Adware, Malware and Your Computer

red question markWe frequently experience bloggers posting to the WordPress.com support forums angrily reporting that there is advertising displaying on their blogs, despite the fact they have purchased No-Ads upgrades. Well, consider this post to be a wake-up call please, because what’s being reported is not advertising placed by WordPress.com; it’s adware that you need to remove.

All WordPress.com placed ads are easy to identify as this link accompanies them About these ads. There are no text link ads and there are no pop-up ads placed by WordPress.com. However, they can appear to you as the result of a browser add-on or toolbar, or as a result of downloading anything that has adware embedded into it. Do note that online shopping places and spaces are places that one can pick up contagion very easily.

Adware and malware are the most common forms of viruses. Try logging out, clearing your browser cache and cookies, disabling all browser add-ons and extensions, and then do a computer malware and virus scan.  Then reboot your computer and try logging in again. View your blog and  it’s unlikely that you will still see the advertising you saw before but if you do, then click the link in the quote below.

These days it’s important to be clued in. Some advertisers have gone into stealth mode and annoying unwanted adware is becoming ubiquitous.  Advertising components are installed by some “shareware” products and there is now a proliferation of unwanted adware and malware, some if which can only be found with deep security scanners, that may be on your computer. – Bloggers: Beware of Adware

Discussion

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free product you can download to help defend computers running Windows Vista and Windows 7 against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. In Windows 8, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender runs in the background and notifies you when you need to take specific action. However, you can use it anytime to scan for malware if your computer isn’t working properly or you clicked a suspicious link online or in an email message.

Did you know that as of July 1st, 2014 Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) has announced and new approach to adware? When one of Microsoft’s products detects adware, it will immediately stop the program, the user will be alerted and recommended actions will be provided.

Did you know that Google’s security services for Android have expanded? Studies reveal that 99% of all mobile malware targets Android devices, mainly due to apps downloaded from non-official app stores.

Fortunately, my super cautious approach to downloading means I haven’t had to remove adware or malware from my computer or browser. Have you experienced downloading anything that has infected your browser or computer with adware or malware?

Related posts:
How to Keep Your Blog Safe
How to Prevent and React to a WordPress Hack Attack.

39 thoughts on “Adware, Malware and Your Computer

  1. How did a sweet person like yourself become so knowledgeable about dirty tricks? No, never mind, don’t answer that… : )

    I’ve become so paranoid about links, I only buy sausage patties now… : )

    Great post, important reminder, and an essential heads-up for the unwary– many thanks.

  2. ok-I’m a dummy-I think. I joined a group Blogging 101 because I thought I would like to be in the COMMONS and get input and maybe learn to be a better writer. I immediately started having problems. I requested to be removed and was. I reset my cache.

    One thing that changed that I’m not sure how to re-do is my personal name is appearing on my facebook share, rather than my blog name.

    Did something change and I don’t know it-or is that a part of my blunder.

    I am smarter than I use to be, but not as smart as I would like to be.
    Thanks

  3. Hello there, I know you don’t accept awards, but it doesnt stop me giving them just to say “hey I think your great” with the knowledge that I know it wont go any further, its my treat right? Grins. anyway I have nominated you for the WordPress Family Award, because your knowledge is just mind blowing and you are always there to help others. If you wish to read up on the post and your specific nomination words it is here:

    http://eclecticoddsnsods.com/2014/05/05/awards-a-mucho-grando-and-appreciato/

    huggles xx

  4. I’m pretty cautious about clicking links I’m not certain of. Particularly within emails. Unfortunately there are those who never learn.

  5. Oh my Goodness!!! A Malware on WP Blog and sized an Advert! I really don’t know about this and i have Trauma about Malware Virus or such. How About Protect from WP? I always thinking Malware or Virus mostly or have many potential Virus and Malware form Widgets,and i have an Experience about that (back to my first blog).

    1. The ads from toolbars and browser add-ons display only to the blogger and not to their visitors unless their visitor’s browsers or computers are also infected. Make sure your security programs and firewalls are up to date and don’t download anything you aren’t convinced is safe to use.

  6. Very interesting, especially since my computer spent part of last week in the shop getting rid of “linkury.”

  7. [ Smiles ] I genuinely believe that most anti-spyware and anti-virus programs protect users from malware and those annoying adware that you have mentioned.

    1. I believe that too. Sadly, it seems that many bloggers are not setting their security programs up to auto-update. They are not scanning their computers on a regular basis and they are downloading dodgy stuff from dodgy sites too.

  8. That is a super useful post thank you I’ve been getting the blue screen and crashing lots so though not the same I think I need to clean my computer big time x

    1. Way back in my distant past I had an old computer that had a trojan virus. That was years ago and after that was removed I smartened up right away. I don’t download much, if anything, at all.

  9. I just spent most of a day cleaning up my husband’s computer. He downloaded a few programs and when he installed them, he didn’t think to uncheck the box for a number of additions that were packed with the program. I googled one of the additions (which had become an add-on to his browser) and a number of sites trying to sell you malware removers claimed it was malware. Neither Norton nor any other legitimate security suite agreed. It’s a jungle out there…

    1. I hear you. There are even “free” spyware removal programs that install spyware on your computer to locate other spyware, adware and malware, and they report it all, except their own adware embeds. No kidding!

    2. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to help my less-tech-savvy relatives with exactly this. And some of these add-ons can be near-impossible to remove. But then Google recently installed a piece of software on my computer without even giving me the option to opt out first. It’s a jungle, like you say. A jungle filled with carnivorous plants!

      1. I find it annoying when people say all you have to do is disable your browser add-ons and/or extensions. Truth be told that does not rid of the worst adware and/or malware. It amazes me when I discover that people I know do not upgrade their security programs and don’t do any scanning on a regular basis. How hard can setting up automatic updates be? It’s easy as pie. And, running a weekly scan isn’t a big deal either.

        1. Disabling add-ons definitely don’t help. There was a malware toolbar on my mum’s web browser that kept re-installing itself the moment you uninstalled it. It took a registry editor to wipe it out completely.

          Auto-updates for security software is non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned. They don’t use that much data, if someone’s worried about that. And with most of the better software you can schedule scans to run automatically as well, though often not with the free versions.

          1. Disabling browser add-ons and extensions means one can enable them again one at a time to find the culprit, but as you have experienced the culprit may not be easily eliminated. Like you I take the position that security updates are a no-brainer. I think many bloggers have unwittingly downloaded share ware and browser add-ons that have these advertising links. Aside from the annoyance factor, it’s important to know that clicking the links provides advertisers with the ability to track you online and record your preferences.

    1. Your welcome and thanks for the kind words. Always be cautious and ask yourself: Do I really need to download this at all? Then use Google search to see if others are reporting malware or adware issues with whatever it is.

  10. Like you, I’m pretty cautious. Won’t click on anything unless I know specifically who it came from or why. So, no problems. But I also know no one is totally immune. Them sneaky buggers keep finding new ways to attack even the vigilant.

    1. I’m extremely cautious about clicking links too. It seems as if weasel ware is everywhere these days because suckers who do click links are born every second and greed is a powerful force.

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