Antivirus

How can I close out of Google Chrome in Windows 8?

Episode 1172

Lucy from Torrance, CA
Google Chrome

Lucy is having trouble with Chrome and she's tried to remove it, but can't. Leo says it's probably gone into "metro mode." If she sees the hamburger menu of four lines, click on that and she should get out of it. It may also be the sign of an infection that has modified the browser. She should try pressing F11. That will take it out of full screen mode. At that point, she should be able to close it. CTRL-ALT-Delete will work as well.

How can I keep Internet Explorer from crashing?

Cathy from La Verne, CA

Episode 1172

Cathy is having a problem with Internet Explorer crashing. Leo says that if that's the problem, chances are there's something system wide happening. Leo advises resetting the browser to see if that fixes it. She can go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset.

Cathy could also reinstall it, and Microsoft has information on how to do that here.

Is "Google Redirects" malware?

David from Herndon, VA

Episode 1166

David has been having issues with Google Redirects, which takes him nowhere. Is that malware? Leo says yes. It's a common practice of evoking the names of trusted companies. It's most definitely a virus or malware designed to redirect him to either more malware laden pages or advertisers that they want. But he'd have to install it. This is why it's important to run as a limited or standard user, and not an administrator. David tried to uninstall, but it won't. Leo says that's because malware doesn't want to be uninstalled, so they make it very hard to remove.

What's the best free antivirus software?

Greg from Camarillo, CA

Episode 1114

Greg has been using AVG and he's ready to move to another option. Leo says he's not much of a fan of AVG, and instead recommends Microsoft's Security Essentials. Windows 8 doesn't need it since it comes built in as Windows Defender. But for Windows 7, Security Essentials is best. Leo also recommends not running in administrative mode, and he should demote his account to "standard user."

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.