The last two weeks have been a struggle, trying to rescue my laptop from the Antivirus XP. It got into my computer and wreaked havoc in all kinds of ways (see my earlier post on this). Although it was listed as “low risk” I wouldn’t risk doing banking or bill-paying, etc. The worst thing was fake security alerts that kept emails from being sent and shut the system down in the middle of my tasks. The fix?
I looked up the virus on the web and found a free dowload offered by www.Malwarebytes.org. Figuring it couldn’t get much worse, I downloaded the Malware scanner. Well, the trojan riding free in my computer wouldn’t allow it to scan, and kept aborting it. At first there were some error numbers I was supposed to report to “the staff.” Yeah, right. It’s a free program and this cyberspace company is going to bother with my problem? In desperation I found a ‘contact us’ link on the website and reported the numbers. The next day the mail brought a reply from Marcin at Malware with a suggestion. I was so excited to have a reply that I crashed hard when the suggestion didn’t work. Thinking Marcin might actually care, I poured out my problem once again. Another suggestion came in the email.
Well, the suggestion didn’t work at first but I kept trying to run that Malware scan day and night- every chance I got- getting more frustrated as it got farther and farther each time. Today, lo and behold, it aborted mid-scan with a prompt allowing me to remove the viruses found thus far. Once the first batch was gone, the fake virus threat alert went away and it allowed the computer to start in safe mode (Thanks, Marcin). After that, I watched in fascination as it scanned all 95,000 items completely and listed all the lurking bugs. All I had to do was click the ones I wanted removed! The last few weeks were such hell that I just removed them all!!!! It was so satisfying to see them get zapped!
Keep in mind that many of those bugs were cookies put there by sites I visit, to make identifying me easy. Now I’ll have to re-enter all my info but it’s worth it! I even let the Malware remove the animated email Smilies (the cutesy pictures in some earlier posts) when I saw how many adware cookies that smilie toolbar installed. Bottom line? I am so grateful to Malwarebytes that I am going to spring for their ‘real-time’ protection- meaning I’ll buy and install it to keep zapping those unwanted buggers as they appear, instead of waiting until my life is disrupted by a mass takeover. The price? $24.95- one time only (no subscription cost billed every year). I was so impressed by the idea that they offered the removal fix free, and that they responded to my emails, that I’m now a huge fan.
Virus removal can be expensive. I’ve heard shocking stories from other ‘puter people. My problems started because I didn’t want to pay to install the security program (that has kept my desktop safe for 4 years) on my laptop. I told myself I couldn’t afford it. Now I know I can’t afford to go without protection. Who’s sorry now?? I got off lucky. There are thousands of viruses, trojans and other insidious bugs out there and I don’t know if Malwarebytes is the answer for your investation, but I suggest you give it a try. These folks know what they’re doing!!!