Should I get a desktop computer with Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Episode 1039

Rick from Los Angeles, CA

Leo thinks that Windows 7 is the best version of Windows ever. Microsoft has decided to move everyone to a tablet interface, with big tiles that can be tapped with a finger. Windows 8 is really designed for touch, and is a hybrid between a desktop and tablet interface, which makes it confusing. If Rick can get a Windows 7 system, then he should do that. If he stays with Windows XP, he'll be vulnerable to attacks when Microsoft stops supporting it this Spring.

Is banking online safe with the iPhone?

Episode 1033

Waxman from California

Waxman sometimes logs into his bank with his iPhone and is concerned about malware. Apple must approve all apps in the app store, so there aren't viruses to warrant needing an antivirus program. The apps are also segregated with no data sharing between them. So it's a pretty closed system. Android, by contrast, allows for the sale of antivirus apps because it's pretty wide open. The bigger issue is the wireless networking that he's using. But the bank data is encrypted, so there's no real issue.

Is "TechVantedge" a scam?

Episode 992

Carole from Pasadena, CA

Carole's neighbor was sending email using Hotmail to inform her friends of a new address. After that, she wasn't able to log back into Hotmail. Simply sending mail out on Hotmail will not compromise her account. It's possible that someone did guess her password and compromised it that way, but since she can still access the account from work, that's probably not the case. It's likely a browser issue on her home computer.

What free AntiVirus is best?

Episode 986

Karen from Johnston, RI

Karen has been running her PC without an AVS and could install McAffee or Norton. Leo says he hates both of them, passionately! Since Karen doesn't have much money for this, Microsoft offers an excellent free option called Microsoft Security Essentials which will do the job quite nicely. She should install that, keep Windows up to date along with her browser and other software. Then all she really has to worry about is her activity online.

What's the difference between Windows Defender and Security Essentials?

Episode 980

JR from Melvindale, Michigan

JR wants to know what the difference is between Windows Defender and Windows Security Essentials. Leo says that Defender is the Windows 8 version of Security Essentials, although there is an older version of Defender that's before Windows 7. For Windows 7, Leo advises staying with Security Essentials. If JR wants to pay, Eset's Nod 32 is far superior.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).

Does a Mac need AntiVirus?

Episode 966

Steve from San Diego, CA

Steve has a Mac and wants to know if he really needs an antivirus utility. Leo says that the bad guys have slowly begun to write exploits to take advantage of the Apple platform. This wasn't the case a few short years ago, but as Windows users have gotten better at locking down their systems, the hackers have to go somewhere. So the short answer is yes.

Leo recommends Eset's CyberSecurity for the Mac. (Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).