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).

How can I get rid of malware that I think got installed on my system?

Episode 931

Laurie from Los Angeles, CA

Laurie downloaded some tax documents from and now she's having a variety of problems on her computer. Leo says that is a legit site, but it's possible their website got hacked or a malformed PDF was installed onto the site. The strange tool bar in her browser is a bad sign.

Laurie could get someone to remove it (and she's tried), but it's likely there's other stuff going installed and going on as well. So the only way to really be sure is to back up the data, format the hard drive, reinstall Windows from a known, good source, and run updates.