Hijacked by I-D-10-T Error

I feel hijacked.

The other day, I was reading a friend’s blog, and I noticed a random word with a hyperlink on it. When my mouse scrolled over it, an ad popped up.

A pop up ad that has nothing to do at all with the content?

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Mermaids Don't Do Windows
This is what I saw when I previewed my own post. A “dropdown” ad on my “pop up ad”–how appropriate.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to click that link to continue.

I’m feeling all invaded and dirty because of this stupid ad that has nothing to do with my friend’s blog. Also, my friend has no control over how the internet plants the link.

Then it happened to me here at Mermaids Don’t Do Windows. What the heck? One of the reasons I moved to a hosted website was to get away from the advertisements that a free website has the right to inflict on my visitors.

I didn’t sign anything that agreed to have advertisements scattered throughout my website. “They” are always finding creative ways to stick advertisements in front of people. Since most people don’t notice the ads on the sides of the page anymore, I guess they thought it would be cool to scatter links on web pages.

So. Not. Cool.

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Mermaids Don't Do Windows
Dalek name and image Copyright © BBC/Terry Nation 1963. Photograph © Radio Times.

Then I realized that my computer was the problem. I’d been invaded by malware or spyware or spambots or Daleks…No, this behavior is beneath Daleks, which would announce that they are exterminating my browsers, not sneak in under the radar. (Forgive my free word association to the fictional Dr. Who alien villains. It’s late as I write this.)

Sorry, geek moment is over…

We have virus protection on this computer, so what gives? Sneaky little gremlins invaded my space, ruined my internet…

(Haha, gremlins…another geek moment for comic relief,)

I installed malware-catching software. One caught a few minor things (cookies weren’t cleared–boring), and the other caught four nasty files.

My father-in-law looked up a few things for me, because he’s all computery like that. He told me to find any programs that shouldn’t be there, because I didn’t install them, and then disable them in my browser.

Easy peasy.

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Still © 1987, 2009 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Photography © 1987, 2009 Act III Productions, LP

I didn’t find the program he suggested, but I did find another one that was installed just two weeks ago. It was a toolbar add-on. Somehow it found a way in and installed itself and annoyed me and sucked two weeks years from my life. “How did that make you feel?” (Sorry, couldn’t avoid the Princess Bride reference.)

When I looked in my browser settings to disable the toolbar now that it was deleted, I discovered that all the add-ons to my virus protection were disabled!

Virus protection works, if it isn’t trying to fight the bad guys with one hand tied behind its back. (Here’s where I wanted to add a TV or movie reference about an unfair fight, but I was too tired to think of a good reference from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

Also, if a web page pops up and plays music and tells you that the Java software (or any other) is out-of-date, DO NOT click any of the links. Close that window by any means necessary. (I promise, I didn’t become Jack Bauer from 24.)

Remember: Software companies aren’t going to call you, and they aren’t going to play music from a popup to announce an update.

I’m not sure that I did something to cause this time-wasting event, but anything’s possible. Whether it was me or the malware developers who created this crap, it was an I-D-10-T error.

Another thing I’ve learned: I shouldn’t write posts when I’m tired from being up too late and still mad about the sneaky, bad software.

Let me know when you get the error code meaning. 😀 If you can’t figure it out, I’ll post something in the comments. Also, do you have any good unfair fight movie or TV references? Yeah, I dropped the ball on that one.

14 comments on… “Hijacked by I-D-10-T Error”

  1. LOVE the error code, clever mermaid! (You mustn’t have been THAT sleepy, Diana). Thank goodness for fathers-in-law who are all computery, although your inner Jack Bauer seems to be serving you pretty well by itself. Thanks for a fun read and start to the day. Who can’t relate to the terror? It takes just one errant, innocent ‘click’ to unleash the hounds of Hades in cyberworld…and hours and days to ‘undo’. Enjoy your day! Dave

    • Diana Beebe

      Thanks for understanding, Dave! 😀 Great idea: “unleash the hounds of Hades in cyberworl…” I’d like an undo, please.

  2. I got the error code meaning. 😀 That sucks big time. Do you see ads on my WP blog, Diana? Because I pay for them not to be there, and I don’t see them. Just curious now that you’ve written this post. Good post.

    • Diana Beebe

      Hi, Elen! No more crazy popup ads! I may have seen them on your site, but only because my browser settings were mucked up. The ads were only on my computer. :-/

      I think I finally killed the beast and fixed my settings so they can’t sneak in again. Evidently, it’s important to make sure virus protection add-ons don’t get disabled in your browsers.

  3. Good code word, Diana. Though you are anything but! Also nice to see you can have a sense of humor around these invading, time-sucking, boundary-crossing, narcissistic, brain-numbing …. techno-pyric events. When they hit me, I generally close down my computer and sulk. I’ll try the humor thing next time. Who knows.

    • Diana Beebe

      What a great description of this kind of problem! Try the humor. “It’s so crazy, it just might work.” From Master of Disguise.
      Sorry, another crazy movie reference to go along with the post. 😉

  4. This scares me! I think I’ll have my husband do a sweep of my laptop just to make sure everything is in proper working order. I know we have virus protection, but you said it can get disabled, which is scary in and of itself. Those sneaky malware people. Ugh. Cute code, you’re a clever one, Diana!

    • Diana Beebe

      It’s a good idea to check your settings. I’ll be checking more often, that’s for sure.
      I can’t take credit for the code. It is clever!

  5. That error code is priceless! Not to mention all your great geek quotes and mentions. Loved this post. You made your pain so fun to read. Sorry for your pain, by the way. Now I’m thinking I need to run my malware. My virus protection pulled seven things off my computer the other day. That’s rare. But these damn ads began to show up in the side bar when I would pop onto youtube. SO annoying. Maybe I had something similar. Don’t know. The ads would be singing and chatting away during the youtube video and sometimes I couldn’t stop them. Errr.

    • Diana Beebe

      Heehee. Glad you enjoyed the post. I do hope nothing snuck in–it could be that the ads are just more annoying because the advertisers are tired of being ignored. Singing ads that we can’t turn off or stop make me want to run out and buy that stuff right away. NOT.


  6. Oh great, now I’m going to have to use a different error code. :p *makes note that Diana doesn’t keep trade secrets*

    Picking up an errant toolbar isn’t an Id-10t error. They’re everywhere and nearly every program seems to want to install one. You did well in getting rid of it and warning folk about them.

    I highly recommend Firefox with the NoScript add-on for avoiding much of the crap out there. Chrome has NotScripts or the newer ScriptNo to switch on or off JavaScript stuff. That would cover the auto start audio/videos and other web annoyances. There’s an option for pretty much every browser, though some are a bit convoluted to get working (looks at you Safari).


    • Diana Beebe

      LOL Trade secret, huh? My R&D guys used it for us technical writers all the time. 😉

      Thanks for the tips and the support! I do appreciate it.

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