Michael is getting a lot of phone calls from overseas being told that he needs to upgrade Windows. Leo says it's a scam. Microsoft will never call him. These calls are trying to get people to sign up for a support contract and even worse, they could install malware on his system if he falls for it.
Proxies are usually used by companies to see what you're doing. And if you're getting the popup, that means you may have been infected or compromised. Leo recommends Reisel back up his data. He could just turn proxy off, but he won't know if his system had been compromised, so it's best to format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and then run updates.
Tom has a Samsung Galaxy Note V with Sprint. Lately he's been getting a warning of being infected. Leo says that's nonsense. We're starting to see these popups in mobile phones like we did running a browser in Windows. It's likely a phishing attempt to get him to buy something. Tom should just keep his phone up to date when a patch is offered from his provider, and he'll be fine. He's not infected.
Steve said that he's been a HostGator customer for 9 years and had been very happy. They are associated with SiteLock, a site that scans websites to check for malware. His site got infected with malware, and SiteLock reported that to HostGator, who notified Steve they were going to take down his site. When he called HostGator, they forwarded him to SiteLock, and they presented him with an option to clean up his site for $300 or subscribe to a monthly service that would cost $97 a month.
Carolyn thinks she got attacked by a virus. MalwareBytes says there's over 174 viruses on her machine. Leo says there might not be. There may be malware on it, but sometimes Malware Bytes gives a false positive on cookies and calls them viruses. She'll also want to be sure that she got MalwareBytes from the >official MalwareBytes site. Carolyn really should just make a recovery, back up her data, wipe the drive, and then run the recovery utility. It's the only way to be sure that she's free of viruses.
Ron has a problem that any time he tries to buy something on Amazon.com, his computer crashes. Leo says Ron may want to try resetting the browser. That will clear out whatever is deep inside the browser cache. If that doesn't solve it, then there may be some malware that is taking advantage of his web surfing.
Bill's computer was bit by ransomware. His computer has been locked and encrypted and the hacker won't open it until he pays for it. Leo says the problem is that there's no guarantee they will unlock it or if they do, they can just lock him down again. There's not much he can do but format the hard drive and restore from a backup. But he shouldn't ever pay the ransom.
The Old Geek is worried about bad flashlight apps which could be malware. Leo says there's nothing to worry about. Both the Android and iOS app stores scan all apps and disable those that have malware. And even better, today's modern OS offers that flashlight capability natively.
Walter got an icon on his Windows machine called "Launch System Healer," and later found out it's malware. How can he get rid of it? Leo says that the problem with malware is that it can be very difficult to get rid of and even if he does, he may not get rid of all of it. But it's called a "PUP" or "potentially unwanted program." It should have an uninstaller, so Walter should look for that. Chances are, Walter accidentally installed it when installing something else that had its own custom installer.
With all of the apps available online, it can be difficult to distinguish the trustworthy developers from rogue developers. If you happen to download a malicious app, that is the most dangerous thing you can do because you're giving that rogue developer permission to install software to access your system. There are precautions you can take to make sure you only get trusted apps, however.