security

How can I recover my Windows 7 administrator password?

Episode 1128

Kal from Erie, PA
Password

Kal took Leo's advice and created a second user account for his wife, so she wouldn't be using the administrator account for day to day use. But then he lost the administrator password. Leo says there are bootable discs that he can use to reset the password. Here's a support document from Microsoft that will help him reset the password. He can use another computer to create this disc.

Can I replace my computer with a tablet?

Episode 1125

Tara from Venice, CA
Acer Chromebook

Tara has a lot of computer stuff that she really doesn't need. Can she use an iPad and still do online banking securely? Leo says Tara can, but it's more dependent on the security of the bank than the iPad. If the bank's security is up to date, then absolutely she can do it. Leo also says she can keep her Wi-Fi and use a Wi-Fi enabled Chromebook instead. It's essentially a browser based computer with nothing else. Just about everything she does is online these days, and that makes the Chromebook an excellent and secure alternative.

How can I bypass a hard drive lock?

Episode 1122

"Old Geek in the Bronx" from New York
Hard drive

"The Old Geek in the Bronx" has an issue with a computer repair that the Geek Squad did, where they password protected the hard drive preventing access to the system. The Geek Squad denies they did it! Leo says that searching for "cracking a locked hard drive" on Google, he can find some solutions. Dell says they can unlock a hard drive if he would ship it to them. Hard drive passwords are very secure and difficult to break. And he'll probably have to buy gold support from Dell to do it, but he can.

Does Facebook really have full access to my smartphone?

Mark from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1120

Leo says yes, this is true, but it isn't something to worry about. Both Apple and Android require that developers request permission to do things on the smartphone. Apps can request to have access to the phone dialer, texting, microphone and more. It does cause concerns among users primarily because they don't know why these apps are requesting such permissions. For example, in order to use Facebook Messenger to make a phone call or send out a text, the app needs access to the phone's operating system to do it. Otherwise the app won't have that functionality.

Does my printer have a memory that can be hacked?

Episode 1120

Mike from Orange County, CA
printer

Mike has a printer that he needs to have repaired, but he's worried that the printer memory could get hacked. Leo says that it's definitely possible. But Leo doesn't think it's really a cause of concern. At best, it'll only remember the last job it had. So it's not really that big of an issue, just a theoretical concern. Just because the memory is there, doesn't mean it can be accessed or that it will even stay there once it's unplugged.

Keep Your Data Secure in the Cloud

After the recent iCloud security breach that released private celebrity photos, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your data in the cloud. Apple has released a statement saying that it was not a failure of iCloud or Find My iPhone that resulted in these photos getting out -- it was a deliberate and targeted attack. That being said, here are a few ways you can keep your data more secure online:

Use Strong Passwords

How can I keep data secure on the iPhone?

Episode 1116

Adam from The Bronx, NY
Password

Adam has been keeping his bank information and passwords in the notes section of the iPhone, and he's wondering how secure that really is. Leo says that having different passwords for every account is a good thing and using a password manager is the best way to handle them. So take that next step and get LastPass. He should also turn on second factor authentication on every site that supports it.