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Getting Rid of Computer Viruses

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Household Management > Getting Rid of Computer Viruses


  • Computer Virus -- HELLLLP!!!
  • More advice about Managing the Home Computer

    Computer Virus -- HELLLLP!!!

    April 2005

    We have this weird virus (or worm) that turns the screen red and says ''Spyware'' and claims to solve our problem if we send $69 -- some kind of ''protection racket'' except they break you WINDOWS in stead of your windows. We've tried doing everything in the Norton AntiVirus but it only works temporarily and then this thing comes back to life. Are there experts for this problem? Other programs? (Please don't suggest not using explorer -- we figured out that one and have kicked ourselves sufficiently.) Carol


    Try Spybot. I think it's freeware--just google it. I run this program every time I have to re-boot. If I don't, I get all sorts of stuff popping up. Good luck. Debbie
    I had a similar virus/spyware and went to this website for help: http://forums.spywareinfo.com/ They were VERY helpful and instead of having to re-install my OS they walked me through step-by-step how to get rid of the spyware. Good luck! Been in your shoes
    I've had good luck cleaning systems with Spybot Search & Destroy: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/ It's a free download, so worth a try! -Mike
    What you have is spyware (or adware) which is a little program that lives on your computer, and tries to figure out what it can sell you by monitoring the websites you visit and sometimes other activity such as keystrokes. You are right not to click on a link in one of these. There is spyware now that claims to sell spyware cleaners - the ultimate insult! It was probably downloaded to your computer when you visited a website that runs a lot of ads, such as a music download site or a chat room / IM site. Or, as my college son said recently: ''Mom, The reason I haven't answered your email is because nothing but pop-ups will run on my computer. I'll be honest with you. I went to a porn site, and the next thing I know, my screen is filling up with pop-ups, and now I can't get rid of them.''

    So, I'll tell you what I told him: Get AdAware. Run it. Don't go to porn sites anymore. ... Just kidding about the porn, but I'm not kidding about AdAware! I was plagued last year with spyware after my teen nieces visited and used my computer. Even though I didn't use Internet Explorer, I was getting IE pop-ups constantly and my computer was spinning all the time running spyware programs. It took me weeks to get rid of it all. Initially I used ''SpyBot Search & Destroy'' to clean my computer. But it didn't work for everything. I'd clean, reboot, and a couple of the little buggers would come back to life again. On the advice of the support guys in the UCB Computer Science department where I work, I found a free product that really got rid of everything once and for all: AdAware http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ It's made by a company called LavaSoft - look for the ''Download'' button on that page. It is easy to use, and it really did clean everything up.

    So, get AdAware and run it. You'll need to re-run it often if somebody is using your computer who goes to sites that teens frequent, such as instant messanger sites, music download sites, and the aforementioned porn sites.

    I would also recommend NOT using Internet Explorer. It is the Number One target of adware, spyware, viruses and worms. If you're on a Mac, use Opera. If you're on a PC, use Firefox. I haven't used Opera, but Firefox has very nice pop-up killer as an added bonus. Ginger


    Also recommended: 3 computer consultants. See Someone to get rid of viruses on my computer
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    this page was last updated: Apr 8, 2007


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