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Solutions: Defend and upgrade to fix PC's tracking problems

I recently acquired a computer from a relative. It's a Dell with Windows 7 and using the IE 8 browser. I've had a sporadic problem using the back-up key that seems to be steadily increasing. I can't return to the prior page, and when I list the history I don't see the previous page but instead an endless list of legends. From what I've found on the Web this is some kind of spyware or virus. I've found a multitude of possible suggestions to fix it, none of which has proven successful (or were too complex to follow). I've performed several complete scans and nothing was found. Is this thing dangerous and is there any way to get rid of it?

It is a well known tracking cookie and is considered dangerous. Since you were given the PC it is possible that the installed antivirus programs may be compromised. Go to to read about and create a Windows Defender Offline CD. Once this is completed, boot from that CD (watch when your computer reboots, it will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD). This will automatically run the Windows Defender Offline without interference.

Once that is complete I would recommend upgrading to Internet Explorer version 9 and make use of the built-in Tracking Protection lists. Click Internet Options, Safety, Tracking Protection and click the "Get a Tracking Protection List online" to read more about what this is and to select one or more lists. Abine is one such list that protects against "atdmt" tracking. Other things you can do within Internet Explorer is to set your privacy settings to Medium High or High (Tools, Internet options, privacy tab). Using In Private Browsing (Tools, Safety, In Private Browsing) will give you the highest level of privacy and tracking protection, but at the same time may prevent viewing of some of your regular sites, and/or make you log in for each visit.

I'm probably one of thousands of new desktop and printer users finding out everything has changed and some of the previous little tricks we were accustomed to using have either disappeared or are hidden in mysterious ways. After spending several hours troubleshooting with HP help, I cannot find where to change my first Wordpad doc effort from double-spacing to single. Holding down with the ctrl key and the Number 1 key as suggested at the same time does not work. Spelling check is gone from Options and Tools where it use to be. Is this just me or is it really the advance of upgrades that are becoming more difficult for us old-timers?

Make sure you've got the text selected first (highlighted), and then either press the ctrl and 1 key, or click the line-spacing picture on the Paragraph ribbon. Many people find the new interfaces confusing, so you're not alone. Many new PCs are coming pre-loaded with Office 2010 starter which consists of trimmed down Web-based versions of Word and Excel.

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

Solutions: Defend and upgrade to fix PC's tracking problems 08/05/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 5, 2012 4:30am]
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