Viruses, Hackers and Sanity

Sometimes I think I should have a warning label, something that will keep me from doing things I shouldn’t do and creating near disasters.  Last night I was searching around the web for lightbulbs.  I know, it sounds innocuous enough and it actually was going along just fine for a while.  I needed those little things that are used for under cabinet lights.  I’d already tried to find them at Lowe’s, but, apparently they don’t believe that they should have to carry replacement bulbs for light fixtures they sell.  My web search went well, I found what I needed, placed my order and started looking around for some videos I wanted to watch.

That’s when everything blew up.  I had stepped into a trap set by those pesky little hacker people who have nothing better to do than mess with our computers.  This particular virus managed to hijack Google, Bing, Ask – well every search engine that one would normally rely on.  It installed its’ own search site, left me with an unwanted toolbar and a feeling of panic like none I had experienced in a long time.  As everything was now under the control of these cyber terrorists, I went to our laptop to find out how to kill this virus.  I found that I wasn’t the first one to have been invaded, and that the remedy was going to take some time – a lot of time – I’m talking about six hours here.

I found a site with six pages of instructions on what to do with these monsters.  It wasn’t a matter of simply downloading additional spyware, adware, malware, all kinds of ware.  No, I had to tinker around under the hood with things like string values, default settings and Windows’ recovery settings.  By 2AM on Saturday, I had finally wiped out any traces of the demons, and was actually able to sign back on without some nasty little websites and advertisments staring back at me.

I’m pretty certain that I brought much of this on myself.  There were probably little warnings from my internet security software that I chose to ignore.  I may have to install something that protects me from myself – like one of those blockers that parents put on computers to keep their children out of harm’s way.  I’d like to think I learned my lesson, but you never know.  As I was writing this, and still feeling more than a little angry and embarrassed, I happened to look out of the window.  I’m sharing what I saw, to help you understand how I could suddenly put this whole mess into perspective and make light of it, and me.  It really was hard to take myself or a stupid computer problem too seriously when the rest of the world looked this good.   Even this post took a little longer because playing with the dogs and their sticks and their toys seemed much more important than writing.

I did manage to find a little video that I thought you’d enjoy.  It’s a couple of years old and some of you may have already seen it. It’s a reenactment of the “I’m up here, you’re down there” showdown between Kelly Bensimon and Bethenny Frankel, with Andy Cohen playing the part of Bethenny and Stephen Colbert as Kelly.   I can safely say that it didn’t come from a site that wanted to invade the Farm.

By the way, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg got married Saturday – the young man’s had a busy week.

Have a peaceful and (hopefully) trouble free Sunday,


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14 Responses to Viruses, Hackers and Sanity

  1. nohausfrau says:

    Good Morning Empress, thanks for the laugh! I never saw that clip before. Loved it! Your photo is beautiful–hydrangeas and dogs playing. Two of my favorite things.

  2. C. Jayne says:

    you can usually uninstall it (and any other extra tool bars) by going to the start menu- programs- uninstall find any new programs by date and uninstall- uninstall any new add on’s in your explorer and clear your cache…you didn’t ask but there it is it shouldn’t take very long and while pesky, they are usually not a virus just a little BS to spice up your day!

  3. Donna says:

    ugh! Been there, My husband and I built our own computers. He took it upon himself to improve my computer without my permission. End result major virus. As a result he picked out this computer for me, that has yuk memory. So what happened to my computer, I managed to steal my hard drive as he put it to the curb to be picked up by someone else.

  4. Kæreste says:

    Good Day Empress!
    The internet is a mysterious and glorious thing. Like the Wild West. It giveth and taketh away. One day it is a gold mine and another it is a bottomless pit.

    I had not seen the Colbert and Andy Cohen reinactment of the Monkey Bar showdown. Very funny.
    Have a great day!

  5. thedesigndiva2 says:

    Enjoyed the clip with Stephen and Dandy Andy….I still dont like DANDY ANDY…
    Viruses and Malware… OH YEA…
    Back a few months ago I got hacked while visiting BRAVOTV web site.. BASTARDS…
    I had to have someone bring over a laptop so I could research how to get rid of it and found out how to do it pretty quick.. Got the system restored pretty quickly and back and running full bore..
    I had posted info about this attack at Lynns and luckily I beleive it was Cartwheels ?? that got hacked and she had written the info down that I posted and WALA she got her laptop back and running in short time…
    You should set your virus software to do AUTOMATIC updates w/o you having to okay it…. I have mone set to scan automatically everyday after lunch…I get a report once a week and am SHOCKED at how many attempts they blocked that week…. What I like about my virus program is that it has this GREEN CHECK MARK that states whether the site is safe to proceed to.. On some days even REALITY TEA will have a RED MARK stating it is UNSAFE TO PROCEED… I have learned to go into most sites thru a GOOGLE search rather than using a FAVORITE BOOK MARK… at least when you google it… you know that the site has been scanned first before you CLICK the LINK….
    Cant be too careful out there now a days…….
    Off to do some more reading…..
    Here’s to everyone having a GOOD SUNDAY….. here comes the RAIN CLOUDS … AGAIN….

    • I’m sure my virus software is set to automatic. I just chose to ignore the warning Friday night because I know so much more than some silly software. After all, how much harm can I do with one little click, right? 😀

      • Hi, great blog, my first time here. Found it by way of Chirping Twit, meltthehound posts there. Don’t know what virus software you use but best I have ever used is Fsecure dot com internet security. Works flawlessly even when you ignore the warnings. It captures the bad guy before it can do any harm and quickly deletes or quarantines it as appropriate. Been using it for about 4 years now and have never had a virus, trojan, hijacker or anything get past this little beauty. Good luck and I will be back often as I enjoyed my time reading the posts.

        • Hi babs,
          Thank you for your virus info and for stopping by to read. I really am my own worst enemy on the internet and I appreciate all of the offers of help – it’s obvious that I need it.

  6. MelTheHound says:

    I use AVG for the virus software. Once in awhile an odd search engine will try to install itself but with firefox I can turn parts of the toolbar on and off. Sometimes though, I think firefox is the actual culprit. They offer or sponsor add ons that are meant to prevent a successful attack and the cynic in me looks as most software, with a side eye.

    Another bit of software I use is Spybot Search and Destroy which is free and helps to prevent malicious cookies from installing. It will automatically or you can set it to do so automatically, go through the internet stuff that gets stored on your machine and wipe it out. You can set different levels from block everything to let most stuff through.

    Between the two, I feel the machine is pretty secure.

  7. MelTheHound says:

    That video was hilarious. Thanks for posting it, Empress. I still can’t stand Andy but I may have to reconsider Colbert. 🙂

  8. It’s all about the fertilizer. 😉

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