Popups and Home Page Hijacks come in several flavors.. However, if
you use most of the items in the list I am about to give you, you will
lessen your popups, security holes and spam all with one list. Your
problem may be Messenger Popups (you should follow the firewall
advice and do a Google search on 'disable messenger service in
windows xp' to fix this) or web page popups (you should follow the
Google Toolbar advice section for these.) You may have
spyware/adware infesting your machine, follow the appropriate
section for that, making sure you use at least THREE of the tools
I list to scan and clean your machine AFTER updating them.
Cleaning up spyware/adware/malware usually solves home page
hijackers as well.
Please Notice that if you use AOL, you should at least upgrade to 9.0 or
greater before doing any of the fixes. I know you can get AOL 9.0 at almost
any convenience store, gas station, super market or other retail outlet in
the world, so this should not be a problem.
The first is a PAY product, but useable for 30 days - it has found and
eliminated problems in the past the others did not. The latter two are
prevention mechanisms. I like SpywareGuard for those with enough processor
to have something running like antivirus software - and it prevents browser
hijacking quite well.
After you cleanup your PC somewhat of spy/ad/mal-ware, verify your antivirus
software is updated and run a full scan of your computer. If you have no
antivirus software - get one NOW! Grisoft AntiVirus: http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to about
80 to 120MB (seems to be an optimal size for the normal user)
- Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
- Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
- Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section,
do the following:
- Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
- Click on "Settings" and change the
"Amount of disk space to use:" to something between 80MB
and 120MB. (Betting it is MUCH larger right now.)
- Click OK.
- Click on "Delete Files" and select to
"Delete all offline contents" (the checkbox) and click
OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10 minutes or
- Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer
- Re-open Internet Explorer.
Uninstall any software you do not use often/ever. (If you have something
installed but never use it, uninstall it.) If you go through Control
Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and see things you seldom if ever use, it is to
your advantage to remove it.
Stop loading applications at logon.. run MSCONFIG and look under the startup
tab for things you DON'T want to startup! Search the Internet with Google
to discover what things are safe to remove and what things may even be
malware infecting your computer.