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Staying Safe On Linux, Streaming To A TV, And More

Chromecast

Alan in Ackerman, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk FM and asked:

With the current e-mail scare of people hacking into your accounts, what is the best way to secure yourself on a Linux OS?

 

There’s really not that much for you to do, Linux is a pretty secure OS as long as you have a strong passwords and don’t use a root superuser as you main user.

Linux is Unix based and has used a pretty strong privilege system from the start, so not only is it far less likely to be attacked by malware since Linux is a smaller target and bad guys will likely try to attack Windows first for the numbers, but also if they do and you’re not running a superuser, they’re limited in what they can do.

Linux is a pretty secure OS as long as you have a strong passwords and don’t use a root superuser as you main user.

If you’re worried about hacked accounts though, your biggest risk is probably outside your computer itself. Most stolen passwords are not gotten through sophisticated hacking into servers or anything like you see in the movies, they’re just stolen by tricking a user into typing into a website that mimics a legitimate one.

So if you want to protect yourself from having your accounts hacked, be careful not to click on anything that looks like it could be a phishing email, use strong, hard to guess passwords, and make sure the recovery questions you use for websites are not questions everyone would have the answer to, like “what’s your pet’s name?” when you been plastering Facebook or Twitter with pictures of your cat with the text “look at Mittens! he’s so cute,” or “what city were you born in?” when Facebook says “Alan lives in Ackerman, he went to Ackerman Highschool, he works at Ackerman Hospital, here’s a picture of him as a child at Ackerman Playpen” and so on.

Linux probably won’t be the weakest link in the chain, the threats will probably target you more than your operating system, so make sure you’re careful when you interact with the outside world. If you want to make sure your operating system is as safe it can be, stay updated to the latest version of your distribution of choice, use strong password, and make your day to day user one with limited privileges.

Linux probably won’t be the weakest link in the chain, the threats will probably target you more than your operating system

Most Linux users don’t bother with this, but you can also install something like the Sophos antivirus, it’s free and it’s another layer of security.

 

When it comes to strong passwords, most security experts are now recommending a “pass-PHRASE.” A collection of three unrelated words, say for instance “AppleSparrowDriveway,” has been determined to be stronger even than a random collection of letters and numbers, and a darn sight easier to remember. You can capitalize letters as needed and add non-alphabetic characters as well, but the passphrase is the new strong password.

And, in case we didn’t make it plain enough, we’ll just wrap up by saying that you’ve already made yourself quite secure from any hacks, just by running Linux. Rest easy!

Leslie in Decatur, Illinois listening on News/Talk 1340 WSOY asked:

“I have a smartphone and tablet, (Samsung Note 3) but a dumb TV. I plan to replace my TV soon. What kind of TV do I get so I can watch content from my phone on the TV. Do I need any special cords or adapters. THANKS… LOVE THE SHOW!!!”

 

You can use special special adapters and cords, but if you’re going to replace your TV anyway, you might as well get one that let’s you view your content without needing them. Any TV (smart or not) that is DLNA compatible should be able to play content straight from your other DLNA devices. Your Samsung devices will call DLNA “AllShare” it’s the same thing, they just gave it a different name, you’ll need to set up AllShare on your phone, but any DLNA device will be able to talk to it.

If you want to go even cheaper than a TV that supports DLNA, you can always just get a cheap device like a Chromecast to watch your content that way, at $35 it won’t make a huge difference in the prize of a TV and it will give you plenty of streaming sources beyond what’s already saved to your phone.

You can always just get a cheap device like a Chromecast

The Chromecast might even be the best option, because it will work with ANY device running an up-to-date version of Android, and not just your phone. So if you buy a tablet, or a friend comes over and wants to play something off their phone, Chromecast will get it done without requiring that it be DLNA compatible.

Apple users, you have the same option using Apple TV. Being Apple, of course, it’s $69 for the Third Generation unit and $149 for the current Fourth Generation, compared to the Chromecast’s $35, but we should all be used to that by now.

Hank in Glendale, Texas listens on 97.5 KTBB and asked:

“I’m a little techno challenged. I live way out in the country. We have a TV antenna on the roof because there’s no cable service out there and there’s nothing really worth buying on TV. Are we gonna lose this service in the future?”

 

It’s hard to say. In 2013 (the last year we have data for) a poll was conducted that showed that almost 10% of the population relied on over-the-air TV alone for their TV content, you’d think that number would mean that OTA broadcasts would be safe, but that’s not necessarily the case.

The FCC is currently in the process of trying to buy back broadband that was given to broadcasters for free decades ago. The idea is to free up bandwidth that mobile internet providers can use to keep up with demand. While that doesn’t look great for free TV, keep in mind that the numbers are old, and very few young people have any interest in paying for cable. Free TV and mostly internet streaming are the preferred options of the newer generations.

Also, no one really expects big network affiliates to be selling their frequencies yet, the FCC is hoping smaller stations local stations, and foreign language broadcasters might consider it, but no one is expecting that suddenly a network like CBS, or ABC for example, will decide to go off the air.

For now you should be just fine, over-the-air TV is not going anywhere in the short term, in the long term, who knows… but you will get plenty of signs that their time is coming to an end. While it’s there just enjoy your free TV and, worst case, years and years down the line you may have to tune in online, but by then you may not even notice the change if you’re already streaming or accessing the content some other way.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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