Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Should I use a VPN while on a cruise?

Episode 1391

Charles from Sugarland, TX
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Charles and his family are going on a cruise and want to know if his devices need to run through a VPN. Leo says there are some risks, but not as much on an iPad. Google has been pushing for https everywhere, meaning that his search activity is encrypted. But that's not stopping someone from using a Wi-Fi sniffer called a Pineapple or Wireshark to figure out what his access point name is. A wise thing to do would be to forget his home network before he goes. Another option is the Tiny Hardware Firewall.

How safe is my internet of things network with a mesh router?

Episode 1390

Paul from Louisville, KY
Eero

Paul is wondering if the Eero router would give him greater security with his network based security cameras. Leo says that the most vulnerable items are those that are part of the so-called "internet of things" category because they are rarely updated for security. So if they get hacked, not only will the hackers have access to the cameras, but also the entire network. The Eero router has far greater security, because it's designed with internet of things devices in mind. But Leo says that we can also help by not buying devices that aren't updatable.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1390

Johnny Jet

Johnny Jet says that he made a big mistake when renting a car recently because he forgot to request a toll tag when renting a car. He didn't know you could, so it was a new tip he learned. If you're planning on renting a car for a trip, always request a toll tag so you don't have to pay the tolls while traveling — or so you won't get a ticket.

How can I access my email anywhere?

Episode 1390

Steve from Mission Viejo, CA
Gmail

Steve would like to have access to his email from another device. Leo says he'll want to make sure his email client is set to IMAP, if his provider supports it. Then he can leave the email on the server when he reads it from his device. He should also make sure his port settings are properly configured. Leo also recommends setting up his own Gmail account, and then have it go get his email from Cox. Then he can have it on the Gmail server, which is accessible everywhere. It's also better for spam.

How do I use two factor authentication on iCloud?

Episode 1390

Eric from New Jersey
iCloud

Eric has heard that iCloud is going to require two factor authentication for third party apps. Is that true? Leo says it is, and it's a good idea. The problem is that not all apps have a two factor authentication scheme, so Apple has a work around by requiring an app specific password as well. Starting June 15th, if he doesn't have two factor enabled, he'll be forced to do it. From there, he'll have to re-login with a second unique one time password.

Does Antivirus Software keep PCs safe?

Episode 1389

Alan from Los Angeles, CA
Antivirus symbol

Alan wants to know if an antivirus utility is any good anymore for malware. How about on a mobile device? Leo says that all too often, an antivirus leaves people more vulnerable because most malware is a zero day exploit. Antivirus can't stop users from themselves, either. All antivirus utilities have to hook themselves into the OS at a very low level and the virus can actually use that as a door to more exploits. So at the end of the day, an antivirus really is only of limited benefit.

How can I translate a manuscript using a computer?

Jerry from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1389

Jerry just got back from a trip to Italy and his friend gave him his book manuscript that's written in Italian. How can he translate it? Leo says that no computer is going to do a translation that will sound natural — at least not yet. For now, a human will always do a better job translating in an idiomatic fashion, but it's not cheap.