antivirus software

Why isn't Malwarebytes working for me?

Episode 1458

Don from Culver City, CA
Malwarebytes

Don is having issues with Malwarebytes. Leo says that if he's experiencing issues with Malwarebytes, there's a good chance that he's been infected. The first thing a malware creator will do is disable online security software and prevent access to those sites in the browser. That's one of the reasons why Leo doesn't like third party antivirus apps. Leo recommends using Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender.

Kasperky AntiVirus Now owned by Russian Security Services

Episode 1457

Kasperky AntiVirus was caught in the middle of a battle between the company's owners, and the Russian Security Services government agency. The company lost and now the Russians are now in charge of the Kaspersky Security Network. Leo says that he hasn't recommended Kaspersky for awhile now and even the US Federal Government recommends not using it because of the potential for spying. But it's more than a potential espionage tool, as there's a hole in the Kaspersky Network that would allow an employee of the company, or a hacker to snoop into your system.

Does antivirus software keep PCs safe?

Episode 1450

Alan from West LA, CA
Antivirus symbol

Alan wants to know if an antivirus utility is any good anymore for malware. How about on a mobile device? Leo says that all too often, an antivirus leaves people more vulnerable because most malware is a zero day exploit. Antivirus can't stop users from themselves, either. All antivirus utilities have to hook themselves into the OS at a very low level and the virus can actually use that as a door to more exploits. So at the end of the day, an antivirus really is only of limited benefit.

Why can't I remove Norton?

Dean from Thousand Oaks, CA

Episode 1441

Dean installed Norton but he's having trouble with it. Leo says that Windows 10 has Defender built in and it's probably running. Antivirus software won't work well when there's more than one antivirus installed. So Dean should remove the Norton one with the Norton Remove tool. If he has trouble using the removal tool, he should run in Safe Mode with Networking. That will prevent additional drivers from loading and should make it easier to remove it. He should also make sure he uses the right removal tool. Norton has several different ones depending on the utility it is.

Did an AVS take over my computer?

Episode 1421

Scott from Denver, CO
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Avast_Software_logo_2016.svg

Avast has installed something called "Grime Fighter" and it's taken over Scott's computer. What can he do? Leo says this is why he's not in favor of using third party antivirus software anymore. They give you a false sense of security and it can open up additional vulnerabilities. Leo suspects that Grime Fighter is not from Avast, but instead is pretending to be. At this point, the only thing you can really do is back up your data, format your hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source. And if you must have an AVS, use Microsoft's own Windows Defender.

Why do I keep getting malware notices on Facebook?

Episode 1418

Myrna from Twin Peaks, CA
Facebook Headquarters

Myrna got locked out of Facebook when she had to reset her account due to malware. Leo says that's Facebook's latest technique for protecting the social network against malware. But like all antivirus utilities, there sometimes can be false positives that can trigger the lockdown. Myrna even ran her own scan with ESET. Leo says that's why he doesn't like antivirus software.

FBI Has Been Pushing Companies to Not Use Kaspersky AVS

Episode 1415

The FBI has been contacting companies to tell them not to use Kaspersky AntiVirus Software because it represents a security threat, especially to power companies and other key industries vital to national security. Leo says it would have been better to just get the word out through the media and shows like the Tech Guy so that everyone could benefit from the warning. But truth be told, Leo isn't a fan of any antiVirus because it gives you a false sense of security. If you must use one, just use the one that comes with Windows. It's called Windows Defender and it does a good enough job.

Does antivirus software keep PCs safe?

Episode 1389

Alan from Los Angeles, CA
Antivirus symbol

Alan wants to know if an antivirus utility is any good anymore for malware. How about on a mobile device? Leo says that all too often, an antivirus leaves people more vulnerable because most malware is a zero day exploit. Antivirus can't stop users from themselves, either. All antivirus utilities have to hook themselves into the OS at a very low level and the virus can actually use that as a door to more exploits. So at the end of the day, an antivirus really is only of limited benefit.

Does a smartphone need antivirus?

Episode 1385

Jim from Bend, OR
Antivirus

Jim bought a pair of Samsung Galaxy S8 and the guy at the store said he doesn't need an antivirus app to protect it. Is that true? Leo says it is. Mobile phones don't really need that extra precaution, as long as he only gets his apps from Google Play Store. He should be careful what apps he gets, though, even then. Sometimes a junky app does get through. The benefit through Google Play is that if one gets through, they will remotely kill it.

Why can't I upgrade Windows 8?

Brenda from Fort Paine, AL

Episode 1302

Brenda needs to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1. Leo says she definitely needs to do that. She says that Windows wants to uninstall Sentinel runtime drivers before installing, but she can't remove them because she hasn't installed them. Leo says it could be due to a program that she used in the past, or it was preloaded in her machine. It's probably from a trial antivirus. She's going to have to reinstall the trialware, and then uninstall it using their removal tool.