security

Can you use something other than a fingerprint for Touch ID?

Episode 1178

Brad from Peoria, IL
Apple iPhone 6

Brad hears that you don't have to use your fingerprint for Apple's Touch ID -- you can actually use other body parts. Knuckles, palms, and even noses can work. Some guitar players or construction workers who have callouses on their fingers may not be able to use fingerprints. So for those people, they need to think outside the box.

How secure are smartphones?

Derek from Seattle, WA

Episode 1177

Derek wants to know how secure cellphones are today versus 20 years ago. Leo says that they are secure because of digital networks that are encrypted. Back in the 90s, cell phones were analog, making them really easy to eavesdrop and "snarf." It was even possible to clone them. But just because you have digital security, doesn't mean you're completely secure. Law enforcement can pay a small fee and get the meta data from your wireless company via a pen register request. Also, there's GPS data, super cookies, and social interaction.

Do I need firewalls if I have a router?

Joe from Canton, OH

Episode 1175

Joe just got a router and wants to know if he really needs firewalls anymore. Leo says no. Joe could turn on the Windows firewall, but any third party firewall isn't really needed because the router is essentially a "dumb box" that prevents attacks from incoming traffic.

Routers, though, aren't impervious to attack, so he'll need to keep the firmware up to date, or even use a third party firmware like Tomato or DDWRT.

The 'UPDATE' Protocol Explains How to Protect Yourself Online

Episode 1172

Leo had talked to Mark Goodman, the author of a book called "Future Crimes," who is a former LAPD officer that got roped into computer forensics early on. This book is a good look at where we stand right now in global security and what we can do about it. One of the reasons Leo wants to recommend the website, FutureCrimesBook.com, is because there's a really good section of it called "The UPDATE Protocol." This echoes things Leo has said for a long time on the show, and it's all in one place.

Why doesn't Apple put Touch ID on a mouse?

Episode 1172

Les from United Kingdom
Apple Magic Mouse

Les is interested in Touch ID and how it can be used with laptops. Why hasn't Apple integrated this into computers yet? Leo says that Touch ID is a great new feature in the iPhone, and a better fingerprint reader is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S6 too. But if Apple doesn't see a market for it on a computer, they won't offer it. But if they notice others doing it, then Apple will swoop in and do it better.

Some are using the Knock app, but Leo's had mixed results with it. The chatroom says the Mac ID app will do it.

How can I tell if my email account has been hacked?

Elizabeth from Venicia, CA

Episode 1172

Elizabeth got an email from her friend that included suspicious links, and she's wondering if his email account was spoofed. She looked in the header, but didn't see anything. How can she find out if it was spoofed? Leo says the tale is the CCs. They would only be able to put so many addresses in a field, and if they are using multiple fields, then she'll know the person has cracked the account. Yahoo has always had security issues. So the account has been hacked and there's all kinds of ways to do it. First thing to do is change the password, and make it a difficult one.