Thursday, August 6, 2009
Well my fellow bloggers--here's a little warning that is of particular interest if you use Blogger as your platform. This morning, when I went to access my blog, I was denied access (the page wouldn't even load) and given a big Google warning that it appeared I might have been infected with malicious spyware. All very nicely worded so that they could never claim I WAS infected, but gee whiz....we can't let you in until you either a) wait awhile or b) run some anti spyware/adware software. Convenient links were provided to two such programs --both of which APPEARED to be free. Let me add here that I have a relatively new computer, and haven't installed a lot of extra spy/malware catching programs trying to keep things simple. Now I have good antispy software and malware protection as part of my McAffee protection suite, and when I ran those scans..all appeared well. But I still couldn't get my blog to load. Much gnashing of teeth at this point. SO...........instead of just downloading my two favorite programs that I knew worked and could be trusted...................like a big dummy................I downloaded one of Google's linked programs for free and ran that program which told me I had 2 SEVERE files that were going to cause me problems. Now comes the clincher......according to this Google linked program "AdwareProfessional" I now had to 'register' the program to be able to clean up these two files. Of course when I clicked on register (Ok, ok, I know....stupid....blame it on not enough coffee and too much sunshine) I discovered --surprise, surprise-- that it would only cost me $37.95 or some close dumb amount to 'register.' I then Googled this program(Adware) and found a good amount of discussion at one of my trusted sites CNET (should have done this in the first place). I also googled "Spydriver", one of the files this bogus Adware program labeled as a severe problem on my computer, and found that it is planted into your computer (perhaps by Adware itself?) to get you to buy software to clean it up. Big fat frowny face here..... Fortunately, another of my favorites (again....why did I trust Google, instead of the old standbys?) Spybot S&D identified and safely quarantined this little darling for me. Uninstalling it looks like it may be a real hassle, but at least it's off in jail for now. Please don't confuse this Adware program with Ad-aware - a free program I have used successfully for years. That one is a good one, and I have reinstalled it on my computer. The moral of the story, please beware of links in anything --use the old "trust but verify" before you download anything. Here's another link to discussion about Adware. SHAME on Google for posting these links. I'll be much less ready to trust anything from Google from now on.