John is getting phone calls about unusual activity on his computer. He was told it was from Microsoft. But Leo says it's a scam, and it's usually done by actual tech support people who moonlight with phishing scams through the Microsoft Event Viewer. The idea is to get you to see "red x's" that are normal events in the viewer. They fool you to give you the credit card, charge you the $300, and then they use the remote access to install malware on your system.
Frank got fooled by a Phishing popup. He called the 800 number that was associated with it and they charged him $300 to "fix it." Leo says they were pretending to be Apple Care. It's a scam. Frank suspected chicanery and called Apple Care, who confirmed it was a scam. Leo says that's a smart thing. So he turned off the computer. He doesn't see anything wrong with his computer, but what should he do? Leo says that chances are they probably didn't get far, so Frank is probably OK.
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.
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.
Walt installed MacKeeper on his Mac. Leo says that he doesn't trust MacKeeper and notes this article on why he should avoid it. Unfortunately, if he tries to uninstall it, he won't be able get rid of all of it. There will still be stuff lingering. This doesn't mean it's malicious, just that it's really badly written.
Walt should search for ZeoBit or MacKeeper and he can delete the rest of them. The "Footy" popup is likely a browser extension. He should drag it out to his desktop and it'll probably disappear.
Calling it a "high threat to its computer security," Microsoft's antivirus software will now scan for and remove the ASK toolbar, should you get stuck with it. In other news, Yahoo has entered into an exclusive agreement with Oracle to make Yahoo the default browser for any computer that has Java installed. Leo calls that Malware since users are fooled into installing it. Even worse is that Java is a security flaw as well. Yahoo's CEO Melissa Meyer should know better.
Eric has been a long time AOL customer. AOL recommended SlimCleaner Plus and he trusted it. Leo says it was an ad that AOL sold and Eric got bit. He tried to remove it and now he's getting popups saying someone is trying to access the account. Leo says that's trying to prevent you to uninstall it and that's bad behavior. Look for an uninstaller. At worse, you can backup your data and reinstall Windows. But ignore the popup and uninstall it anyway. And don't trust ads. Just because they come from AOL doesn't mean it's a good thing to get.
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.