Security and Privacy

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

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. 

How does LastPass work with a blind user?

LastPass

Episode 1660

Jon from Leesburg, Virginia

Jon wants to know how to use LastPass. He's having a lot of trouble as a blind man to use it. Leo says that while every company may not have a legal obligation, they certainly have an ethical obligation to make their software accessible. LastPass may have a full-time accessibility person, and if he contacts LastPass, they could help him figure it out. 

Is my Microsoft Account secure?

Microsoft Account Login

Episode 1660

Don from Springfield, IL

Don has noticed someone from the Ukraine has tried to log into his Microsoft account on a weekly basis. Should he be concerned? Leo says as long as you don't use the same password, have 2-factor authentication, and have a password manager like Last Pass, there's no way he can get into it. But make sure you have 2 Factor turned on just in case someone manages to guess the password. It will then ask for an authentication code from you through Microsoft Authenticator, which notifies you via text. It's very secure.