Alex is trying to get rid of Trend Micro antivirus software on his computer, but it won't go away. Leo says these days, antivirus software can't really be removed by a simple uninstall command. It's too embedded in the system. You need to download and install their removal tool, which will custom remove the antivirus software. Here's where you can get it.
Kevin has an old laptop and wants to know if he needs Webroot antivirus. Leo says that back in the day, Webroot was very good. But lately, If he's able to update to Windows 10, Windows has its own antivirus called Windows Defender which is very good. Before Windows 10, Microsoft had Windows Security Essentials. Both are essentially the same, and they're free.
Janet is worried that she needs to clean up her system and have a separate antivirus system. Leo says no. You don't. You don't need a third party cleaner and you don't need a separate AVS app. Windows Defender is just fine and it comes with Windows 10 for free. But even the best AVS isn't going to protect you against your own online behavior.
Al's antivirus software is up for renewal. Does he really have to pay for another year? Leo says no. Windows has its own antivirus called Windows Defender, and it's free. It does a really good job. There's also a possibility that third party antivirus software could make him more vulnerable to hackers, not less. Al will need to download their standalone uninstaller to get rid of that third party app. Then enable Windows Defender and keep it up to date. But he should remember, no antivirus can protect him from himself.
Kathy says she bought a new computer with McAfee antivirus, and it wants her to activate it. Should she? Leo says no way. McAfee is commonly referred to as bloatware and it's essentially advertising on her PC. Kathy will want to go into Control Panel > Apps and Features, and uninstall any program she doesn't want. The problem, though, is that many AVS programs like McAfee are difficult to uninstall completely. She may need to get an uninstaller from McAfee to get rid of it all. There already is an antivirus program built into Windows called Defender, and it's a solid program.
Don is having issues with Malwarebytes. Leo says that if he's experiencing issues with Malwarebytes, there's a good chance that he's been infected. The first thing a malware creator will do is disable online security software and prevent access to those sites in the browser. That's one of the reasons why Leo doesn't like third party antivirus apps. Leo recommends using Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender.
Kasperky AntiVirus was caught in the middle of a battle between the company's owners, and the Russian Security Services government agency. The company lost and now the Russians are now in charge of the Kaspersky Security Network. Leo says that he hasn't recommended Kaspersky for awhile now and even the US Federal Government recommends not using it because of the potential for spying. But it's more than a potential espionage tool, as there's a hole in the Kaspersky Network that would allow an employee of the company, or a hacker to snoop into your system.
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.
Dean installed Norton but he's having trouble with it. Leo says that Windows 10 has Defender built in and it's probably running. Antivirus software won't work well when there's more than one antivirus installed. So Dean should remove the Norton one with the Norton Remove tool. If he has trouble using the removal tool, he should run in Safe Mode with Networking. That will prevent additional drivers from loading and should make it easier to remove it. He should also make sure he uses the right removal tool. Norton has several different ones depending on the utility it is.
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.