by Nikki Willhite
If you have ever had your computer infected by Adware, you know the
consequences. Adware is a HUGE scam on the Internet. Adware works somewhat the same as a virus. You get it
by opening an infected email, or downloading an infected file. The people who run
this scan are
clever. Often you do not even realize you are doing it.
Adware goes so deep into your computer, it can be impossible to
remove without wiping your hard drive clean. It is
expensive, and it wastes
Once Adware is on your computer, pop up windows will start coming up on your screen.
Words the Adware wants you to click on will become underlined.
The Adware is doing everything it can to get you to go to their sites.
To add insult to injury, there is a second part of this scheme. When you have
Adware on your computer, it
becomes next to impossible to use your computer. You become desperate to get it off. You start
searching the Internet
for programs to remove it. Who puts up the programs? The same people who put up
the Adware. These programs cost money....and they DO NOT WORK!
Sometimes reliable software download sites do the billing, and they will
refund your money if you contact them. These companies,
although not directly responsible for the scam, are a willing participant. They
know what is going on,
and they go along with it.
Unfortunately, even virus protection cannot stop the harm done by
Adware is created every day
to jump over barriers put in place by virus programs. We were infected twice
this year. We learned a lot.
Here is some information to help you if it happens to you.
First of all, do everything you can to prevent being attacked by
Adware. Do not
down free software programs,
or anything that you are not 100% sure is safe. Always look at the URL of the
site you are at. There are
many sites made to look like legitimate ones. You may think you are on a
Microsoft site, but the URL
will be slightly altered.
Never open an attachment sent with an email, especially if you don't know who
sent it. Email accounts
are hacked every day. I am constantly receiving emails from my family...that
they didn't send. This means that someone hacked into their email, and sent out
emails to the people in their address book.
As to removing the Adware, here are the possibilities, from the
frugal solutions to the more expensive but less time consuming alternatives.
First check your control panel to see if your Adware is listed
in the programs you can remove from your computer. It is not likely, but
you should do this first.
You computer has a "Restore Point" program. If it is
working, you can "roll back" your computer
to an earlier date. That may remove the Adware. However, it will also remove any programs that you have installed on your computer
after the restore point date because it will alter your windows
registry and files.
If you are willing to spend the time, you can restore your computer to the way
it was when you first purchased it. Even if your computer didn't come with a recovery disk,
and you didn't make one when you first purchased it, there is often
a recovery program on the
hard drive with the files to perform this task.
After your computer
is basically wiped clean, you have to reinstall everything you put on it. It
isn't hard to reinstall programs
like Microsoft Word, that come with a disk and authorization code, but if you
have programs you downloaded
from the Internet, it can take several days of hard work to remember and find where you
downloaded them and the information
you need to verify that you paid for the program and get it to run properly.
If you want to take the "easy way" out, you can call the Geek Squad. It will
not be cheap. They can take
over your computer and remove the Adware, or you can bring it into their store.
The first time our computer was infected this year, we let the Geek Squad take
over our computer. I watched what the tech did. It took
several hours and many sophisticated programs to remove it. However, it
We learned our lesson this year. We are keeping a lot of information on flash drives now,
even though we also have an online backup. While the online back works
well, it can take 5 days and nights to restore data to your computer. We
plan on keeping our computer as lean as possible so that it will be easier to
restore data if it happens again. Unfortunately, the way the world is
going, things are probably going to get worse in the future.
We also have lists and papers with the needed URL's and codes to
activate reinstalled programs conveniently on hand. We will not have to waste
time hunting things down. We will just follow the list. It will be
quicker and easier.
For your safety and for your sanity, be prepared for the
consequences of a vicious Adware attack. Life is always a lot more simple
when you are organized. Save time and money by doing everything you can to
avoid an Adware attack and knowing what to do if you experience one.
About the Author: Nikki Willhite,
mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing
articles on the topic of
frugal living for over a
decade. Visit her at
- where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal
Happy Families- more than just money!