Sue went to a website to watch Bob Dylan live on stage and her computer got "fried." Leo says that there's no website that can short out a computer. And it's not in the interest of a hacker to be that destructive. They want vulnerable computers to exploit them. So it's important to keep the computer updated. She should also update Flash, her PDF reader, drivers, and just about everything can be exploited. Leo also recommends using Google Chrome, because it sandboxes Flash and updates it all the time. So she doesn't even have to install Flash on her system.
Greg's PC got attacked by Crypto Locker, malware that encrypts user data and holds it for a ransom of $500. They require Bitcoin and they do that because it's not traceable. Greg decided to not pay the ransom, formatted his hard drive and now he's going to recover his data from Carbonite. But it didn't backup everything.
Kathy downloaded an update for Adobe Reader and now she thinks she may have been bit by a virus. Leo says if Adobe Reader had an official update, she would really need to install it because it protects her from the viruses she fears. She was told to reset the browser and she lost all her booksmarks and extensions. Leo says that's actually what he would have advised because often it's extensions that cause the trouble. That's why Leo suggests using another browser like Google Chrome. Internet Explorer is a mess.
Leo called in and said his work computer got a virus. Everytime people log onto his website now, they get that FBI symbol. Leo says that hacking websites is the number one way hackers can get onto home computers. It's possible that his work website has been hacked because it isn't up to date and has security vulnerabilities.
Bob has been seeing that the Microsoft scam is targeting seniors. Seniors are getting calls from "tech support" at Microsoft saying they're infected. Bob says that he tells all his clients that it's a scam, but they find it's very authoritative. Leo says that's why seniors are much better off with tablets instead of computers. Leo says that he believes the same technicians that actually handle tech support overseas are moonlighting making these calls.
Dennis has an older Windows XP machine with two drives - one for programs, one for data. Lately, Malware Bytes has been finding "suspicious files." Could they be malware? He quarantined the files and now he can't access his data. When he unquarantined them, they were deleted. Leo says it could be a false positive.
Peter was looking for video codecs and he got bit by some malware called "Search Donkey." Leo says that even legitimate sites can get bit by malware. And places like CNet will install adware in their installer without really drawing attention to it. Leo says that the only difference between Malware and Adware is that Adware lets the user uninstall and technically gives an opt out on installation (if the user can find it).
The police department in a New Hampshire town has been infected with Cryptolocker and the city has refused to pay the tribute to get their data back. This is the opposite reaction from a Massachusetts police department that decided to pay up to get their data. Leo says that if the PD was backing up their data, they wouldn't have to pay up. Clearly, they haven't been. And that's not good.
Peter is getting a popup on YouTube that is saying it has an expired certificate. Leo says that usually indicates an inaccurate date and time set in the computer. He should also update his browser. That will update the certificate authorities.
Chris' computer is really slow. Leo says that could likely be malware that's causing the computer to devote its time to things he doesn't know about. He advises scanning the computer with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool and his AntiVirus software. It could also indicate that the hard drive is starting to fail.
Leo suggests reinstalling Windows and starting over. He should backup his data, reinstall Windows and then update it. He'll have a computer that runs a lot faster.