Security and Privacy

Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.

Should I use a VPN on cruise ship Wi-Fi?

Cruise Ship

Episode 1538

John from Fallbrook, CA

Leo says whenever he's on communal Wi-Fi, as he will be on the cruise, a hotel, or a coffee shop, everyone's on the same network. Nowadays, places like these are getting better about making it more secure, and it isn't as risky as it used to be. But there is a potential risk that someone else on that network could snoop on him. Whenever he's using email, shopping on Amazon, or banking, all of that traffic is already encrypted. Leo thinks using a VPN on cruise ship Wi-Fi would probably slow his connection down to a point where he wouldn't be able to stream content online.

Why am I not getting my Windows updates?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1532

Steve from Tacoma, WA

Steve's Windows 10 machine won't update beyond 1803. Leo says that Microsoft pulled 1809 because of some bugs. It will be fixed and available again soon, though. Feature updates aren't critical — it's just the security updates that are important. But if it's preventing him from getting security updates, then it could mean the update is blocked and he'll have to clear 1803 in order to get back to updating. Microsoft has a troubleshooter for blocked updates, and Leo recommends running it.

How can I stop robocalls?

woman on phone

Episode 1531

Jessie from Durango, CO

Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cell phone calls will be robocalls. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas. They forge the caller ID, and will even do it with the recipient's area code and prefix. The reality is, legitimate companies will not be calling. They'll be using mail. Jessie can log her number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.

How can I reactivate my Facebook account?

Facebook

Episode 1529

Tom from Carson, CA

Tom's wife hasn't been able to log into Facebook since last Friday. Leo says that last Friday Facebook logged over 90 million people out of their accounts due to a hack. Many were deactivated until they can prove it's their account. And with over 90 million compromised accounts, it could take awhile. When her account is reactivated, she will have to re-login manually, turn on 2 factor authentication, and it would be a good idea to change her password.

Has China Hacked All Our Corporations?

Episode 1529

According to Bloomberg, China added a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, to network motherboards that would allow China to Spy on corporations. The chip was discovered by Amazon Security, which notified federal authorities. The servers were created by Chinese company Elemental, and are on everything from network business servers to NAVY WARSHIPS. Investigators have discovered that the chips were installed by the PRC at the manufacturing plant. But here's the twist ... everyone is now denying it.

Should I renew my antivirus subscription?

Antivirus

Episode 1528

Bob from Ventura, CA

Bob has noticed that Leo hasn't been advocating for antivirus software lately, and his subscription is expiring. Should he renew it? Leo says that most malware hacks are Zero Day now, and security programs aren't really effective against them. Antivirus software even can cause problems. In general, antivirus software isn't really worth subscribing to. Windows Defender is free and offers protection that is perfectly fine. The best defense is his online behavior, and keeping the OS updated.