Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Why do I have to be home to turn on my VOiP phone?

Cristina from San Diego, CA

Episode 1254

Cristina is getting rid of her landline and wants to use VOiP. But they insist someone be there during the service. Why? Leo says that is because landlines have independent power. Cable phones use VOIP. When the power goes out, the internet goes out. So they need to install a backup battery to power the system during an outage. She's also concerned about cutting the copper. Leo says they could and often do that, even though they aren't supposed to.

How can I get rid of the error messages from Shockwave?

Sandra from Bedford, IN

Episode 1254

Sandra is having issues with Shockwave on her computer. No matter what browser she uses, she gets an annoying unresponsive script error popup. She started seeing it after upgrading to Windows 10. Leo says that she doesn't really need Shockwave anymore, and she could just uninstall it. Chrome provides its own version built-in as well.

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.

Did I get a virus?

Joanne from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1254

Joanne has gotten a WinZip popup that says she needs to scan and repair her computer. Leo says that is likely a phishing scam that wanted to get her to click on something and install it. She should be very careful with links that she didn't request. She shouldn't accept offers from strangers, as it's likely malware.

How can I see who is logging into my account?

Clay from Highland, CA

Episode 1253

Clay keeps getting email from Google saying someone tried to access his account with a link to say "check your devices." Leo says it may be legit, but he should never click on links in email. Instead, if he's a Gmail user, he can go the bottom of his Gmail and find a link that gives him information on who has used his account. He shouldn't ever click on a link or button embedded in his email. It could be a spoof or phishing scam. Always go straight to the source.

Johnny Jet on Travel

Episode 1253

Johnny Jet joins us to talk about a great app called Seateroo, where you can swap seat assignments with whoever is also on the site. It usually costs per seat, and the price ranges. Think of it as StubHub for airlines. Leo wonders how the airlines feel about it, and Johnny says it's so new that they haven't chimed in yet. Seataroo holds onto the money until after the flight and then makes the transfer if everyone is happy.

How can I get back control of my router?

Paul from Tarzana, CA

Episode 1253

Paul has a NetGear cable modem/router and he suddenly can't access it to make any changes. Leo says that routers are really cheap computers and sometimes it can get bit-rotted just like any other computer. Paul should try doing a factory reset. Then he should be able to log in and re-enter all of his settings. It's a good thing to do once in a while anyway.

How can I create my own version of Jarvis for home automation?

Greg from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1252

Greg just bought a house and he's in the process of remodeling it. He wants to create a home version of Jarvis. Leo says that home automation is a geeky thing and he was hoping that Apple would make it easy with their Home Kit. That would be the best way to do it. It's the Internet of things, and his Hub would be his iPhone. He could have an iPad built into a wall, but technology changes so fast, it may be better to hang it -- not embed it. But he can have smart window shades, a Nest smart thermostat, iDevices, water sensors, and an internet enabled deadbolt lock.

Is it secure to connect to the internet through a third party router?

Mike from Grants Pass, OR

Episode 1252

Mike lives in a remote area and he usually accesses the Internet via his mobile phone. He also has point-to-point internet, which is not only expensive, but he's concerned with security because the service requires a router connection in bridge mode with DHCP. Leo says that routers can be secure as long as he connects with encryption via WPA2. Routers are essentially dumb boxes that can protect him from attacks. But that depends on how they handle their security. It can be just as secure as his home network, or it can be wide open.