popups

How can I protect my elderly mother from online scams?

Episode 1361

Kathleen from San Diego, CA

Kathleen's elderly Aunt has a Windows computer which she uses to access Facebook and then Outlook for email. Her problem is that she has had a ton of malware and phishing scams that have cost her a lot of money. Leo says that the elderly have always been easy prey to scam artists. It won't happen on a Chromebook though, and she should really have her get one. Leo says to be her administrator and give her a regular user account. But even at the end of the day, that won't stop her from calling a number.

Has my Mac been infected with ransomware?

Episode 1276

Victoria from Corvales, OR

Victoria has an 09 iMac that runs El Capitan, but she got bit by ransomware. Leo says that's odd because the only ransomware is called "Transmission" and it's been eradicated after only being out in the wild for a day through Bittorrent. She gets a pop up that says "your computer is infected," though. Leo says that doesn't mean she has ransomware. It's actually a phishing scam trying to get her to install malware. And she can't get infected by it anyway. What it does mean is that the website is infected and she should avoid it.

Can my Android phone get infected by a virus?

Episode 1273

Tom from Riverside, CA

Tom has a Samsung Galaxy Note V with Sprint. Lately he's been getting a warning of being infected. Leo says that's nonsense. We're starting to see these popups in mobile phones like we did running a browser in Windows. It's likely a phishing attempt to get him to buy something. Tom should just keep his phone up to date when a patch is offered from his provider, and he'll be fine. He's not infected.

Did I get a virus?

Episode 1254

Joanne from Los Angeles, CA

Joanne has gotten a WinZip popup that says she needs to scan and repair her computer. Leo says that is likely a phishing scam that wanted to get her to click on something and install it. She should be very careful with links that she didn't request. She shouldn't accept offers from strangers, as it's likely malware.

How can I get rid of popups?

Episode 1242

Noah from Rockford, MI

Noah's computer has an annoying popup that says running in compatibility mode can cause problems. Leo says it sounds like it could be malware or a downloaded tool that causes it. It's auto starting, so he'll need to get into the auto start menu to remove it.

First, he should go into "Add/Remove Programs" or "Programs/Features" and see if he can remove it there. Then he can try going into his startup utility. Leo recommends downloading Microsoft's AutoRuns. He should also teach his mom to only download from safe places.

Can I get rid of malware by restoring my PC?

Episode 1239

Scott from Ventura, CA

Scott wants to know if doing a restore would get rid of any malware that may be on the system after its been compromised. Leo says yes, it will. Those popups are trying to get you to call them and install software. So if he didn't do that, he's probably OK. But if he did, not only will he need to get rid of the malware, but if they charged him, they will now have his credit card information. So he'll not only have to backup his data and erase the hard drive, he'll have to cancel that credit card as well.

Why am I getting popups saying my computer is infected?

Episode 1233

Lee from Escondido, CA

Lee gets a popup that says his computer is infected and he can't get rid of it. Leo says it's a scam, and Lee should never call the 800 number that pops up. Lee went into the task manager to kill the popup, but it kills the browser as well. Leo says that Chrome should be catching the popups and stopping them. He's now getting a popup with a bluescreen. Leo says that's a clever ploy, but it's not an actual "blue screen of death." It's just a window.

Do I have malware on my system?

Episode 1213

Dave from Portola Hills, CA

Dave was on a government website and he got a popup that he may be infected with malware, which forced him to reboot the system to get out of it. He's worried now that he's been infected. Leo says that's a good instinct. This has been happening a lot. Often, it happens if you've mistyped the URL, which leads you to a malware site. This is most likely from Javascript, though, which doesn't impact your computer and is designed to scare you into installing something or paying someone to claim to unlock it.