Why does my software firewall get turned off when I boot up my system?

Episode 899 (1:19:22)

Frank from Canoga Park, CA

Frank has Microsoft Security Essentials on his computer, but when he boots up, something turns off his software firewall. Leo says that's odd because Microsoft Security Essentials turns on the firewall by default when installed. The firewall can offer exceptions, and it may be that Frank allowed something to go through. Leo also says that malware may be the culprit here as the first thing that hackers usually do with malware is turn off the firewall and make it difficult to navigate to an antivirus software site.

One thing Frank can do is run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MRT). It gets updated pretty regularly and runs by clicking START>>RUN, type "MRT" and enter. Select "full scan," and it'll scan and remove any malware it finds. Frank can also go to ESET.com and select the Online Scanner option. It'll run an online scan for a "second opinion." If all that comes up clean, then there may be a settings issue with Frank's firewall. Leo also advises removing and reinstalling Microsoft Security Essentials.

From the Chatroom: NetSupport DNA will block all firewall activity. But Leo says that's unlikely because that's an IT selection.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).