Microsoft Defender

Should I get Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials?

Microsoft Windows Defender

Episode 1395

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Gloria uses Windows 7 and she's confused whether she uses Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. Leo says that for Windows 7, she'll need Security Essentials. But it was renamed to Windows Defender for Windows 10. She can get Microsoft Security Essentials at support.microsoft.com to download it.

Can antivirus software really protect me?

Microsoft Defender

Episode 1351

Joe from Corona, CA

Joe wants to know if Microsoft's antivirus can really do the job. Leo says it can, but he really doesn't need it if he's careful. He'll want to be sure he's updated everything -- OS, browser, Flash, etc. Microsoft Defender is a good thing to run, but nothing can completely protect him from his own online behavior.

(See the original question on episode 1309 of The Tech Guy.)

Why is my brand new computer slowing down to a crawl?

Episode 1305

Hal from Thousand Oaks, CA

Hal bought a new HP and recently it's been running very slow. Leo says that if Hal is running third party security software, then it's likely that his antivirus is causing the slow down. Leo advises getting rid of it. Windows' own Microsoft Defender security software is good enough. He'll also find that he may have to download their uninstaller to do it.

Do I need an antivirus?

Episode 1273

Harold from Santa Rosa, CA

Harold's subscription of Eset Nod 32 is up. Should he renew? Leo says that the world has changed and that's why he doesn't take advertisers for antivirus software anymore. If Harold is running Windows 7-10, or running OS X in Mac, then he doesn't need an antivirus. Windows users have Microsoft Defender (formerly Security Essentials) and nobody really writes viruses for OS X, as Apple has a silent malware detector. There's ransomware that he can get bit by still, though. That's an encryption issue though, and Apple has a malware detector to prohibit that.

Do I need antivirus software for Windows 8?

Episode 1182

James from Fullerton, CA

James has a Sony Vaio with Windows 8 and wants to know if he needs antivirus software. Leo says no. Windows 8 has its own security and antivirus, called Microsoft Defender (or Security Essentials for older Windows programs) that works really well. He can turn up the security in Internet Explorer, but Leo recommends using Google Chrome which is far more secure. Leo also recommends turning on automatic updates. James should also be using a router rather than directly connecting to the modem. But all the security in the world cannot protect the user from their own behavior.