Back in a bit

Hotel Mignon, Trieste

Malware is the high fructose corn syrup of our computer family.

Vinny took a breather over the summer to do some travelling. He’s been as far away as Slovenia and Italy, visiting with family in England en route. And back home he’s roamed as far as Saskatchewan in Western Canada and as near as White Lake in Ontario.

When he got home, he was in for a bit of a surprise. Vinny couldn’t load photos into Cook Up A Story any more. Even worse, he couldn’t load photos into his Facebook page.

He tried everything he could think of, calling on everybody he knew who knows plenty about computers. But all was in vain.

Opening a brand-new Facebook page worked for only a half hour before it stalled. Removing security apps either had no effect or a momentary one. Using a friend’s computer did not help. Changing browsers from Firefox to Internet Explorer didn’t work.

Loading a new browser, Chrome, was somewhat successful. It would upload photos onto Facebook… but not WordPress. Alas, Vinny was at a loss as to how to continue with his blog.

A friend recommended a one-man computer shop in the neighborhood which had a rep for being honest and for getting results. When I first described the situation, our computer whiz said he didn’t have a clue! But he said if I brought him my computer he would try a few things.

Turns out we had some Malware, which is the high-fructose corn syrup of the computer world. This particular program seeks out browsers, then blocks some stuff and allows other stuff. Although we could work with Facebook on Chrome, computer guy said that in time, this Malware would catch on to what we were doing and attack Chrome, too.

I picked up the Malware, he said, from viewing certain ads on the Internet. His advice: Never download an upgrade if I’m asked to click a link  in order to view an internet site I encountered on the web. And stay away from any links on Facebook that say “Sponsored.”

Now we are wary. We love the Internet for all we can learn there. But you have to be careful. We thought we were… but obviously, we were not careful enough.

Vinny will be back on Tuesday with something new, just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving. We’re thankful for all the help we got as we worked this problem through… and for the plentiful supply of healthy food we have to choose from in our area for our Thanksgiving table. Amen.

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