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Ask Leo! #437 – He’s Back! Letting your neighbor share your WiFi, cookies, keyloggers, clipboards and more…

*** Featured

If I let my neighbor share my WiFi, can they see my network traffic?

I have a home network with three computers (two desktops connected with ethernet cables to a Linksys router; laptop is wireless). The wireless signal is encrypted and I gave my next-door neighbors my network key so they can wirelessly connect just to check email, do banking, etc. They are not on my home network, but can they still see where I am surfing (such as my bank site with passcodes, etc.)?

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Let me, at least, make one important correction to what you've described:

If you give someone access to your wireless access point, you have given them access to your home network.

They're on it.

Now, what they can see depends on a number of things but to be blunt...

I hope you trust them.

Continue reading: If I let my neighbor share my WiFi, can they see my network traffic?
http://ask-leo.com/C2395

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*** Answercast

Answercast #100 - Stuttering music, blank email drafts, clipboard warnings, fooling keyloggers and more...

Ever wonder why you are getting clipboard notices or why websites like to put stuff on your computer? Need to know if you can remove updates or fool keyloggers with Lastpass? Finding blank messages in your drafts folder? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #100 - Stuttering music, blank email drafts, clipboard warnings, fooling keyloggers and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6368

Why do some sites ask to store information on my machine?
Sites download information onto your hard drive to create a smooth user experience. There is a simple action that will solve the whole problem.
Continue reading: Why do some sites ask to store information on my machine?
http://ask-leo.com/C6369

Can I remove all these updates listed in add/remove programs?
Removing updates from "Add-Remove Programs" would be a bad idea. You would be removing updates that your system needs to run smoothly and safely.
Continue reading: Can I remove all these updates listed in add/remove programs?
http://ask-leo.com/C6370

Can I move this green block of files in disk defragmenter?
A green bar in disk defragmenter shows files on the hard drive that cannot be moved. Usually nothing to worry about.
Continue reading: Can I move this green block of files in disk defragmenter?
http://ask-leo.com/C6371

Will Roboform or Lastpass bypass keyloggers?
A password tool may bypass a few keyloggers - but that's no reason to use it. You should be thinking of your overall computer and account safety.
Continue reading: Will Roboform or Lastpass bypass keyloggers?
http://ask-leo.com/C6372

Is a longer password of repeating characters more secure than a short password made up of random characters?
A longer password of repeating characters is more secure than a short complicated password. They are not cracked letter by letter.
Continue reading: Is a longer password of repeating characters more secure than a short password made up of random characters?
http://ask-leo.com/C6373

Why might streaming music play only with starts and stops?
Music that starts and stops while streaming indicates some resource is overloaded. We'll check for overloads on both the internet and locally on your computer.
Continue reading: Why might streaming music play only with starts and stops?
http://ask-leo.com/C6374

Why are blank messages showing up in my Hotmail Drafts folder?
Blank messages in your drafts folder don't necessarily indicate a hacker. There could be a less nefarious explanation.
Continue reading: Why are blank messages showing up in my Hotmail Drafts folder?
http://ask-leo.com/C6375

Why am I asked about putting a lot of things on the clipboard? And what's a clipboard?
A message saying you have lots of things on the clipboard is common and nothing to worry about. It's simply managing the information you have copied into memory.
Continue reading: Why am I asked about putting a lot of things on the clipboard? And what's a clipboard?
http://ask-leo.com/C6376

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Featured Comments

Has LastPass had a security breach?

chovy writes:

I don't believe lastpass is that secure. I use it for firefox and it supposedly encrypts the password locally and then stores that value on the server. HOWEVER - I then logged into my lastpass.com account in safari and was able to see all my passwords. SO they absolutely can decrypt your data on their server, I used no plugin in Safari. I think its totally possible they could get hacked, or be compelled to release passwords w/ a court order.

They did NOT decrypt on the server. The encrypted information was downloaded into Safari, and decrypted there, on your PC. Lastpass remains safe.

-Leo

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What's in it for the creators of malware?

Mike writes:

I think there is one other noteworthy category, namely sophisticated malware that is used to spy on organizations and governments and cause major trouble, such as Stuxnet, Flame and recently Red October. I'm not sure how widespread they are, but one of the concerns with them is that if that kind of sophisticated software ends up in the wrong hands, it could perhaps be used to make malware even more malicious.

Espionage is overrated. :-) That's not to say it doesn't exist, just that the average computer user is impacted much more by more pedestrian money-making efforts.

-Leo

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'm back!

Or, rather, I'm in the process of ramping up the engine that is Ask Leo!, and getting back in the saddle.

Rather then make this newsletter even longer, I have a write-up of my sabbatical, how it wasn't really a sabbatical and ultimately why the very future of Ask Leo! was at risk. Yep, I needed to take some time away to assess my priorities and desires. You'll find it here: Leo's 2013 Sabbatical Results.

Don't bother reading that if all you want is tech help, news and information - I won't be offended. This is more about Ask Leo! behind the scenes, and why I do what I do.

(The TL;DR version: Ask Leo! will continue, the newsletter stays weekly, quality will hopefully improve and eventually the site will get better looking.)

As I said, I'm back but ramping things back up, so today's newsletter still contains a featured article which is a selection from The Best of Ask Leo!, and a new Answercast, pre-recorded before I left.

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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