Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Beware of browser hijack

I am getting random word links, with pop up windows, when the mouse goes over the link. I am not getting them on banking or financial pages. An example: on the City of St Petersburg site, www.stpete.org/utilitybill/ the word "computer" turned into a link with pop-up window page that contains the following: "Free Local job search, Search thousands of jobs: monster.com: Aid by Highlight, click here". There are several other words turned into links such as access, backdraft, online account and more. I am using Internet Explorer v11, Windows 7 and Microsoft Security Essentials. I tried to correct the problem with a full scan and using Security Essentials and IE Tools (Internet options, programs, manage add-ons, disable all), but had no luck. Using Google I found a website, Wafflesatnoon.com, that offers free software to correct the problem, I am afraid of using free software.

I went to that site and didn't see any ads or anything else unusual. If this happens on all sites, it's possible you have some sort of browser-hijacker involved. My recommendation is to download and install MalwareBytes AntiMalware from malwarebytes.org/mwb-download.php. This will bring you to the download page with the download already initiated. Choose "Run." On the install, you don't need to click the "trial offer" at this time. The free version is all you need for routine checks and the only free software I ever recommend. Run a full scan and follow the recommendations. If the problems persist, use Windows Defender Offline to create a boot CD allowing you to boot into Windows without activating any resident virus and run a full scan on your hard drive. Find it at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline.

Do you think it's safe to allow Internet Explorer to remember your ID and passwords for stockbroker and banking sites?

Generally, no. But that only solves a very small piece of the problem. The news this week of Russian hackers obtaining over 1 billion ID's and passwords from many (unnamed yet) businesses, puts just about anyone who has ever used the Internet at risk. My recommendation is to change your passwords on all your related financial or commerce (eBay, Amazon) sites ASAP. Remember to create them using upper and lower case, include numbers and special characters (i.e. #, $, @) and change them often. We are seeing that there's no 100 percent protection. It is a game of technological leap-frog between the hackers and the available Internet security measures. Stay vigilant and be stingy with giving out personal information either online or in your day-to-day dealings.

Does Windows 8 have a repair disk function like Windows 7? I looked for it but could not find it and the "Restore Disks" did not have a repair option. HP said the only way of my problem was a "total restore."

Click the Windows key and type update and recovery. Click "Recovery options" on the right. Choose "Refresh your PC without affecting your files." Follow the instructions. It's probably a good idea to first back up all your personal data just in case.

Send questions to [email protected] or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Beware of browser hijack 08/08/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 8, 2014 7:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.