Security and Privacy

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

How can I get my gmail account back from a hacker?

Episode 1408

Clinton from Alberta, Canada
Code

Clinton's Google account was hacked, and the password recovery was changed to another email address. Leo says that's why Google and Leo recommends 2 Factor Authentication so that he would be contacted should a password change happen. He can also use a secondary email. Clinton can contact Google and they can perhaps get his account back by answering questions that only he would know about.

He should keep in mind that if he used this as a recovery email for other sites, they are vulnerable as well. So he'll have to get it back ASAP before more damage is done.

What should I do after my phone was stolen?

Episode 1408

Richard from Highland Park, CA
Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Richard's cell phone was stolen. Leo says that's usually a dumb crime because most often the phone simply can't be used anymore because they have kill switches in them. They also have the Find my iPhone option which allows the police to find them. But what about his data? Leo says that he can remote wipe the data, and if it's locked, it'll erase if the password is not properly inputted ten times. Most thieves don't really want the data, though, they want to sell the phone. But Richard should wipe the phone to be sure. For Google users, the data has been backed up to the Google account.

Kaspersky AntiVirus May be Linked to Russian Spying

Episode 1408

Kaspersky Anti Virus

The news came out this week that Kaspersky AntiVirus may be linked to Russian spying of both the Russian Government and the FSB. Kaspersky has responded by offering free antivirus in the hope that people will see that as a legitimate solution. Leo wants to know if anyone will use it. It could contain time released malware that could wreak havoc.

Read more at forbes.com.

Should I copy protect my eBook?

Episode 1407

Mike from Woodland Hills, CA
EBook

Mike has written an ebook and he wants to know if he should copy protect it. He's going to be giving it away for students to see if they like it. The LA Sparks want him to copy protect it. Leo says he's not a fan of DRM because it simply doesn't work. He needs to figure out a way for a limited amount of students to be able to access his book as part of a 'beta test.' Leo says he'll need to have an authentication server to verify it. Lock Lizard is one option that uses an open source DRM scheme.

How can I stop getting malware?

Steven from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1404

Steven got a virus on his computer and it keeps coming back. The tech says they are getting into his computer through his IP address. Leo says that they don't know what they're talking about. He can't get it that way and if they're trying to sell him software to fix it, then he needs to find a new technician to repair his computer.

Leo suggests trying Geek Squad at Best Buy. They're a good place to start. At least it's a technician that's local, that he can visit. But at the end of the day though, his best defense is his online behavior.

How should I back up my data?

Episode 1400

Steve from Riverside, CA
Synology DS416 Slim

Steve is in the process of digitizing everything and backing it up. Now he needs to consider backup options. Leo says the first thing he should do is make sure his data is encrypted. Windows 10 Pro offers BitLocker, which uses full disk encryption that unencrypts when he logs into his Windows account. He should be careful not to lose his password or certificates. He should back those up and keep them in a safe place.