says that if the videos were deleted off the phone's SD card, they can be recovered. But another option is to look and see if there's a cloud backup option. If there is, the app may have uploaded the video to the cloud. There is a company called Cellebrite that can take the data off the phone as well.

Glitter Bomb Vs Package Thief

Bomb

Episode 1551

Mark Rober, former NASA engineer, got fed up with package thieves and decided to do something about it. So he made a glitter bomb using an Apple HomePod box with a fake mailing label with the name 'Kevin McAllister' from the Home Alone movies. Inside the box, he had four smartphones with cameras that were recording, and an engine that spun with glitter. He also had aerosol cans with odor that would spray a nasty smell. The video of this with the reactions of the thieves has 45 million views on YouTube.

Top Tech Stories of 2018

Facebook

Episode 1552

1. Facebook had a terrible year, starting with leaked information to Cambridge Analytica of up to 87 million users. It lost 19% value, up to $100 billion, the biggest loss in the history of the stock market. Mark Zuckerberg lost $40 billion personally. And there was congressional investivations. All told, Facebook had 21 scandals centered around privacy violations. It was as bad a year as Facebook could get.

2. Apple lost 20% of its value. It went from being the first trillion dollar company to no longer holding that title.