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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Need a little computer help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

kid iowa
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Oklahoma
300 Posts

Profile of kid iowa
First off, I'm pretty much a computer "techno-tard" so forgive me if my questions are pretty basic. I'm using Yahoo dsl and lately it has been slow as dirt on sites like Ebay and such, and won't display graphics of some of the things on the Yahoo home page and others. My computer was turned off for two weeks while I was out of town, and when I booted it up it had a wierd background saying that my computer was infected with viruses, and I found a "winhound" icon on my desktop which I deleted. Anyone know of some simple and safe ways to speed up my computer, or know whats going on with it on Ebay and such? Thanks in advance. Jim
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
Mark Williams
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Las Vegas, Nevada
504 Posts

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Did you run your Virus checker to see if your system showed any bugs?
Norton or Macafee are both very good. Then, I would also run a Spyware Checker program like Ad-Aware or Spybot (Both free), to get rid of all the garbage, you more than likely have collected. And for good measure, delete all your Temporary Files and see if all that speeds things up for you.
"Once is Magic!! Twice is an Education!!"
Skip Way
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Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
It definitely sounds like you have a problem with spyware and viruses. It is complete system suicide to run a DSL or cable always-on system without strong Internet security protection like McAfee and Norton and a reliable firewall like ZoneAlarm. It's no different from leaving every door and window to your home standing wide open 24 hours a day. Anyone can literally walk in, look around and take what they like.

If you don't have a firewall and anti-virus program running on your computer go to http://www.symantec.com. Click on the Viruses & Risks tab. At the bottom of the Viruses & Risks page you'll see a small box for Symantec Security Check. Click on start.

This is an online Antivirus check that will scan your computer drives free of charge. They also offer an online system security check of your computer that will tell you where you are at greatest risk of attack from hackers and viruses. Run both of these tests! (For those who have software loaded, it's still a good idea to use a reliable online scan to check your computer now and then. Some viruses shut down or bypass your loaded antivirus systems. The online checks will often catch these.)

Follow up by loading free copies of Ad-Aware ( http://www.lavasoft.com ) and Spybot ( http://www.pctools.com ) and running them. Use both as they each tend to pickup different versions and types of spyware. THEN...once your system is as clean as you can get it...IMMEDIATELY buy and load either McAfee's or Norton's Internet Security Packages and activate it. Immediately buy and install a hardware firewall router between your modem and your computer. Don't rely on the Windows Firewall or Antivirus programs...they suck.

If you've been surfing the Internet for any length of time without this basic protection...Immediately, once your system is clean and all of your protection is in place, change all of your vital passwords and, if possible, logon ID's to frequented and high risk sites such as on-line banking, PayPal, eBay and so on. Be sure that your system is clean and all protection is in place BEFORE you do this or you're simply handing the new information to those who may be monitoring your keystrokes.

If Internet security sounds like a foreign language to you, spend $30.00 and enroll in a basic Internet Security course at your local community college. This will be the best money you'll ever spend towards the Internet!

One of the best sites for Computer-Oriented questions and advice is http://www.komando.com ... Digital Godess Kim Komando's site. She is amazing!!

Good Luck!
Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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The above advice is all excellent. My suggestion is you follow all of it. I will add, depending on your opperating system the following.

If you are running windows 2000 or higher, set up a user profile other than your administrator. If your modem is connected, don't be in administrator mode.

What this does (it is not in itself a 100% guarentee) is prevent things from saving to your harddrive unannounced.

Do what skip said, and get a copy of zonealarm. it is free, and tells you everytime something wants to happen in the background. Then it asks your permission to access or not.

Paying for the professional version of Zone Alarm will keep you updated, but the free one is not so bad either.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Corey Harris
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Kansas City, MO
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Remember on DSL you are sharing that connection with every one in your neighbor hood as well. So if there are more people on then they will be taking away from your bandwidth.
kid iowa
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Oklahoma
300 Posts

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Thanks for the help! I'm having problems though. My browser won't pull up the Symantec site, I either time out or if I put in a search for it it says "not found." I downloaded the Spybot search and it won't run for some reason, it just sits there. I'll be getting a Norton's bundle later today, sometimes it takes a kick to the head to get the ball rolling I guess. The most problems I seem to have are with Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo and sites like that. Ebay says that I have to upgrade my browser even though I've had problems with it before. Sometimes computers suck. Jim
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
kid iowa
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Oklahoma
300 Posts

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Problem solved! I got the McAfee Internet pack and it found 500+ problems on the ol' piece of junk computer. Now it's spinning like the outdated top that it is, thanks guys! One more question, anyone recommend a good hardware firewall router that won't bust my wallet? Thanks again, Jim
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
Partizan
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London UK
1682 Posts

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RealSecure software FW - http://www.iss.net/

I bet you had a few trojans Smile
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
Skip Way
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Jim, Happy to hear it! Any of the wired router firewalls by Linksys, D-Link or Netgear will work wonders for you. I've personally used Netgear and Linksys without a problem. On Froogle, D-Links DL-604 sells for between $20-$70; Linksys BEFSK41 sells for around $60-$92; Netgear FR114P sells for between $61-$155. The D-Link should work well as a starter unit for you...although I prefer the added security and on-board diagnostics offered by Netgear. Check in at your local Best Buys and ask the staff to fit a unit toyour specific needs. I find them very helpful when I'm confused about a purchase...which is often.

Best wishes!
Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Jim Poor
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Fairfax, VA
676 Posts

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And to keep it clean, I recommend Spybot Search & Destroy...

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html
Partizan
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London UK
1682 Posts

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Spybot S&D failed to remove many of my little problems.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
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