How can I guard against key logging software?

Pat from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1031

Pat is concerned about key loggers being installed onto his computer. What software can he get to prevent it? Leo says any good antivirus, like Eset's Nod32 will look out for that stuff, but it won't protect him against his own behavior. He could easily get a malicious email from someone he knows who got infected, and end up with malware. He should keep Automatic Updates turned on in Windows, too.

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How can I recover my system after being infected with Malware?

Ellen from La Crescenta, CA

Episode 1027

Ellen's son is a gamer and he's run into an issue with Internet explorer. Leo says at 14, he probably went to somewhere he shouldn't have. Now she has to do a restore, but she has no restore points. Leo says that's a common thing that hackers will do. They erase all restore points to prevent you from doing just that. Leo says that if she has a backup on a separate hard drive, then she could restore from that. She tried and got a blank screen, though. Leo says that the bad guy could've gotten access to that hard drive as well, but he says it could also just be a failed restore.

What happens to my backups if I get the CryptoLocker virus?

John from La Habra, CA

Episode 1026

John has a Windows 7 PC and is worried that if he gets bit by CryptoLocker, he will lose his backups. Leo says that Carbonite has "versioning" which means it backs up different versions of his data. If his current copy is affected, he can always delete his data and restore from Carbonite. It's not a substitute for protection and behavior, but it's a good last line of defense. If he gets the virus, it's important to also wipe the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and run updates.

How can I get rid of Adware that installed with DoubleTwist?

David from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1026

David would like to get his iTunes library onto his Android phone. He took Leo's advice and got DoubleTwist. The issue he's having is that there's some adware on DoubleTwist which is causing problems. Leo says that AntiVirus doesn't perceive options in software as Malware if he chooses to accept the download. What he needs to do is refuse the installation of the toolbars for adware that come with it. It won't affect the installation of the software itself. Don't rush through the installation.

Steve Gibson and CryptoLocker

Episode 1026

Steve Gibson joins Leo to talk about a dangerous new virus called CyptoLocker. Steve says an alarming number of people are falling victim to it. CyptoLock locks out all user data files and uses strong encryption on them. Leo calls it ransomware, but this is at a new level. If you get bit, they will demand $300 from you in USD, Euros, or even BitCoin. You'll have 72 hours to send them the money and if you don't, they delete the key and your data is useless. There's no guarantee that even if you pay it, you'll get your files back.

CryptoLocker Virus Is Spreading and Could Hold Your Data Hostage

Episode 1025

Leo says that there's a new virus going around that is actually really well written and difficult for antivirus to detect. If you get it, it will encrypt all of your data, and will require you to pay to get the encryption key. Leo wants to remind everyone to update not only your OS, but also other software such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, and anything else you use that can be easily corrupted by malware.

How do I get rid of pop-ups?

Joe from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1021

Joe keeps getting an annoying popup, and he has no idea where it's coming from. Leo says that popups usually come from installing a tool bar. Often, installing shareware will come with an additional "payload" because users didn't uncheck and disable it from installing. Leo calls it "sneakyware", because it slips by the user when they're installing something.

How can I get rid of the FBI Moneypak virus?

Episode 1014

Ann from Rosita, California

Ann got bit by the FBI MoneyPak virus. This is a scam called ransomware. The virus locks down a computer and won't allow the user to use it until they send them money. It's definitely not the FBI. The only way to get rid of it is to format her drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source. It will also help if she uses an updated OS like Windows 7.