Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Ed has an Apple Mac Air that he uses with Tunnel Bear VPN. He wants to do whatever he can to protect himself from identity theft. Leo says that there are several things he can do. First, register his own email domain. That way, anything that he signs up for, will come to him and he can see if that information gets sold. Then he can block the address because he knows it's been sold. Check out MySudo.com. It lets users create a unique email and phone number for signups that aren't related to their own email.
Kyle is working from home and wants to beef up his home network security. Leo says that Kyle's work is probably using "endpoint security," which uses software on Kyle's computer to protect him. So he wants to be careful not to compete with that. Being on a home network with IoT devices, though, could be a weak link.
Ed wants to know if he needs 2-factor authentication if he's using a fingerprint to log in. Leo says that having a secondary authentication makes him more secure. But a fingerprint is pretty secure by itself. Banks also require a password plus the fingerprint or face recognition. That's pretty good. He will want to be sure his phone is kept in good control.
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 user credit cards by showing false positives from the Windows Event Viewer. The popup isn't actively harmful, but it is annoying. He can go into Programs-Features-Find PC Accelerator Pro and remove it. If it isn't there, then he'll need to Google PC Accelerator Pro Removal Guide. But be careful, some of those can be malware themselves.
Reacting to the recent SolarWinds hack by Russia, the US has created a new Cybersecurity for Emerging Technologies agency. Leo says that it will largely focus on security and diplomacy.
Peter wants to know if he can roll his own VPN using a NAS. Leo says he can create a VPN using any computer. It just needs a VPN server. OpenVPN is one such. WireGuard is the best choice. It's part of Linux already. But if he's thinking of doing it to work, make sure he has permission to do so.
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.
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.
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.
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.