How can I get rid of malware?

Carolyn from Pasadena, CA

Episode 1268

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.

How can I unlock a computer bit by ransomware?

Bill from Snowmass, CO

Episode 1266

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.

How can I uninstall an unwanted program?

Walter from Huntington, WV

Episode 1257

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.

Protect Your Computer Against Malicious Apps

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.

Did I get a virus?

Joanne from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1254

Joanne has gotten a WinZip popup that says she needs to scan and repair her computer. Leo says that is likely a phishing scam that wanted to get her to click on something and install it. She should be very careful with links that she didn't request. She shouldn't accept offers from strangers, as it's likely malware.

How can I get rid of the Taplika virus?

Steve from Woodland Hills, CA

Episode 1250

Steve bought a Lenovo Windows 7 PC a few years back. He recently wound up getting the Taplika virus with non stop pop up ads in his browser. Leo says he'll need to install "VPlay" from Add/Remove programs and then remove Taplika from his browser. Technically it's not a virus, but a browser hijack and that should get rid of it. VPlay is a Windows service, and that is very insideous. It's going to make it harder to get rid of. He can find more information at

Can I get rid of malware by restoring my PC?

Scott from Ventura, CA

Episode 1239

Scott wants to know if doing a restore would get rid of any malware that may be on the system after its been compromised. Leo says yes, it will. Those popups are trying to get you to call them and install software. So if he didn't do that, he's probably OK. But if he did, not only will he need to get rid of the malware, but if they charged him, they will now have his credit card information. So he'll not only have to backup his data and erase the hard drive, he'll have to cancel that credit card as well.