Dwight Watt - Newspaper article #1 3/18/2009

Question: I get lots of pop-up ads on my computer? What causes this?

Answer: Lots of pop-up ads, sometimes to the point where you cannot do anything is an indication of a computer infected with viruses and/or spyware (both in the category of malware). There can be other reasons also for a computer running slower I will answer in future columns.

The best two things to do to limit infections of malware is to install and keep up dated 1.) an anti-virus program and 2.) an anti-spyware program. Make sure you update and have them scan your computer at least weekly.

Once you installed an anti-spyware or anti-virus program you need to make sure to get all the updates. Most of them have an easy link once you start the program to do updates and many do automatic updates. Make sure you renew or get an updated copy every year.

Scan your computer repetitively until clean in Normal and then Safe modes initially.

If your computer is badly infected with pop-ups where you cannot run normally, disconnect from the Internet. Then do the scans. You may need to clean in Safe mode first.

These are my suggestions although there are other good ones out there. As a combined program to remove both types of malware, AVG is real good and is available at www.avg.com and is free for personal use. Norton Anti-virus is good for getting rid of viruses. You can buy it online at www.norton.com or at stores. Trend Micro makes a good program to remove on-line which is called HouseCall and is available free at www.trendmicro.com. SuperAntiSpyware wull get rid of the worst spyware. It is free for personal use and is at www.superantispyware.com. Do not use SuperAntiVirus, it is a bad program that puts spyware on your computer.

Send me your questions about computers to me at the paper or to my e-mail dwight@dwightwatt.com and tell me you read this in the paper. I will pick a question to answer each week. Thanks to my students for the question this week.

(c) 2009 by Dwight Watt
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