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Donster
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I am unable to post anything this morning, as I have had no Internet access since yesterday afternoon. Plus my daughters PC has been infected with a browser hijacker. So I am also working on her system to get her fixed so she can get back online for her work classes. Hopefully the Internet will be working today. Sending this message by my smartphone 4G connection.

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Morning y'all, sorry to hear that Donnie has no internet this morning and about his daughter's computer. My wife's computer, again, was booting slowly and every time she opened a web browser a bunch of pop up windows opened as well. It was running poorly, to say the least. I used the latest version of Adaware to remove viruses and bots that Avast! and Iobit had missed... or perhaps did not miss, but she gave permission for this crap to install itself. Anyway, her computer now runs... more or less.

29F this morning and expecting increasingly cloudy skies, a high of 48F... maybe, then snow tomorrow... maybe.

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Presented for what it's worth:

I run Malwarebytes, CCcleaner, and Sophos on both of our computers. I have the paid versions of MWB and CCcleaner because they update themselves and provide ACTIVE protection, which the free versions do not.

About once a week I run a MWB scan and I do a Sophos scan monthly. CCcleaner cleans my browser every time I close it and advises me when I should allow it to run a cleaning scan.

The same software is loaded on my wife's laptop. She is pretty good about not allowing odd stuff on her computer but she uses Facebook so there's a certain amount of trash she can't avoid. I usually start her laptop monthly and run all the needed scans. This scan usually turns up a few bits fairly harmless crap.

I have also disabled file sharing and any other peer-to-peer sharing via the network. This is not a problem for us, since we share no files other than photos and using email or a flash drive to move those from one computer to another is not a big deal.

I use Webroot Security Anywhere for my basic protection on both PCs. For one price you can protect multiple computers. I've used Norton and McAfee plus a couple other security suites and I think they all will do the job, IF you back them up with other protection.

I'm sure there's other software out there that will protect as well or better than what I use. My point is that in order to practice 'safe browsing' you have to work at security. I also do not believe that you can protect yourself adequately with the free versions of most security software. As far as I know, none of the free versions provide active protection.

Like I said. For what it's worth.

Jim

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Jim, sounds like you have a pretty sophisticated suite of protection. I might not be quite that good, but my wife's problem is online games. They are "free", all you have to do is click the "yes" button to install them... and a whole lot of crapware, bloatware, botware, and trojans as well. I keep telling her that "free" is not free, there is a catch. Maybe next time I should just say I can't fix the computer and she can pay the tech guys at Staples to do it.

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The problem I have found with the daughters PC is a browser hijacker called Bitguard. The trouble started when she went to CNET downloads.com. They are installing tracking software and browser toolbars in some of their downloads. They used to be safe but no longer. Read about it months ago. Daughter thought the site was still good and downloaded a screen capture program for her classes. It installed a search engine called default-search.net. I have tried Malwarebytes and a half dozen other antimalware programs and so far can't clear it out. It won't let you run Firefox at all. Only IE and Chrome. I have even cleaned out the registry entries, and tried advice on how to clean it doing a Google search. So far no luck.

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Sounds nasty, Donnie. Hang in there!

I'm running a Mac at home now, but for Hell's Dell, I always ran behind a user account, not admin. TQM gave me that tip, and it saved my bacon more than once. Sometimes stuff would still slide by Norton, but nothing really bad was auto-installed.

Macs won't be inviolate forever, I suspect, nor iPhones and iPads.

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Macs are already susceptible to various crapware, but they still represent a small segment of the market, so they aren't targeted as much.

ANY kind of smart phone (and even dumb ones) are being targeted right now and that will only get worse. My wife has an android phone and I have an android tablet. Both have a security app installed. We do not use them for financial transactions except for an occasional credit card purchase. I'd like to avoid that as well, but it just isn't possible sometimes.

Donnie, if you haven't tried Sophos, give it a shot. The program is very good at finding and eliminating threats of all kinds. You don't even have to buy it . . . the free app just doesn't automatically update.

Jim

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I just finished a two hour scan with Sophos virus removal tool. It found nothing. I uninstalled Firefox 27.0 (the latest version) using Revo Uninstaller, rebooted, downloaded Firefox 21.0 and installed it. And it works. Even after rebooting three times it is still working.

But still haven't go rid of that damn default-search.net search engine screw up your system bot or malware or WTF ever it is.

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Well nothing seems to work. Much like our Government, my ISP, and 47% of Americans. Still can't get this thing cleared out, so am thinking it's time for a reformat and be done with it. Or build a new system. I built the one I am working on for my daughter in Jan. 2007.

OG, tried to answer your e-mail but the outgoing server is kaput too. That link you sent me is the site I found, went through step by step, with no luck.

Oh and to top it off, I can't listen to my voicemail messages on my cell phone this morning either. The recording says "call back later". Sounds a lot like my girlfriends. Except the say "don't fucking call back you rat bastard!"

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So the computer in question was built by you in 2007? Let's see... 2007... minus 2014... carry the 9... multiply by 3 operating system generations... divide by 28 iterations of the iPhone... yep, that adds up to time for a new blender!

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