What antivirus should I get with my new laptop?

Jim from Yorba Linda, CA

Episode 1070

Jim is buying a new Dell computer and wants to know what antivirus software he should get? Leo says first, an antivirus can't protect him against yourself. It should just be used as a backstop. He will be the first line of defense.

Windows actually has a good antivirus solution built into Windows 8 called Windows Defender. That'll work just fine as long as he keeps it up to date. He should also make sure he runs as a standard user, not an administrator. And don't click on links in emails.

What's the best antivirus?

Bobby from Las Vegas, NV

Episode 1068

Bobby wants to know what Anti Virus he should use. Leo says that AVS software isn't as important as behavior. If he's very careful with his online behavior, then having an antivirus is a good last line of defense. But if he isn't being safe online with his behavior, AVS really won't save him from himself.

Here's what Bobby should do:

Should I get a desktop computer with Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Rick from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1039

Leo thinks that Windows 7 is the best version of Windows ever. Microsoft has decided to move everyone to a tablet interface, with big tiles that can be tapped with a finger. Windows 8 is really designed for touch, and is a hybrid between a desktop and tablet interface, which makes it confusing. If Rick can get a Windows 7 system, then he should do that. If he stays with Windows XP, he'll be vulnerable to attacks when Microsoft stops supporting it this Spring.

Is banking online safe with the iPhone?

Waxman from California

Episode 1033

Waxman sometimes logs into his bank with his iPhone and is concerned about malware. Apple must approve all apps in the app store, so there aren't viruses to warrant needing an antivirus program. The apps are also segregated with no data sharing between them. So it's a pretty closed system. Android, by contrast, allows for the sale of antivirus apps because it's pretty wide open. The bigger issue is the wireless networking that he's using. But the bank data is encrypted, so there's no real issue.

Is "TechVantedge" a scam?

Carole from Pasadena, CA

Episode 992

Carole's neighbor was sending email using Hotmail to inform her friends of a new address. After that, she wasn't able to log back into Hotmail. Simply sending mail out on Hotmail will not compromise her account. It's possible that someone did guess her password and compromised it that way, but since she can still access the account from work, that's probably not the case. It's likely a browser issue on her home computer.