How I wish I had a resident IT expert to consult. I have had so many problems in the last two weeks, probably all avoidable if I only knew what I was doing, that I'm on the verge of throwing the PC out of my study window!
First, I opened an infected email. I have what I thought was the highest level of internet security, updated on a daily basis; I have spam control on highest setting; I had my brain switched off! I saw a name I thought I recognised and when asked if I trusted this source I said yes, opened the link and the nightmare began.
My PC was invaded by every worm and bug known and unknown. I had pornographic images popping up, followed by warnings that pornographic images had been detected in my files, the police could take action and my family life ruined unless I clicked on the link to download a clean-up system. At least my brain was alert enough this time to realise that clicking this link would produce further problems.
I spent two days installing new spy and adware programmes and Hijack This, cleaning every infected file, removing every item of malware and resetting my security. I've almost cracked it, I still have a banner that appears on some internet pages inviting me to click on it for an adware and spyware security check but I'm too clever to get caught by that one. Or, wait a minute could it be a genuine Windows alert? I'm so jumpy now I won't click on anything!
My boot up time is now considerably extended because I don't just have my Norton scan, I have Spybot and Spyhunter and RemoveIT. Get through that lot if you can, you sneaky invaders! Well, last night I think they did. I was browsing through the blogs, as I do on my insomniac nights, when an alert message popped up to say that I did not have enough virtual memory space. Then all my Norton Internet Security vanished. Just like that! Not a trace to be found anywhere in the system.
I have now re-installed Norton (2 hours of fiddling), scanned the whole system again (1 hour) and now I'm sitting here, on-line and trembling, waiting for the next attack.
When I ask for helpful advice, people tell me to buy a Mac and use Mozilla. That would only be helpful if I could afford to replace my PC, which is less than 2 years old. If anyone out there can tell me where my lost programme went to and why and what I can do to prevent it happening again, you can have as much chocolate cake as you can eat.
Signed Desperately Distracted of Devon