Spies and Gremlins and Viruses, oh MY

Ah, the joys of modern technology. It’s all wonderful when it works. When it crashes and burns? Not so much.

All week, I have complained that I have a gremlin in my computer. It’s getting close to Halloween after all. But after three days of sluggish Internet, pages that won’t load or don’t load correctly, then finally having my browser shut down on me completely, I finally decided it was no longer a joking matter.

Of course, I had trouble tracking down my techy guy, too. Mercury is in retrograde, I’ve been told. But this morning, I finally pinned him down on the phone. His first comment was that I have a virus.

No kidding. My nose has been running and I’ve been sneezing since Monday. But, no, that wasn’t what he meant. He meant COMPUTER virus.


Further investigation has led him to believe that probably isn’t the case. Probably.

He asked me a slew of questions. Had I recently downloaded any file sharing programs?

Uh. I don’t know. I don’t THINK so. What are they?

Apparently, I hadn’t.

I may have spyware issues. THOSE I know about and I thought I’d covered those bases with my virus protection software. Maybe. Maybe not. He gave me a web address to download some free software just in case.

The other possibility is that someone nearby has managed to get into my wireless router and is using my signal. A lot. I only have one neighbor close by who has Internet. Unless the cows are more techno savvy than I give them credit for. My first reaction was that it wouldn’t be him. He has his own Internet connection, for goodness sake.


He has kids. One of them is a teenager. Teenagers tend to be more techno savvy than cows. Or than I am. Could it be?


Well, I’ve run the spyware detection stuff and other than a few cookies, it didn’t find anything earth shattering. I’ve disconnected my wireless router and have gone “wired” for the time being. Strangely enough, my Internet is working. So far.

I still don’t know if that’s the problem. If so, it’s a relatively easy fix. No more wireless router. I can live with plugging my laptop into Ethernet.

The plan is to keep the wireless router disconnected for a day. My techy guy is tracking my usage, which he said spiked during the last few days. We will chat again tomorrow and if it has gone back down to its usual numbers (do I sound like I have a clue as to what I’m talking about? I don’t), we’ll know that’s the problem.

We WON’T know for sure if it’s the neighbor kid. I’m not casting blame. Kids will be kids. I just want these darned gremlins out of my computer!


Joyce said…
What anti-virus program do you use? McAfee and Norton both slowed down my laptop to a crawl. On Josh's suggestion, I downloaded the free program from AVG and it's been great.

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