What is MacKeeper and should I keep it?

Walt from Playa Vista, CA

Episode 1205

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.

Microsoft's Antivirus Software Now Removes the ASK Toolbar

Episode 1201

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.

How can I get rid of malware from AOL?

Eric from Palm Springs, CA

Episode 1195

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.

How do I protect my computer from malware?

Jim from Houston, TX

Episode 1188

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.

Why can't I get back online after removing malware?

Ed from Philadelphia, PA

Episode 1186

Ed has discovered malware on his computer so he took it off and now he can't get on the internet. Leo says that Malware comes through any browser and when you get malware, or in this case adware, removing it can be problematic. Installers will attach the malware or adware to a critical system file and then when you remove it, you also remove the critical files for your system.

Has my bank account been hacked by a popup?

Diane from Encino, CA

Episode 1185

Diane got a popup that said she had a virus. She knew it was a scam and closed out her Safari browser and turned off her computer. Then she got a bank notice that her account was compromised. Are those occurrences related? Leo says probably not. Just because a popup tells her she's infected, it doesn't mean she is. The popup was designed to get her to call someone so they can socially engineer her to install something. The bank notice probably was the result of someone who she gave her card to at a restaurant copying her information. Her Mac is safe.

Did I get bit by malware?

Sam from Hemmit, CA

Episode 1185

Sam clicked on a bad link and how he has malware. It has locked his browser. Leo says that uninstalling his browser and reinstalling will be of limited value. He can run Malware Bytes, but he'll need to make sure he uses the official version because there are counterfeits out there. Leo says that it's likely a browser hijacker object is in the mix, which will then popup ads and push him towards certain search results. Malware Bytes will remove it.

Mac OS X 10.10.3 Released, Users Should Update to Fix Huge Flaw

Episode 1178

Mac OS 10.10.3 Yosemite has been released, which includes the new Mac Photos app and fixes a major flaw in the operating system. The flaw would allow a hacker to take control of the computer via remote access. Apple says that the upgrade is free, but if you cannot update due to having hardware that doesn't support Yosemite, then Apple says they have no plans whatsoever to patch this vulnerability. And what's their reason? It's too much work. Leo says that's a hard thing to swallow.

How can I unencrypt CryptoWall Ransomware files?

Chris from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1177

Chris has a Dell laptop that got hit by the CyptoWall Ransom Ware. He was able to use ShareExplorer to recover some of his files, but he lost a lot of them because he refused to pay the ransom. So he has a bunch of files that are encrypted. Can he use something to unencrypt it? Leo says no. CryptoWall uses strong encryption and there would be no guarantee it could be fixed. This is why he should backup all of his data. Sometimes, an uneraser can recover data since CryptoWall erased the original and encrypted a copy. But outside of that, he's out of luck.

How can I close out of Google Chrome in Windows 8?

Episode 1172

Lucy from Torrance, CA
Google Chrome

Lucy is having trouble with Chrome and she's tried to remove it, but can't. Leo says it's probably gone into "metro mode." If she sees the hamburger menu of four lines, click on that and she should get out of it. It may also be the sign of an infection that has modified the browser. She should try pressing F11. That will take it out of full screen mode. At that point, she should be able to close it. CTRL-ALT-Delete will work as well.