anti virus software

Should I renew my antivirus subscription?

Antivirus

Episode 1528

Bob from Ventura, CA

Bob has noticed that Leo hasn't been advocating for antivirus software lately, and his subscription is expiring. Should he renew it? Leo says that most malware hacks are Zero Day now, and security programs aren't really effective against them. Antivirus software even can cause problems. In general, antivirus software isn't really worth subscribing to. Windows Defender is free and offers protection that is perfectly fine. The best defense is his online behavior, and keeping the OS updated.

Do I really need an antivirus?

Windows Defender

Episode 1457

Joe from Long Beach, CA

Joe wants to know how effective antivirus software is. Leo says it can work, but it really does give users a false sense of security. Zero Day exploits can still nail people within 24 hours of discovery. They can also expose people to more flaws. That doesn't mean Joe shouldn't have one, though, but Leo recommends not buying anything third party. He should stick with Microsoft's own Defender that comes with Windows 10. Ultimately, though, his online behavior is his last, best line of defense.

Can the Fix Me Stick remove viruses?

Episode 1368

Jimmy from Los Angeles, CA

Jimmy wants to know if the Fix Me Stick can remove viruses from his computer. Leo says don't get since it won't provide you with anything additional that you can already download from the internet. The most important thing to look for in antivirus software is the frequency of updates. You can also make your own "fix me stick". Antivirus software gives you a false sense of security. Windows existing security software is adequate and updated often. It's best to practice safe computing. Don't click on links and don't take candy from strangers. Be smart online.

Should I renew Norton AntiVirus?

Episode 1315

Al from California

Al's Norton Anti Virus is up for renewal. Is there an alternative? Leo says absolutely. Norton is actually making systems less secure, according to many security analysts. Windows' own antivirus, Windows Defender works just fine. Leo doesn't even recommend antivirus software anymore because all too often they cause more trouble than they're worth. The best defense is ultimately the user's behavior. Windows Defender is perfectly adequate, and it comes for free with Windows.

Why doesn't Windows Defender open?

Episode 1265

John from Mission Viejo, CA

John is trying to run Windows Defender and it's been turned off in Windows 8.1. How can he turn it on? Leo suspects that since John is running Malware Bytes as well, that it is blocking Defender from being turned on. Leo says first, you don't want to run two different antivirus software. Often they see each other as a virus and frankly, they fight each other. So make sure you only run one. Also, Microsoft's own AVS is adequate to do the job. The real key to defend your computer is to modify your behavior.

Is removing a virus the same process on the Mac as it is on the PC?

Episode 1159

Jay from Providence, NC

Jay wants to know if removing viruses is the same between Mac and Windows. Leo says that there's a debate that Macs are either more secure, or are a smaller target because there are fewer of them. Leo says that malware writers are going to write for the largest segment of computers. But OS X is based on Unix and that's more secure than Windows. OS X also has an administrator requirement when installing software.

Should I buy security software or use freebies like Microsoft Security Essentials? (Part 1)

Episode 1064

Drew from St. Louis, MO

Drew wants to know if Microsoft Security Essentials is good enough or should he buy an AVS. Leo says that MSE is good if he doesn't want to pay for one, but if he's willing to buy it, then he should. Eset's Nod 32 has heuristics that enables it to anticipate viruses before they happen. But the antivirus software can give a false sense of security. If he relies on that and doesn't change his online behavior, he's going to get infected anyway. If he runs as a limited user, he can protect himself against 90% of all the bad stuff out there.