Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Computer Viruses Make You Paranoid - Or At Least They Make ME Paranoid

Well, I received a delightful unwanted gift before heading off to spend Thanksgiving with the family last week. I was wrapping up a few things on the internet when all of a sudden my laptop was telling me that it was in danger and that I should download a specific software to fix it. Of course, I recognized this for the virus that it was and ignored this message. But after this, I couldn't get on the internet at all. It was virtually holding my computer hostage.

I did a search for the specific virus and found a few sites to help me fix the issue. And then I went into download mode. I downloaded Spyware Blaster, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I got my hands on Norton 360, replacing my free anti-virus software. Then even though I never downloaded the software the virus recommended, I used my desktop to change my passwords. I took advantage of that neat little feature at Gmail to have them text me whenever another computer attempts to log into my account.

The worst part is the mystery of this virus's origins. I don't visit suspicious websites. I hadn't downloaded any attachments. I had three websites open: Gmail, Facebook, and a survey site that I've been a member of for about seven years. I'd just left Yahoo! I still don't know where I picked up this virus.

It's been a week and everything seems fine. But now my laptop is that cheating boyfriend that you can't quite bring yourself to trust again. I've backed up all my work. I've run scans through all of the above mentioned protections. But I'm still on the lookout for any unusual behavior....

Monday, November 19, 2012


Well, I'll be off to spend the week with family. Hopefully, I will get some writing done here and there, but I can't make any promises. I come from a big family. I am the youngest of seven children. So, yes, I'm spoiled. We're planning on getting together this year and everyone brings a dish. One of my sisters usually assigns who brings what. As the youngest, I never get this responsibility. But, thankfully, I also never get assigned the turkey.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday.