Security and Privacy

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

Why is Authy not letting me log in to my social media?

Authy

Episode 1746

Joe from Coldwater, FL

Joe is having trouble using Authy to log into his social media accounts. Authy is an authenticator that will give you a secure way to log into websites. 

Joe also had to get a new phone after dropping his old iPhone into a pool. He took out the SIM, but now, the Authy issue has cropped up. Leo says the only way to fix it is to log into Authy, download the codes to your phone, and then try again. If that doesn't work, select "I don't have my authenticator," and they will email it to you. Then try to use it again.

You can also try turning on 2 Factor Authentication.

Apple Announces Silicon Macs, but Big Sur has Privacy Concerns

m1

Episode 1745

Apple announced their M1 based Apple Silicon Mac laptops this week, including the 13" Mac Air, 13" Mac Pro, and the Mac Mini. Leo says it's the first generation, and that's causing many to wait. Leo also says that RAM is limited to 16GB because it has been wired into the logic board. Called Unified Memory Architecture, it's known to be faster. So maybe we don't need as much RAM moving forward as we think.

Is the government monitoring my LastPass activity?

LastPass (a TWiT Sponsor)

Episode 1744

Mario from Lancaster, CA

Mario works at a government agency that has stiff security. He uses LastPass (a sponsor of the TWiT network) on his devices and wants to know if the government can see his data or his passwords? Leo says it's possible. They may have key loggers or screen readers that can see your activity and certainly monitor your online activity. He wouldn't be surprised if they have custom certificates that allow them to snoop, even if you're using encrypted security. But LastPass probably keeps Mario's activity safe. 

Why's My Computer Slowing Down When I Scan an Image?

Epson

Episode 1741

Bob from Honolulu, HI

Bob has been scanning old photos using an Epson FastFoto scanner. But it's slowing down his computer. Leo says a bug in the Epson scanning software could be slowing it down. Leo suggests going to the Epson website and making sure you have the latest drivers and software updates. But it could also be an issue thanks to macOS. Apple has been locking it down slowly and surely. Leo recommends going into the Security settings and make sure the Epson software has permission for full disk access. Also, Apple doesn't do well with the NTFS file format.

What Do I Do If I've Been Hacked?

hacker

Episode 1739

Don from Southern California

Don's friend has a PC that got infected and scammed by someone who took control of her PC by remote access. What can she do? Leo says that all hacking attempts are designed to scare her and get her to act without thinking and call a number. Once they have her on the phone, they can use a series of tricks to get her to think she'ss infected. Then, they charge her to "fix it." Leo says that odds are, the computer wasn't infected, but certainly is now thanks to the remote access hack.

What's a Good Way to Remember Passwords?

LastPass

Episode 1737

Dan from New Jersey

Dan wants to know what password vault or manager to use for his 90-year-old father. Leo says passwords are annoying, to be sure. Everyone wants a password now, and it can be very problematic to remember a unique and random password to stay secure. So people use the same password over and over. It may not be an issue for logging into Facebook, but for your bank, it's a bad thing.

Have I been hacked?

Microsoft's Autoruns

Episode 1736

Chris from Orange County, CA

Chris bought a new HP Envy laptop a few months ago and he's not all that impressed with it. It's nice, but he is having issues with a wandering cursor that opens things up and moving around. It looks like someone has connected to it and done something. But when he steps in front of it, it stops. Leo says that it's likely the computer has a remote access trojan on it and someone is hunting around. When he steps in front of the webcam, it stops. So that tells Leo someone is playing around. 

Can I Use a VPN on a Chromebook?

ExpressVPN

Episode 1733

Phillip from California via Cleveland

Phillip wants to know if ExpressVPN will work on a Chromebook. Leo says he can set it up for a Chromebook, there's a ChromeOS app here. Customers will almost always want to pay for a VPN service to ensure that they aren't selling activity to pay the bills. Also, read their privacy policy. Leo's checked out ExpressVPN and they are legit.

One can also "roll their own" VPN through a router, but that doesn't give the benefit of being geographically anonymous. 

Have I Removed All Remote Access Software?

finder

Episode 1731

Lori from Orange, CA

Lori googled how to remove remote access apps on her Mac, and she was able to remove them after Apple walked her through it. But she's worried that she didn't get it all. Leo says that if Apple took them off, it's a good chance Lori is fine. It's easy to get paranoid about a computer because it does a lot of things we don't understand. The only concern is that when Lori gave the original technician remote access, that he could've installed something else she doesn't know about. If she's really worried, she can always back up her data, format her hard drive, and then reinstall macOS.