Nate has been having an issue with his computer for a few months using Internet Explorer. Leo says that Windows "Dynamic Linked Library" files (DLL) could have been infected, causing an error and since it's spreading, it's likely to be malware. It could also be that the hard drive is getting a bit flakey and the files are on a bad sector. Or the DLL itself is corrupted. Add-ons may have been installed as well, causing issues. He should remove all of his add-ons, and try resetting his browser. He should also boot into safe mode and see if he has the same problem there as well.
Jeanette's son's computer was hacked and she's concerned that her Mac computers will be infected if he connects it to her network. Leo says that she should go into the security system preferences and turn on the computer firewall. That will protect her individual computers inside her network. What about her iPad? Leo says that she doesn't really have to worry about the tablet getting infected. Nobody is writing viruses that can infect an iPad from a Windows PC.
George got a nasty piece of malware called "Search Conduit." Leo says that Conduit is bad, even though they swear they're legit. But if it takes over his browser and he can't get rid of it, then it's the very definition of malware. Leo advises downloading MalwareBytes from MalwareBytes.org. If that doesn't work, he should try booting into "Safe Mode" and try it then. If that doesn't work, he should try one of these:
Billy is getting a new Windows 8 desktop and wants to be sure he sets it up with the proper security. Leo says that Microsoft is now bundling Windows Defender (formerly called Security Essentials) with Windows 8, so he'll be protected as long as he keeps it up to date. There are other things he can do to protect yourself more, though:
The most recent leak from Edward Snowden is about an NSA program called "Quantum." The Intercept, a publication created to release this information, claims that this quantum tool weaponizes the internet. It is a malware tool that can infect machines at an industrial scale exploitation. The agency has malware tools that could infect millions of computers worldwide that allows them to eavesdrop on the computer's owner. It can covertly record audio from the computer microphone and take pictures from the computer webcam.
Barbara bought a refurbished Windows 7 computer and she keeps getting an error message saying that the Catalyst Control center isn't supported. Leo says that's a video card driver error and it's likely that Barbara just needs to update her drivers. ATI's Catalyst Control center is primilary for gamers and Leo says going to AMD.com and clicking on the driver support page will get her where she needs to go. She will need to know what video card she has. Barbara should get this directly from AMD, not a third party site.
Craig has a ton of adware on his PC from installing software. Leo can't stress enough how important it is to be careful where he gets software. Since he doesn't really know what he has, he could have opened himself up to far more bad things. Leo suggests turning off all extensions, deleting them from his extensions folder, and running as a limited user. Look in "add/remove programs" for entries he doesn't recognize and remove them.
Ron checks out eBooks on his PC and he's now getting popups demanding that he install a Media Player 12.2. Leo says that it may also be a malware installer or adware that's trying to dupe him into installing it. He should just ignore it. Leo says they are so annoying and malicious, it should be considered malware. It's also likely that Ron has a Browser hijacker on his PC. He should go into "add/remove programs" or the "programs/features" control panel and uninstall anything he doesn't recognize. Leo also recommends he stop running his computer as an administrator.
Jay says his wife's computer will make the "swoosh" email sound frequently when there's no email being sent or received. Leo says to make sure there's no sent items in the email sent folder. Also, check in the settings to see if that sound is being played for other things the computer does. There's an option called "play sounds for other mail actions." Make sure that's disabled. Also, Leo advises using a program called "Little Snitch" for the Mac that will advise him if any nefarous activity is making an outbound connection, but it's probably not that.
Dan uses Windows XP and is worried about security once Microsoft ends support for it on April 8th. Leo says that there will only be two more security patch Tuesdays between now and April 8th and once that's done, XP will no longer be supported. Leo says that once that happens, all XP users should pull their XP computers off the Internet completely. There are bad guys who collect flaws and exploits and take advantage of holes in the system. One such nasty thing is Cryptolocker.