Security and Privacy

Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.

Is Norton Safe to Use for Antivirus?

Defender

Episode 1681

Stan from Irvine, California

Stan heard that Symantec-Norton broke up and is now called Norton Lifelock. He doesn't trust it right now and wants to know what he needs to do for it. Leo says he doesn't need it anyway. Windows Defender comes with Windows 10 and it's always updated. It also uses sandboxing so that if Defender is compromised, the rest of the OS won't be. And it's free. So get rid of Norton.

What about Lifelock? Leo says Lifelock still has value, but you can do a lot of that by putting a freeze on a credit rating so that nobody can mess with it. Contact all three reporting agencies for that.  

How can I stop Apple from charging me for things I didn't authorize?

Apple

Episode 1676

George from Laguna Nigel, CA

George is being billed hundreds of dollars by Apple that he didn't authorize. He tried changing the credit card, and they just resubmit the bill. But he doesn't get an email from Apple letting him know the charge is being made. Leo advises going to your iTunes store account settings and look at your purchase history. It will also show subscriptions. The itemized purchase history, though, will enable you to track down where the charges are coming from. It may also be in-app purchases that are causing it and you can remove those.

Do I Need Norton AntiVirus?

Norton Anti Virus

Episode 1675

Gary from Phoenix, AZ

Gary's computer slows down when he uses Norton AntiVirus. Leo says that he doesn't really need a third-party AVS anymore. Microsoft's Windows Defender is more than adequate as long as he can keep it up to date. How about Norton 360 Deluxe?? Leo says that Norton 360 offers a ton of extra utilities include spam protection, password managers, and parental controls. But Leo doesn't like their firewall. Leo isn't really a fan of all in one security solution though. He prefers what's best in each category. 

Should I remove my AVS before upgrading to Windows 10?

Windows 10

Episode 1674

Annette from Tustin, CA

Annette has to upgrade to Windows 10, and she wants to know if Windows Defender is the best and how to get rid of McAfee? Leo says getting rid of McAffee is your first priority. But simply uninstalling it isn't going to work completely. Go to the McAffee site and get their removal tool.  Once you've run that, then you can turn your attention to upgrading to Windows 10. Download the Microsoft Media Creation Tool Disc Image. You'll want the November 2019 update version (#1909). Leo likes to put it on an 8GB USB key then to install Windows 10. Then boot to your USB key and run the update.

Did I Run into a Phishing Scam?

Gmail

Episode 1671

Roger from Torrance, CA

Roger got an invoice in email and saw that it had a lot of similar details as his. Leo says chances are it came as part of a typo that misaddressed it. Nothing to really worry about. Leo gets wrong emails all the time. But there is a scam out there where people will send invoices, hoping that someone will automatically pay the invoice without paying attention. But it's easy to verify by looking at the email. Where was it actually addressed to?

Do I need an antivirus for my Mac?

MacBook Air

Episode 1666

Theresa from Signal Hill, CA

Theresa is a serious amateur photographer and she wants to know what antivirus she needs with a Mac. Leo says you don't really need one. Apple does some great work in the background to prevent getting a virus. Plus, Mac isn't really that prevalent to attract viruses, and the macOS is very secure. Your best line of defense is your online behavior. Here are a few things to follow:

1. Keep your system up to date

2. Don't click on links in email or open attachments.

3. Only get your software from original vendors.

4. Use a password vault like LastPass

How Can I Bypass a Firmware Password?

PCUnlocker

Episode 1663

Tom from Carson, CA

Tom has a Dell Laptop that has an administrator password he doesn't know. How can he get into Windows? Or should he just wipe the drive and start over. Leo says wiping the drive is definitely the easiest way to do it if he doesn't need the data from it. Use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool and install it via USB. But he can't get past the firmware password. Leo says that won't get fixed with a hard drive reset. If he can't call the company for the password, then he'll have to do some serious googling to try and break it. PCUnlocker is a program that can do it. But it's not free.