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.

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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.

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