Friday, October 31, 2008

Spy, spy, pretty girl, I see you see me through your window

My computer got infected with Spyware! My son has a Myspace account and opened an attachment that was sent to him. Shame on him, but bad things do happen. Suddenly, I had all kinds of things popping up on my computer telling me I was infected and to buy software at this or that site. I didn't know what was good and what was bad. Even my task manager had been disabled and my desktop had a big message- "Your computer has been infected with spyware."

I had two antivirus softwares installed but I didn't really know if either was working properly. Obviously not! Anyway, a friend helped me out today and I'm happy to say that the computer seems to be working all right, finally, after HOURS and HOURS of scans, defrags, cleanups, etc.

I would like to suggest to everyone what I learned.
  1. only have one kind of antivirus protection. Two can stop each of them from working properly. My friend helped me remove all the antivirus software I was using and load on Avast! Antivirus. It's free and continuously updates to fight the latest bugs, worms, viruses, and whatever. Set your computer to automatically update and scan at startup.
  2. regularly perform computer maintenance in the form of disk cleanup and disk defrag.

Here is an article on 5 ways to improve performance. The first 3 items are good, the last 2 may not be necessary.

Last year I bought a laptop. I took out an extended warranty on it. For the first year it worked fine but this year, the AC cord keeps going bad and when you run out of battery, that's it! No computer! Unfortunately, every time I have this problem, it seems to take a week or two to get it resolved. I must have sent the cord in at least six times this year. The only reason I can come up with is that I have power surges in my house. Now I have my laptop plugged into a surge protector so we'll see how long my latest cord will last. I never really thought about using a surge protector for my laptop because it's not always plugged in.
Computers! Ugh!! I have a definite love-hate relationship with them. I consider them "timeboxes". They use up all my time. Everything is wait, wait, wait. And this year, my computer seems to be down more than up. But nowadays, you can't live without them. And who wants to? I love googling and blogging.

Spy, spy, pretty girl, I see you see me through your window - song: Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed, artist: David Bowie, album: Space Oddity


Cara said...

Ha! My son got a spyware-bob through Myspace! He was doing something he had been told to wait to do until Dad came home! Then, when it crashed, he said, as if I was really stupid:
"I'm not going to wait until Dad gets home to do THAT!"

Because I am not really stupid, he is not allowed to use the computer when one of us is not sitting with him. That includes homework. Abuse a privlidge, risk it's loss. It's not punishment, we are protecting our stuff.

I'm lucky, Dad is a computer engineer. I turn it over to him and go to the barn.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Well, I'm glad you're 'back' online again and was able to get your 'puter fixed, too.

Thanks for the helpful reminder about anti-virus software and especially task such as defrag. That link is very interesting because I never really understoof just WHY it was so important.

Thanks :)

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Cara- "I'm lucky, Dad is a computer engineer. I turn it over to him and go to the barn."
Yes, lucky you!!