avs

Did an AVS take over my computer?

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Episode 1421

Scott from Denver, CO

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.

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.

Is Webroot a good antivirus?

Episode 1282

Rich from Placerville, CA

Rich wants to know if Webroot is a good antivirus utility. Leo says that Webroot is good, and they're a sponsor. They offer additional protections because they're cloud based. But he really doesn't need it. Windows has its own antivirus called Defender that's quite good. Also, the state of malware is such that most occur as 'zero day exploits' which an antivirus can't catch. But Webroot will protect him for the most part. He should remember that his number one defense is his online behavior.

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.

Did I get malware from Java?

Episode 1207

Kirk from Crestline, CA

Kirk downloaded a Java upgrade and now all his shortcuts go to an exe file. Leo suspects that Kirk got nailed by malware.There are plenty of security flaws in Java but it may also be that Kirk was doing something at the same time and he got malware. Either way, Kirk has malware, and the only way to be sure that he's gotten rid of it, is to backup his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known good source.

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.

How can I remove antivirus software off one machine and put it on another?

Episode 1080

Zack from Los Angeles, CA

Zack has an old Windows Vista machine. He uses ESET's Nod32 and wants to know if he can remove it from one computer and put it onto another. Leo says that can be tricky because AntiVirus software is designed not to be uninstalled, otherwise malware would do that. So he may need to spend some time over at ESET's support page to learn how to correctly do that.

What antivirus should I get with my new laptop?

Episode 1070

Jim from Yorba Linda, CA

Jim is buying a new Dell computer and wants to know what antivirus software he should get? Leo says first, an antivirus can't protect him against yourself. It should just be used as a backstop. He will be the first line of defense.

Windows actually has a good antivirus solution built into Windows 8 called Windows Defender. That'll work just fine as long as he keeps it up to date. He should also make sure he runs as a standard user, not an administrator. And don't click on links in emails.

What's the best anti virus software?

Episode 984

Mark from Canoga Park, CA

Mark wants to know what anti virus software to use, and is wondering if Avast is any good. Leo says that Avast is "freemium," which means he can use it for free or pay for more functions. Leo doesn't recommend it. For free, he recommends Microsoft Security Essentials. If he doesn't mind laying out a few bucks, Eset's Nod32 is the best.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor)