Dan upgraded to OS X Catalina last week, and he's starting to get a warning that Google will be able to read, delete and compose email in his account. Leo says that isn't from Google. He suspects that Dan may have an extension installed in Safari that's causing that, or that it could be a standard European GDPR warning message. But even if he approves it, he can revoke the permissions in settings. But first, look at extensions. Safari-Preferences-Extensions.
Dave is having issues with Gmail in Safari. Leo says to try resetting Safari as Gmail is a hefty program that has to load and it may not be fully loading. Often times, clearing the browser cache will fix it. He should clear all history. That will clear the cache and get rid of cookies and possibly passwords as well. He can also try using the "Reset Safari" command.
Janet has a 2014 MacBook Air and she's got malware. Leo says it's very rare to get malware on the mac, so it's unlikely. Janet is getting redirected to other sites. That's a browser hijack, not a virus. It's malware, but it's browser level malware. The laptop has also died as a result. Leo says that hardware can die, especially a laptop that's being carried around. A MacBook Air may be more prone because it's so thin. It could also just be a bad logic board or diode on it. It's not related to the malware/browser hijack issue, though. It doesn't work that way.
Darryl is getting messages to upgrade Adobe Flash on his Mac. Leo says do not reply to any message to upgrade your Flash, do directly to Adobe and get the update there. Hackers can compromise websites to include a bit of code to get you to click on a link. It's called a Phishing scam. Flash auto updates now. Or you can use Google Chrome and it will auto update as well. So never click on a link that offers to install an update to flash for you. It's a scam. Another thing you can do is redownload your browser, delete them and reinstall. That will renew certificates.
Kurt has a 2013 MacBook Pro. He is worried about how much memory he has, since he only has 8GB. Leo says that macOS has a really good memory manager that can enable it to run with less RAM than other computers. It's really good at releasing RAM when other programs need it. He'll also want to be sure that the extensions in his browser aren't being memory hogs. The best browser on the Mac for memory management is Safari, by far.
Kurt also wants to know if he can upgrade it to macOS Sierra. If Apple recommends it, Leo says he should do it.
Donald went to a well known adult site on her iPhone, and now he believes his phone is infected. He gets a popup that says "call for Apple support" and they want $35 to fix it. Leo says it's not usually possible to hack the iPhone, so it may be a modified Safari home page instead.
Richard has a friend who's Mac is running slower. Is that because her machine is getting older? Leo says maybe, but it may also be that her hard drive is getting less reliable. As the hard drive gets older, it starts to have to work harder to process data. It begins to cache data more. So replacing the hard drive, especially with an Solid State Drive, can make a world of difference in speed. Updating your OS can also help, though if it's too old, you may not upgrade to the latest (El Capitan). Leo says there's a few easy things to do like resetting your browser and clearing the cache.
Michael uses the Safari browser, but it slows to a crawl and the pages time out. Leo says that if he uses a five year old computer, modern sites are going to be a challenge. One thing could be to use a different browser. Michael could download Chrome and see if he has the same problem. If he doesn't, then he'll know the problem is Safari. If the problem persists, then he can look at his connection. Leo also suggests trying an ad blocker to eliminate ads from loading. That'll make it easier. He should also check that Safari is up to date. He may need to update OS X to do that.
In the latest "Pwn2Own" hacking competition, a Korean hacker was able to crack secured versions of all the latest browsers. He not only took home a quarter million dollars, but also the laptops that the browsers and operating systems were installed on. Leo says that all these hackers save up exploits all year long in order to Pwn2Own. And a lone security researcher was able to own IE11, Chrome, and Safari, and he took the whole thing. All the browsers were 64 bit too. This was the largest payout in the history of the competition.