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Solutions: Don't click on pop-ups

I have Microsoft Outlook email and Microsoft Office Word 2007, and almost daily a pop-up comes up with the following message: "A tool to aid in developing services for Windows NT Microsoft Windows. … " My daughter said never click on the pop-ups, so I have not. What is your opinion?

My opinion is that your daughter is smart. It looks as if that issue has something to do with Garmin Maps GPS software. If you have that installed and don't use it, go to Control Panel, Programs and Uninstall a Program and remove it. If you need to keep it, remove it from your Start Programs menu.

I am using an HP desktop with all of the latest Microsoft, Windows, AOL and Norton 360 programs installed. The computer is used daily by two adults and several times a week by two grandchildren. My question is this: Is it safer and/or better for the life of this computer to put it to sleep after every use session, maybe to be woken up minutes or hours later, or is it better to allow it to run all day and then put it to sleep after ceasing to use it for the evening?

In the old days of PCs (15 years ago), I found it better to let them run all day. It seemed that most of the bad things that happened to hardware back then occurred while it was starting up or shutting down. That's not the case any longer. Hard drives, monitors and memory modules are much more resilient. For the sake of saving power and to reduce the heat generated within the PC, I say it is best to let a PC sleep after a specified period of inactivity. The particulars can be set in Control Panel, Power Options. The only caveat is that occasionally some components/drivers have trouble "waking up." This is becoming rarer, as reducing power consumption becomes the norm, and it's usually fixed by a reboot.

I have both Security Essentials and Malwarebytes installed. When I ran Security Essentials, it found nothing. I then ran Malwarebytes, and it found 115 objects. Most of these were PUPs. How does one system find nothing and the other 115? Were these spyware, and does Microsoft Security Essentials just look for virus infections?

Those two programs have some overlap but serve two different purposes. PUPs are "potentially unwanted programs," technically not malware or viruses, but pesky programs that are sometimes installed as sidekicks within other downloads. These PUPs have a range of functions, from spyware to adware, and are generally not wanted. Continue checking periodically with Malwarebytes, and remove them when found.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Don't click on pop-ups 08/01/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 1, 2014 6:28pm]
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