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TECH TIPS:  Pop-ups - Not a Good Thing

Never, never, never, never, NEVER click on a Pop-up.  (Sorry for yelling).  This has become a serious problem to PC Users.  Pop-ups are the quickest way to add malicious software such as adware, spyware, hijack browsers, viruses, worms, dialers, Trojan Horses, ….etc, to your computer.

Pop-ups always look benign – in fact, they look downright helpful and inviting.  But they frequently contain software that will harm your computer.  This software is sometimes impossible to get rid of – except for wiping out your hard drive and installing new system software.  (And if you take it in to a technician to do, it will set you back 60 bucks an hour).

Antivirus software like Norton Antivirus, MacAfee, and Grisoft AVG does not detect many types of adware, spyware, hijackware and dialers.  Many of these nasty programs make their way onto your computer without you even knowing it.

My favorite pop-up is the one that says you must click here and install this “applet” to view this webpage correctly.  If you do click on that “applet,” that web page isn’t the only thing you will be viewing!

There is a neat site that shows many examples of these malevolent pop-up ads.  Go here and read about them – learn why you need to stay away from them. (Be sure to click on the Archives for more examples).
http://popupmocker.blogspot.com/

We have talked about tools to use to help protect your computer.  Download these programs and use them at least once a week to keep your computer clean. These are not antivirus software programs – this is software to protect against adware and spyware.

SpyBot-Search and Destroy – new version 1.3
There is a new-much improved version of SpyBot – version 1.3.  It just became available this week.  This is excellent software – download load it and install it on your computer.  If you have an old version of SpyBot, be sure to uninstall the old version before you install the new version.  Please note this:  There are sites popping up on the internet that claim to be SpyBot but instead are fake sites that contain this pernicious software.  So be careful where you get your SpyBot from.  Here are 2 good sites to download SpyBot:
http://majorgeeks.com/download2471.html
http://www.safer-networking.org/index.php

Ad-Aware
Another great program to install is Ad-Aware.  This is excellent software that will clean up your computer and keep it clean.  I use this software along with SpyBot weekly.
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

There are many program you want to stay away.  Two of these programs are SpyHunter and Spykiller.  These claim to remove spyware but they add spyware and adware to your computer.  Be Aware!

There is an excellent pop-up blocker that has been rated #1 by many sources.  It is called Smart Pop-up Blocker.  Download it for free here:
http://download.com.com/3000-7786-10282837.html

Here is a great article on “parasite” software – read it and learn more!
http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/

Here is a great article on what spyware and adware will do to your computer.  It’s an entertaining article and very informative.
The Spyware That Love Me – article by John Borland
http://news.com.com/2010-1032_3-5187106.html

Read what Congress and the FTC are doing (or not doing) about spyware:
http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2004Mar/gee20040430024953.htm

Final Words:  Just say “NO” pop-ups!!!

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