Antivirus

Do I need an antivirus utility for my Samsung Galaxy phone?

Episode 882

Jim from Crystal River, FL

In theory, a cell phone would be an excellent target for bad guys (especially with an open OS like Android). It's always on, people download random apps all the time, and it could be used to send out texts to others soliciting sites that would make the bad guy a lot of money. But they aren't often hacked. Leo can only attribute this to the fact that cell phone software engineers are aware of this and do more to protect users than desktop developers. Google also does a pretty good job of ridding the Google Play store of malicious apps.

Can I run both Stopzilla and Nod 32 for antivirus? (Part 2)

Episode 880

Gary from Glendale, CA

Leo says he doesn't need to run both. Stopzilla is not antivirus either, it's just anti-spyware software. He should uninstall Stopzilla which may not be easy. He should carefully read their support page on how to uninstall it. Spyware is old hat, what he really would want is an anti-malware tool. In fact, Stopzilla could also be the problem with accessing his email attachments. Simply Google "uninstall Stopzilla" and he should find a comprehensive step-by-step to get rid of this.

Should I have anti-virus on the iPad?

Episode 877

Gary from San Diego, CA

No. The iPad is very secure because it’s a closed system. Apple has to approve all apps so it’s a lot harder to get a virus past the gatekeepers. You also can’t put your own files on it and apps can’t talk to each other by design. In addition, both Apple and Google have a “kill switch” to remove suspect apps should they discover anything malicious about it. On the Android side there is a free program called LookOut, but Leo doesn't know of anything for iOS.

How safe are Macs from viruses and what are the benefits of having a Mac?

Episode 876

Gary from Santa Barbara, CA

The truth is the Mac is just as vulnerable, but there are far fewer viruses out for them. Leo's general rule of thumb is that Macs tend to be better home computers while Windows is better for businesses. The other thing Windows is really good for is gaming, although the Mac is catching up as a gaming platform. Unless there's specific applications that Gary may need, Leo recommends that he go with a Mac. Because the Mac is less of a target to hackers, he won't have to worry about security as much.