privacy

Are Google Chromebooks secure enough for use in schools?

Episode 1254

Janice from Tehachapi, CA
Samsung Chromebook

Janice is hearing that her school may be getting Chromebooks. But Janice is worried the school might not want to get them because of privacy concerns with all data being stored in the cloud. Leo says that the data will be in the cloud whether it's with Google or not. And it's understandable to be concerned. The EFF tells us that we should be. So it's a legitimate issue.

FAA Requires Drone Registration Starting This Week

Episode 1247

Starting Monday, anyone who operates a drone from 0.5-55 pounds will be required to register that drone with the FAA. Leo says that the problem is that everyone's personal information will be publicly available, which is not a good thing. And the Academy of Model Aeronautics is encouraging drone operators not to register until the privacy issues are addressed. That kind of civil disobedience will get attention, but the fines of up to $25,000 and 3 years in jail for failing to do so is a steep one.

Is encryption safe?

Kevin from Beaumont, CA

Episode 1246

Kevin is worried that the government is pushing to weaken encryption and that will make it far less secure. Leo agrees. He understands why the government is worried about encryption, but at the same time, weakening it helps nobody. Is it too easy to get encryption and use it? Leo says that's an interesting point. Especially since all mobile phone communications are encrypted now. Leo says that maybe the solution is that companies should hold the keys and have the power to decrypt if the law enforcement provides a warrant.

How secure is Tor?

Juan from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1243

Juan is looking to use Tor for encrypted security. Leo says that Tor was invented by the US Navy and it works by making your traffic obscure. Tor is used for anonymity, and it's a bit difficult to set up, but using a Tor browser makes it a lot easier. If Juan is concerned about privacy online, Tor is a good option to look into.

Adjust Your Facebook Settings to Reduce Spam Friend Requests

There seems to be an increased amount of spam activity happening on Facebook lately, and you may have noticed an increase in the amount of bogus friend requests you've received. As a general rule, if you don't know the person in real life, they shouldn't be a Facebook friend. There is a way to at least reduce the amount of requests by making an adjustment in Facebook's settings.

Why do I have to use my real name on Facebook?

Jack from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1220

Jack is a teacher and he uses Facebook to keep an eye on his at-risk students in case they post suicidal thoughts online. Now Facebook is questioning whether he is a real person or not. Leo says Facebook's new policy requires users to use the same name as is on their ID. This is to prevent bogus accounts from being created, or from identities being stolen. It's likely someone complained to Facebook that Jack wasn't using his right name, even though there's a very good reason not to. Jack could Google student names and then look at their Facebook page without logging in, though.

Why does Microsoft need access to my data in Windows 10?

Episode 1209

Dave from Riverside, CA
Microsoft Windows 10

Dave wants to know more about Microsoft accessing user data in Windows 10. Leo says that Steve Gibson refuses to ever use Windows 10 because of the security features. But Leo has read the Microsoft EULA and it's no different than an ISP or any other online service. Microsoft is at least disclosing it. We have a 4th amendment right to privacy, but we also live in a dangerous time of terrorism and we have to make a provision for fighting it. There must be a balance and that's the debate that's raging.