Just a Note – September 14, 2015

People in Padua

People in Padua

Hello World!

I’m writing this post from “safe mode” as I’m doing a full clean-up of all the gunk that I picked up last week.  Yesterday the problem I wrote about last week represented itself and I found myself closed out of my mail service etc.  I ran the antivirus and found 7 ad tracking cookies and removed them.  I also cleared out my system information files (you go to properties of your computer set up and deactivate system information – at least that’s what you do on XP.  Once it’s been deactivated all the files are cancelled.  When you turn your system information back on you have a new starting point created the moment you activate the service so that’s the point your computer will go to if you have a problem – like when you add an update and your computer stops working ).

At this point I went into safe mode with network options and began to run various programs to clear out malware and adware following the advice of Malware Tips

While I was waiting to get the job done, among other things,  I read this article … kind of got the feeling of “1984” or “Brave New World” reading it : The truth about Windows 10 spying on almost everything you do.

Interesting reading and not a little scary if your interested in having a private life and still using your computer on-line.

I’ve always considered Internet as a sort of huge plaza … lots of people milling around getting to know each other, buying stuff, sharing their lives … but I always remember that it’s like any plaza in the world … there are good guys and there are bad guys, and there are nosy-parkers, spies, con-artists and yes, perverts too.

If you go into a public place, you are always a little at risk of losing some of your privacy.  The point is .. how much of your privacy are you willing to give up?  The thought of an Ad company or anyone else as far as that goes, rummaging through my private letters and snooping in on my private conversations doesn’t please me at all.

I don’t know the solution … but the article does give some ideas as what to turn off.  They did mention as a valid if radical solution converting to Linux products … might be an idea.

I’ve finished my work here and will now be going back to my normal mode with a few ideas whizzing through my head … there might be some interesting points here leading to a story 😉 .

Have a great week!


Just a Note: December 16, 2013

Hello World!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell…as you all probably know if you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been swinging between getting into the Christmas Spirit and working to get Ubuntu to function the way I want it to on Sekhmet.  Today, I was forced to decide to clean my Windows XP of all the junk that I’ve  accumulated after several months of surfing the web.

I discovered that I had a few PUPs on my computer.  I’d probably picked them up the other evening when I was trying to download a PDF through a site or maybe when I was trying to look at a film, don’t really know.  Fact is, somehow, I found that I’d installed “OUTOBOX” and so had a lot of ad crap on my computer that I wasn’t aware of.  The problem wasn’t felt, because I use Mozilla Firefox with an app called “ADBlock Plus” I don’t like Google Chrome, too much publicity and pop-up screens and haven’t used Explorer in years.  But just the same, the stuff was there so I uninstalled the darn thing and then of course I knew I had to get rid of the little malicious bits and pieces that were strewn throughout the computer…including the Registry.

Now, if you’re a careful surfer, and I usually am, you can usually avoid most of this mess.  It usually happens when you try to download a program, look at a streamed film, are looking for drivers and you go to an unofficial site, like Softronics to download it.  So the first thing to learn is don’t download a program from an unofficial site.  You want to get AVG free…go to the AVG web site.  Make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be before you download.  The second thing you do is you don’t just fast click the program you’re trying to install.  Often adware and toolbars and other nice things are attached to the installation program, they tell you it’s there though if they’re honest, so all you have to do is uncheck the stuff.

Be careful where you go when you’re surfing the web.  Those cute little ring tones for example are very often an invitation to have your computer spattered with junk…and I don’t think I have to tell you about “adult sites”.  Believe me you can have all the anti-virus and firewalls you want, sooner or later you’ll get some junk on your computer.  This stuff just walks past them…one thing I’ve recently read is, that if you have the option you can have your anti-virus block the PUPS. Terrible world we live in folks…poisoned cookies and vicious pups…oh well. Remember though, if your anti-virus slows your computer down too much, it may not be worth the pain, you really can learn to scour your computer with the right products.

I’ve come across a lot of this stuff and sometimes I make a little extra helping people get their systems up and running after they’ve had a bit of viral infection :-).  Yep, I may not be getting along too well with Ubuntu, but I do know my XP and can work really well with Microsoft products!

Some people have come to me with their computer blocked by a big nasty notice:  “You have been found surfing into illegal sites.  Interpol has blocked your computer.  You will have to pay a fine of 100 euro in order to unblock your computer.”  My extemporaneous translation, but more or less that’s the gist.  Other people have downloaded programs to tweak their computer…thought it was too slow…and then couldn’t get it to do anything.  Sometimes they wanted an alternative reader, browser (yes even Firefox), antivirus or whatever and voilà they found themselves with a really cool program that compacted their files and made the originals invisible creating links to open them, that didn’t work.  Oh the things I’ve seen.  And usually all because we are of a trusting ingenuous nature.

So…I found myself with OutoBox this morning as I was saying…after I uninstalled, I went and Googled to find out what it was and most important, how to get rid of the tendrils that were surely in my computer.  This is the “how to” site I went to: PC Infected.Com. Go have a peek clicking the link.  I followed the instructions from 1 to 3…I didn’t download Hitman Pro…and I didn’t Reset my browser (actually Malware Bytes did that partially).

The first two programs took off a bunch of stuff from my computer, and I was thinking that I’d just forego the Malware Bytes program…it had to be installed and wasn’t like the other two that are direct .Exe and didn’t need installation.  I avoid where possible installing these 14 day trail wonders.  Sometimes they tell you what you’ve got and won’t clean up unless you pay.  Yeah…I guess I’m stingy…if I used them for work I’d pay because they are very often worth the money, but for one shot usage…yeah, I guess I’m stingy.  Anyway, this time I decided to try it out and see the results.  This is what it came up with:

screenshotNot bad…a couple of Trojans and a worm a backdoor bot!  I let the program remove the trash.

Surprise!  Firefox, which was becoming very slow of late, is now as quick as a frightened bunny.  Remember, if your browser is getting very slow, you’ve probably got a few pups and poisoned cookies running around, not to talk about Trojan horses and yucky worms!  Go and do a little cleaning.  Throw out the cookies from time to time.  Sure, some of your favorite sites will be slow in opeing, but then you’ll find everything flows like milk and honey (but not so sticky). The really big advantage is you might find that your “New Post” on your editor at WordPress pops up in seconds like it should 😉

Have a nice week folks and hope you enjoyed the post. Ciao Bastet!