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They claim to block pop ups, but they actually block competitors ads and allow their own. That means they will install software on your computer to display as many ads as possible to get you to buy something. Some popular examples are Precision Time, Date Manager, Comet Curser, Bonzi Buddy, My Daily Horoscope, Weather Bug, Save Now, Bargain Buddy, Gain, Gator Password Manager, and Wild Tangent Game Channel. Any program that claims it will speed up your internet or improve your searches. Also any program that claims to increase system memory without adding memory chips, improve memory usage by monitoring and clearing unused memory, or speed up software downloads. Instead of covering the problem with a band aid, you want to remove the adware and spyware with Ad-Aware and Spybot. Here is a link to a site that shows which software works and which ones do not. Most of the time you have to register to use the site, (personal information), other times you need to download a special "Plug In" or "Update" to use the site.
They also claim to help you search, but they really change your search results to display links to sites that have paid to be first on the list. On that note, I routinely find other spy removal software on the list of items to be removed by Ad-Aware and Spybot. That type is the worst, because the plug in or update is ad based software that allows them to install software on your computer. I have seen cases where after playing games, there are game icons all over the desktop and every time you start your computer, you have to cancel out of a full screen window showing you the games and ads.
When done scanning, click "Next" Under the heading "Scanning Results" will be several tabs. The program will run while your computer is starting up before your desktop icons show up. They give the files the same name as popular songs.
If either program says some problems could not be fixed and asks if you would like the program to run on next start up, say YES and then reboot your computer. As of late sometime in 2008, Malware companies have started to hide their crap software in the "shared" folder on thousands of computers all over the world.
When scan is complete, click the "Perform Actions Now" button. They claim to offer a solution if you just click here. If not, there are other programs and methods to remove them.
Select the next tab and put a checkmark in front of all Privacy Objects except "MRU object". Click the "Finish" button, and then the X in the upper right corner to close Ad-Aware. Click on "OK" to download new reference file if one is available. File sharing through P2P networks is considered by most to be illegal. They claim your computer is badly infected and warn that you could have more problems if not taken care of IMMEDIATLY!
When scan is complete, there will be 3 tabs across the top with scan results. (Right click on 1 checkmark box and click on "Select All Objects"). If anything can not be removed, click the "Quarantine" button. This makes file sharing programs far more risky that they already were. There are more and more programs aimed at getting you to buy their spyware removal programs. They usually show up as a warning on the screen or as a popup from the system tray.
Ad-Aware is designed to provide advanced protection from known Data-mining, aggressive advertising, Parasites, Scumware, selected traditional Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser hijackers, and tracking components. The sites are mostly all ads and pop ups that try to get you to buy something, or try to load junk software on to your computer. Make sure the dot is in front of "Perform full scan" and click the "Scan" button. If you accidentally misspell a website address slightly, you may get a website setup USING the misspelled name to catch those mistakes. For those ads that do not have an X, you may be able to close the window using the Task manager. (You should click the X in the upper right corner to close ads.
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When done, click on "Search and Destroy" in the upper left corner. If it does not reopen on its own, open program again. Click the X in the upper right corner to close Ad-Aware. (Note: You may see messages from your firewall asking about access. And it IS infected, but the popup IS the infection. I've known people who PAY them just to stop the messages. But others use rootkits to hide so well, it takes special software to find and eliminate them.