IT Security Tip: REMOVE these from your laptop, tablet or smartphone

Like it or not, device manufacturers LOVE to stuff your brand-new PC, tablet or phone full of “free” applications (they get paid to do it, so you’ve got a slim chance of getting one without a side of spamware). But clutter is the enemy of a speedy PC, and outdated apps are a breeding ground for hackers; so if you’re not using a particular software on a regular basis, it’s best to REMOVE it completely. That way you don’t have it sucking up processing speed AND leaving the door open to hackers and malware.


Episode Show Notes: 

In this episode we discuss... 

  • The Bloatware Nightmare  
  • Virtually every electronic device comes with "free" pre-installed software. Ask yourself one question: Why is anything free? 
  • 2:50 – Joe shares his definition of Bloatware: extra software that comes when you buy new computer. It comes with either hardware or software that you get.  
  • 3:30 – What are some examples of Bloatware? 
  • Bloatware is seen on phones, in a search engine,  
  • Adobe Reader - when you go to install it, it also downloads/installs google chrome, antivirus, and comes with all this payload.  
  • Some of this stuff will show up with your operating system.  
  • 4:40 - How do you get it? 
  • Preinstalled by manufacturer  
  • Side-install (usually with free apps) --- uncheck the box! 
  • Coupons/discounts/charity 
  • Shocker! Included with the O/S! 
  • Pre-installed 
  • Links to Microsoft Store 
  • 6:25 – Justin asks the question: Why is ANYTHING free? Just why! 
  • Always ask yourself this question! 
  • If you aren’t paying, you ARE the product! 
  • 8:45 – I don’t think (especially the rising gen) people stop to contemplate what goes on behind the scenes to develop one of these free apps. SO, I want to put into perspective.  
  • Google – everyone uses it these days, and it is free.  
  • If a product is free, what is the real product? If you aren’t payingIf your software is free, YOU are the product. They are buying/selling you, the product 
  • At 11:15 we rate 5 different things about the bloatware nightmare problem and its significance.    

Scale of 1 – 5 (5 being the worst), how significant is the Bloatware Nightmare problem? 

  1. Bloatware may be malicious (1stparty won’t know / check this) 

On a scale of 1-5 how serious is this? How worried should we be about malicious bloatware? 

  • Rating: 5  
  1. Bloatware slowsthings down.  
  • Rating: Varies from 1 all the way to a 5, depending on what you’ve got.  
  1. Eats up hard drive space 
  • Rating: 1-2 
  1. Hardware/software space storageconflicts  
  • Rating: - 2  
  1. Updates (or lack thereof) 
  • Rating: 5  
  • Iis one more threat vector on your phone if you don’t update it. Updates for all your software on phone or computer is most important rated as 5, being the worst, on the scale.  


  • 17:10 – what do we need to be aware of? How do we attack this problem on phone/computer? 
  • Talk to a professional  
  • Update, update, update!  
  • Back your stuff up 1st specifically anything coming from dell / novo 
  • If you are doing this yourself, be sure to BACKUP your stuff BEFORE you remove any bloatware that came with your purchase.  
  • Talk to a pro but do backup if you’re doing it yourself 
  • Ask yourself: why is this free?!? 
  • If it’s free...Guess what? You're the product. 
  • At 19:40 we discuss a RECENT Ransomware attack that was catastrophic in scale. And Joe tells listeners how this COULD HAVE been prevented.  
  • UHS operates hospitals and clinics, got hit with Ryuk the ransomware. This was one of the LARGEST successful ransomware attacks in the U.S.  
  • 97% of these headlines we hear in the news (Including THIS ONE) could have been prevented! 

We will be back next week with an update, further breaking down this UHS Ransomware attack, OR by then, we may even be breaking down some new attack making headlines...   

Don't wait.  97% of the stuff we're breaking down, including THIS attack, WAS PREVENTABLE.  

Don’t wait, go to   and we'll tell you how secure your stuff is and what you need to do to protect yourself.