Antivirus

Should I renew McAfee on my computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1472

Kathy from Santa Ana, CA

Kathy says she bought a new computer with McAfee antivirus, and it wants her to activate it. Should she? Leo says no way. McAfee is commonly referred to as bloatware and it's essentially advertising on her PC. Kathy will want to go into Control Panel > Apps and Features, and uninstall any program she doesn't want. The problem, though, is that many AVS programs like McAfee are difficult to uninstall completely. She may need to get an uninstaller from McAfee to get rid of it all. There already is an antivirus program built into Windows called Defender, and it's a solid program.

Should I use Norton AntiVirus?

Shield

Episode 1455

Antonio from Chico, CA

Antonio signed up for Google Docs and he's been offered Norton to protect his files. Leo says he hates antivirus, and Norton is one of the worst. Leo recommends staying with Microsoft's Defender and keep it updated. At the end of the day, it's his behavior online that will be the last line of defense. So, here are a few things he can do to protect himself online:

Should I get Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials?

Microsoft Windows Defender

Episode 1395

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Gloria uses Windows 7 and she's confused whether she uses Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. Leo says that for Windows 7, she'll need Security Essentials. But it was renamed to Windows Defender for Windows 10. She can get Microsoft Security Essentials at support.microsoft.com to download it.

How can I stop my antivirus from preventing my Windows 10 upgrade?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1362

Dale from Palmdale, CA

Dale is trying to upgrade to Windows 10, but his AVG antivirus software won't let him do it. He's tried to remove it but it still won't let him. Leo recommends going to the AVG website to download their removal/uninstaller tool. He shouldn't reinstall that either, as Windows already has its own antivirus called Windows Defender. If that doesn't work, he may have to back up his data, format the drive, and install Windows 10 from a clean hard drive.

Can antivirus software really protect me?

Microsoft Defender

Episode 1351

Joe from Corona, CA

Joe wants to know if Microsoft's antivirus can really do the job. Leo says it can, but he really doesn't need it if he's careful. He'll want to be sure he's updated everything -- OS, browser, Flash, etc. Microsoft Defender is a good thing to run, but nothing can completely protect him from his own online behavior.

(See the original question on episode 1309 of The Tech Guy.)

How can I keep my son's laptop secure?

Episode 1340

Mary from California

Mary had to get her son a computer for school and she put herself in as the admin. Leo says that's a very good idea. She can use herself as the admin and her kid as a limited user. There's also a new feature in Windows 10 which would allow her to give them a pin code to install things without having her type in the password.

Does she need MacAfee for her Antivirus? Leo says no. She should take it off. Windows 10 has its own antivirus which is quite good if she keeps it updated.

Could my external backup drive be infected by a virus?

Episode 1325

Keith from Mountain View, CA

Keith got bit by a computer virus and it corrupted the Master Boot Record. Leo says that's pretty scary because even if he wiped his hard drive and started over, the virus may still be there. Can the virus infect an external USB drive? Leo says no, unless he made it bootable. The irony is, we don't use Master Boot Records anymore -- they're a holdover from a bygone era. He'll want to be sure all his apps are up to date. Browsers, readers, Windows, the works. He can keep his antivirus updated too. Keith should still remember his best defense is his own online behavior.