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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Spyware...Makes me say very ugly things!

Maybe something that happened to me this weekend will be of use to you, so I will share this painful experience. I was happily using my computer when I noticed a new search tool bar on my explorer pages, and when I tried to delete it, it would not let me do it. Then when Norton ran my weekly scan, it informed me of adware that had found its way into my computer.

Suddenly ads began appearing over top of my web pages, I had this tool bar that wouldn't go away, my web pages were coming up slower and when I tried to delete the offending file, it kept coming back! I did not have any anti-spyware on my computer, so I began canvassing friends and asking their advice.

I tried Adaware, Spybot, and EZPestPatrol. Each one found numerous things on my computer that should be deleted (I am talking over 100). After the third or fourth scan, it was down to three or four and the original problem was still there! I was afraid I was going to have to wipe my computer to get rid of the obnoxious Adware.lop. But then a friend recommended the Microsoft Antispyware. So I downloaded that and it cleaned up a couple more files, but the problem was still there.

Then I noticed an Advance Tools button. I clicked on it and finally I was able to delete the offending tool bar! Then I went back in and deleted the adware file that Norton had pointed out to me (I had done this before, but it kept coming back). Then I emptied my recycle bin (something else I hadn't done before) and my problems were solved!

So, my advice is get a good Antispyware program and run regular scans of your computer before you get infected. If you already have a problem like mine, maybe my three days of trial and error will be of use to you. Good luck!

7 Comments:

At 2:23 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Hi mom glad you found the microsoft product. I have been using it over a year, and I swear by it. It keeps me from saying ugly things too.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger B O B said...

I have added links to two ways to keep your computer running well in the links section. I use both of these programs and recommend them. I would only recommend free programs.

PC Pitstop runs your pc through a series of tests, and isolates problems. They will try at one place during the test to sell you a program. I just click no thanks at that point. On the whole, it does a good job of telling you what your computer problems are, and how to fix them. And in some cases they will fix it on the spot for you.

 
At 5:37 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Bob,

Thanks for the additional links!

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Best way to solve this problem?

Get a Mac.

Or use Linux.

Just get the heck away from Windows... it's more trouble than its worth.

I suspect most will disregard this as a flip answer, but you'll appreciate the advice in hindsight (especially the Mac) if you take the plunge.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Aaron, no doubt you are right about getting away from Windows, but I am so used to Windows, I guess I am just hooked. I wouldn't know how to act with something else.

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Aaron said...

You'd be shocked at how easy and pleasant the transition would be.

Mac's OS X (pronounced oh-ess ten) is an intuitive, visually gorgeous work of art sitting on top of a powerful and efficient engine at its core.

Find a friend who has a current model Mac and a recent OS X release (Panther or, preferably, Tiger for the full effect) and spend some time with them seeing their system.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/

And for Windows users who lust after the Mac (or just want to give it a spin), you can get a whole Mac system to use with your existing monitor and USB keyboard/mouse for under $500:

http://www.apple.com/macmini/

It's only speculation at this point, but with Apple's recent announcement that they are moving to Intel chips, it's not impossible it will be an option for purchase by PC users as an alternative to Windows someday. Apple says no... but we shall see. ;)

No, I'm not advertising and I have nothing to gain. But as a person who has used various systems for 20+ years (including every generation of Windows) and whose main OS has been Linux for close to ten years, the Mac stealing my heart as my primary desktop in the last few years says a lot. :)

(For a really amazing experience, drop by a genuine Apple store... it'll blow you away since you can see all the latest stuff in its "native" habitat. There are four in Virginia and the closest one is Short Pump just this side of Richmond. http://www.apple.com/retail/)

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

Aaron,

Your post has been a great edition to our website. Thanks! I don't know anyone who owns a MAC, but the site certainly peaked my interest, the next time I am up Richmond way, I'll have to check out the Apple Store.

 

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