So about two weeks I noticed my computer acting a little weird. Then I went to ch131.com, a site where I watch shows that aren't on Hulu. It's not totally legit, it's true. But how else am I going to watch Big Bang Theory just an hour after it has aired??? WHERE????
Anyway, I went on the site and apparently click on something and voila!! VIRUS! Except that it wasn't 'technically' a virus, it was malware or something. Avast! wouldn't detect it, and AntiMalwareBytes or whatever I downloaded only worked a bit. And Spybot only found a couple of things. After running those three programs, going to Trend Micro's House Call, and restoring the computer to a previous setting, it was STILL infected. How did I know?? Well, it would randomly try to go to "viagra.com" and "porn.com" and then reroute to another site. Occasionally I'd try to look something up on Google and it would redirect me or tell me "Internet Explorer says that site has a virus" even though I use Firefox instead of IE. Also, it made Bing.com my home page.
Yeah. Something was up.
Oh and occasionally a popup would appear on my desktop saying that my computer was infected and if I just clicked on the popup and put in some info it would totally take care of it, for FREEEEEE. YEAH I DO NOT THINK SO EVIL MALWARE YOU SUCK.
So after getting upset and letting off steam and some bad words (you should know that technology not working brings out extreme amounts of RAGE in me. I'm not kidding. It's freaky and my fuse is VERY short when it comes to technology).... I thought "there has to be a way to fix this." I found MalWare Removal.com and life became so much better!! Norton Safe Web listed the site as a safe site, so that was good. All I had to do was sign in to a forum, describe my problem, and they led me through a lot of different programs to let me know what was causing my issues. They let me know which of my programs to delete, at least for the time being (apparently coupons.com's coupon printer is a tracking program, and can interfere when you're trying to de-crappify your pc) and they told me what to delete, what to run, and how to make some of these programs clear the crap off my computer. It's a free service, although they are happy to accept donations, which I will definitely be giving them after all the help they gave me. All in all it took about a week. They'd tell me 3 or 4 things to install, run, and then I'd give them the report. They'd tell me how to fix the thing, and then have me run another program, give the report, repeat. The reports from different programs would show them what processes are trying to 'hide' and how to get rid of them. It was awesome!!
Bryan was a bit nervous about the fact that my computer's information was being posted in a forum, but it didn't really worry me, I guess. Of course they got my name and my IP address, but I didn't worry about anything else. They never asked personal info, any of that. In the logs I could see what was listed, and it was programs and processes, not credit card numbers. :-) All in all they were just really really helpful. One thing to remember, if you don't respond to their prompt within 3 days, they consider your case closed.
It's been a week since I started working with them and my computer is back to working wonderfully!! The website also offers a "Malware University" for people interested in learning how to "fight back against all that is bad on the internet." They train people (for free) how to defend computers against malware and how to clear up an infected computer, with the intention that those they have trained will help people on the forums clean up their own computers. You can find some info on the owners of the site here. I am just so, so, so thankful for them, especially for Bob4, my super helpful and awesome Malware Removal University Master. He was SO helpful and kind, and I'm so happy my very old, very persnickety computer is mine again!