Avast has installed something called "Grime Fighter" and it's taken over Scott's computer. What can he do? Leo says this is why he's not in favor of using third party antivirus software anymore. They give you a false sense of security and it can open up additional vulnerabilities. Leo suspects that Grime Fighter is not from Avast, but instead is pretending to be. At this point, the only thing you can really do is back up your data, format your hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source. And if you must have an AVS, use Microsoft's own Windows Defender.
Myrna got locked out of Facebook when she had to reset her account due to malware. Leo says that's Facebook's latest technique for protecting the social network against malware. But like all antivirus utilities, there sometimes can be false positives that can trigger the lockdown. Myrna even ran her own scan with ESET. Leo says that's why he doesn't like antivirus software.
The FBI has been contacting companies to tell them not to use Kaspersky AntiVirus Software because it represents a security threat, especially to power companies and other key industries vital to national security. Leo says it would have been better to just get the word out through the media and shows like the Tech Guy so that everyone could benefit from the warning. But truth be told, Leo isn't a fan of any antiVirus because it gives you a false sense of security. If you must use one, just use the one that comes with Windows. It's called Windows Defender and it does a good enough job.
Alan wants to know if an antivirus utility is any good anymore for malware. How about on a mobile device? Leo says that all too often, an antivirus leaves people more vulnerable because most malware is a zero day exploit. Antivirus can't stop users from themselves, either. All antivirus utilities have to hook themselves into the OS at a very low level and the virus can actually use that as a door to more exploits. So at the end of the day, an antivirus really is only of limited benefit.
Jim bought a pair of Samsung Galaxy S8 and the guy at the store said he doesn't need an antivirus app to protect it. Is that true? Leo says it is. Mobile phones don't really need that extra precaution, as long as he only gets his apps from Google Play Store. He should be careful what apps he gets, though, even then. Sometimes a junky app does get through. The benefit through Google Play is that if one gets through, they will remotely kill it.
Brenda needs to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1. Leo says she definitely needs to do that. She says that Windows wants to uninstall Sentinel runtime drivers before installing, but she can't remove them because she hasn't installed them. Leo says it could be due to a program that she used in the past, or it was preloaded in her machine. It's probably from a trial antivirus. She's going to have to reinstall the trialware, and then uninstall it using their removal tool.
Alan just installed Windows 10 on a few computers and wants to know if there's any reason to install a third party antivirus program with it. Leo says that Google has done a study about this, and they've found that most security experts believe antivirus software gives a false sense of security and doesn't guard against zero day exploits, which are the real threat now.
Jim has been watching some of Leo's podcasts and is concerned with security on his PC. What antivirus software should he use on Windows 8.1? Leo says that Microsoft ships Windows Defender for free and that's all he needs. But he should remember that an antivirus is only as good as his own behavior. What about MalwareBytes? Leo says that while Malware Bytes is effective, he can actually do more harm than good if he doesn't know what he's doing. And if his computer has been infected, he will have no idea if he actually removed all of it or not.
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.
Tom saw a new box from Bitdefender at CES that promises to be in between the internet and the computer and cleanses all traffic. The box connects to the router and it will prevent malware from getting through. They plan to ship it for $200. Leo says the premise of this is good, but may not necessarily be better than a software antivirus because if software doesn't know about a virus, neither will the physical box. We can't even be sure it will ship at all at this point either.