Saturday, May 3, 2014

Beating Malware

I take a lot of pride in keeping my computers, tablet and smart phone free from malware and viruses. There are a few basic tools I use and recommend and all of them are FREE! They all have versions you can pay for, but the free ones have always worked well for me.
But a few weeks ago my computer picked up a really annoying bug. It caused all kinds of pop-ups for some video down loader program, "you might also enjoy reading" ads, and some League of Angels game pop up windows in Firefox. I used all the above tools but could not get rid of it. Then I also discovered it infected Internet Explorer and my Steam games as well.
I did numerous online searches for a fix but nothing seemed to work. I avoided all the "SpyHunter" and other pay-to-fix software that came up in the searches as these are usually a complete waste of time and money.
In my own sleuthing on my computer I noticed the malware kept changing the proxy server in my browsers, and even when I changed the settings they would revert back. I tried a couple of registry hacks but even that didn't resolve it.
I finally stumbled on a page that lead me to ComboFix from Bleeping Computers. I installed and ran the program, and in about 15 minutes I had resolved the issue! This has been one of the worst forms of malware I have come across and I sincerely thank the makers of this FREE program for providing a quick and so far painless fix.
One other word of caution when you have issues like this. Before you run any cleaners or make any major changes to settings or the registry, CREATE A SYSTEM RESTORE POINT FIRST!!!! These programs don't usually delete or damage any legitimate programs or files on your computer, but always better safe than sorry. Happy Computing!