Once again, I’m going to use this weeks article as a forum for readers questions and comments.

Thanks for recommending the Spybot program. The amount of junk that it detected and cleaned up on my computer was incredible. There is a program called eAnthology which may be the most invasive program ever; It leaves bits and pieces of itself everywhere so even after it has been uninstalled it was no surprise when Spybot found more of it even though nothing was showing up in the Program Files.
Thanks again for your helpful column.
Ian MacMillan, via e-mail
I’ve had a lot of useful feedback regarding Spybot and personally speaking it is now on a CD in my toolbox which travels around the bay to help customers suffering from intrusive advertising and pop-ups. For those of you who haven’t downloaded this free ad removal program, go to www.security.kolla.de

My 3 months free trial to Symantec expires 27/7/03 and they want an extra £13.65 to expend my subscription to be paid by credit card. Could you recommend a virus protection for my computer as I am new to this and don't know who to sign up with although I obviously want my computer protected. Thank you for your help and good column in the Herald Express
Linda Livermore, via e-mail
One which I have always recommended and had a lot of positive feedback from readers for is the excellent AVG Anti-virus which can be downloaded free of charge from www.grisoft.com. Simply download it, install it and set it to download updates automatically and then forget about it; it will run transparently in the background, updating itself when necessary and will never cost you a penny! Remember to uninstall Norton Anti-virus first though.

Great, informative article Chris! Any downloads to get rid of those annoying and irritating ads that pop up when using Windows XP? One of them, from Endads supposedly to stop this happening is apparently a scam
Barrie Elton, Paignton
Whether or not Endads is a scam or not I’m unsure although I would be loath to give money to someone popping up messages on my computer offering to stop pop-ups for me.
The problem you mention is a big problem with Windows XP which Microsoft clearly didn’t think about enough before releasing the Operating System onto the mass market. Basically a spammer can trigger a pop up on your computer using the ‘Windows Messenger’ service without your consent and without any specialist software being installed.

Fortunately, all you have to do is disable Windows Messenger service and please note that this will NOT stop MSN Messenger or Outlook from functioning correctly. The Windows Messenger software was originally designed so that messages from a Network Administrator could be relayed to all of those on a Network simultaneously to cut down on internal e-mails and memos. For example, the administrator at Bookham Technologies could send out a message to all the staff at once saying that the e-mail server was currently down and the message would pop up on all of their screens informing them of the current situation. I cannot see a viable use for the Windows Messenger service for the majority of home users so for those of you with Windows XP, you may as well disable it now as it can always be re-enabled later if needed.

Assuming you do want to stop this “service”, click Start button on your toolbar then ‘Run’ and enter in "Services.msc" without the quotation marks and click OK. Scroll down the list until you find “Messenger” in the name column and double click on it. Then click on ‘Stop’ and choose "Disable" in "Startup type" drop down box , click on OK and the pop-ups will no longer annoy you.

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