Has my bank account been hacked by a popup?

Episode 1185

Diane from Encino, CA

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.

Why do I get popups when using Wi-Fi at Burger King?

Episode 1174

Susie from West Covina, CA

Susie was at Burger King, using their Wi-Fi and she started to get pop up ads. Leo says that Burger King is offering free Wi-Fi and they're paying for it by intercepting customer traffic and inserting ads. And that's troubling. Lenovo did something similar on their consumer computers with Superfish. The good news is, they aren't modifying the computer, they're just modifying the traffic. The good news is, there's probably a McDonalds or a Starbucks just down the street that aren't doing this. Choice solves problems like this.

How can I stop getting popups?

Google Chrome

Episode 1055

Martin from Los Angeles, CA

Martin got a popup that says that Microsoft suspects malicious activity that's causing "system breakage." Leo says it's a scam. A popup doesn't mean he's infected, but if the grammar is bad, then it's likely a scam. Since Martin is using Internet Explorer, Leo advises updating to IE11 and run his updates. Leo also suggests using Google Chrome instead. It's far safer. He'll never see those popups again with Chrome.

If Martin is using Windows 8, then he's got Windows Defender built in. If not, then he should download Microsoft Security Essentials.

How do I get rid of pop-ups?

Episode 1021

Joe from Los Angeles, CA

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.