Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can.
Jim got an email from Google that stated he had put in a request to terminate his account, which is something he never asked for. Leo suspects this is a phishing attempt. He should hover over the URL for the link they offer to contact them and see if it's legit. Chances are, it isn't.
Yesterday's story about Collection #1 - a package of hacked email passwords, is actually now reported to be a few years old, so the damage is not as great as previously believed. But Leo still says that it's a wise idea to go to HaveIBeenPwned.com/passwords and see if your account has been hacked. And then change your password. In fact, it may be a good idea to change it anyway, and turn on 2 factor authentication while you're at it.
According to the creator of HaveIBeenPwned.com, over 21 million passwords have been hacked and revealed on the dark web. Leo says to find out if your passwords have been hacked and stolen, head over to https://haveibeenpwned.com/passwords and input your passwords. It'll let you know if your passwords have been hacked.
Rich wants to know if connected cars that have internet can be hacked. Leo says they can indeed, but the hacker needs to be pretty close to the car to make that happen. Car companies also need to put forth more effort to make the car's computer more secure.
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)
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.
Bruce wants to know why he's being asked for his iCloud password all the time on his iPhone 8. Leo isn't sure why this happens, but it's happened to him as well. It does go away eventually. Leo thinks it's just a bug. Leo suggests going into settings, and re-entering his passwords there.
Greg wants to know if his mesh router can work with a network switch. Leo says that mesh routers prefer to handle all management on the network. He can use a switch as a hub, though, and the dumber they are, the better. TP-Link makes a 24 port switch that works great with the Eero. The key is to get an "unmanaged switch".
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.