How to Completely Remove Viruses and/or Malware

Recently I was on the search for some new fonts for my image editor. I found a site that listed other sites with free fonts. What I didn’t know, until it was too late, was that these links were actually redirecting me to another site to download malware. I went to the first site and clicked on the download link. However, what began to download was something called iLivid. When I started the setup iLivid I noticed it wanted to change my home page, default search engine, and add a browser bar.

Now I am not a newbie on the Internet, but these guys almost had me install their crapware. I canceled the install, but unfortunately it had already downloaded to my computer. Doing a little research about iLivid I discovered that it was indeed malware, and even some people considered it a virus.

Even though I hadn’t installed the software it still would ask me to install it ever time I loaded my computer. Below are some instructions (that I don’t want to forget) that walk you through diving into your system’s registry and removing anything vicious. As with anything dealing with your registry be careful what you delete. You have the potential to really screw up your computer.

How to remove uninstall malware from your computer:

1. Go to your start menu and type in “regedit” (without the quotation marks) into your Start Search bar.
2. It will take 30 seconds or so for your system to pull up your registry, but once it does go to Edit and Find in the registry menu bar.
3. Type in ilivid.exe (if you are trying to remove ilivid, or whatever executable file you downloaded), then delete all entries.

You can do this also with anything that has installed search bars.

For those who are not familiar with regedit here is Microsoft’s official word on the matter:

The Microsoft Registry Editor (regedit.exe) enables you to view, search for, and change settings in your system registry, which contains information about how your computer runs. Although you can use Registry Editor to inspect and modify the registry, doing so is not recommended, as making incorrect changes can damage your system.

You might need to use Registry Editor, with assistance from a technical support professional, in order to adjust certain system settings.
Regedit.exe is automatically installed during setup and is stored in same folder as is Windows.

To start Regedit.exe

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. Type Regedit, and then click OK.

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The Solution to the Command Prompt Issue in Vista

I need to get off of Vista, because frankly it sucks! When I want to use the command prompt in Vista I have to be sure it sees me in admin role (even though my user profile is admin). I don’t use the command prompt often, so everytime I do I have to figure out how to get it to work all over again. Therefore, I decided to put the process here so all I have to remember is to come to this post. Hopefully this is helpful to other unlucky Vista users. ~Paul

You know you need to be in admin mode if you receive the below error when running a command (I used ipconfig as an example).

‘ipconfig’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

If you receive this than you need to follow this process:

  1. Go to control panel (classic view)
  2. Choose administrator tools
  3. Then system configuration
  4. Click on the tools tab
  5. Launch the Command Prompt (second to bottom in my list).

This loooooooooong process will make sure you can execute your commands. Thanks Microsoft for making an easy task ten times more complicated!

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The Time To Begin is Now!

Found this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on the web today: “Every artist was first an amateur.”

I think it is always natural to desire certain talents and skills. To want to be able to sing well, draw beautifully, or play like the masters, though, requires sacrifice. The most significant sacrifice usually is starting out as an amateur. However, having the clumsy hands of an amateur doesn’t last if you have the passion of an expert!

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How to Remove Multiple Links from Word Documents

My good friend Janet Meiners continually shares with me that she uses her blog as a second brain. Basically, blog it and when you need to find it again just do a search.

That’s what this post is for–logging a new discovery into my second brain. Today I learned a great keyboard shortcut for removing multiple web links from a word document. I’ve been putting together an extensive web marketing packet for my day job and I have to copy a lot of information that is riddled with anchored ads. When I put it in Microsoft Word it becomes quite a chore to remove the links.

Instead of removing each link individually, just highlight the anchored text and use ctrl-shift-f9. This is considerably easier than the ardious task of right-clicking  and then selecting “removing hyperlink” for every link.

Hope this helps! ~Paul W.

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How to Secure Your Social Security Number

The Agriculture Department had over 63,000 social security numbers exposed on the web since 1996. The security breach was noticed and the web page was removed last week. According to the House Government Reform Committee this has been one of 788 incidents involving the loss or compromise of sensitive personal information since the beginning of 2003.

This information hits a bit of a nerve for me. In 2002 I took an internet course through my local community college. Last month I received a letter from this college informing me that my social security number had been exposed on the Internet for an entire month.

My month of being naked on the Internet seems relatively insignificant to the 11 years of those who received a grant through the Department of Agriculture. However, hopefully what I learned from my experience may be useful in protecting them.

What I discovered was that there are a lot of services out on the Internet who state that they will protect your social security number from being high-jacked. The best site that I found is called LifeLock. I say they are the best because of their superb marketing. The CEO of LifeLock daunts his social security number (457-55-5462) on the front page of his website challenging anyone to steal it.

LifeLock guarantees that nobody will be able to use your social security number without your permission or LifeLock will pay up to $1 million in damages. I had the opportunity to talk with LifeLock in depth and I feel that there service is good. However, instead of paying them you can do what they are doing for free.

All that LifeLock, or anyone else, does is sign you up with fraud alerts with the three different credit bureaus. What you need to do is to call the credit bureas and ask to have them protect your identity. To get started here are there phone numbers:

Equifax (800) 525-6285
Experian (888) 397-3742
TransUnion (800) 680-7289

Each bureau follows a standardized three-step process: 1) They will establish a security alert on your credit file, 2) They will opt you out of pre-approved offers for credit or insurance, and 3) They will mail you a copy of your credit file.

Believe it or not this is exactly what LifeLock does and really nothing more. This makes it so if someone tries to apply for anything using your social security he or she will need to know your security questions. These questions are what you supplied when you created your fraud alerts.

Even the million dollar guarantee isn’t really all that great with LifeLock. Mainly because if someone does high-jack your social security number the credit bureaus are liable not LifeLock. However, if you just don’t want the hassle of making three phone calls LifeLock is a good way to go.

I would recommend that everyone secure their social security number. When we see how often information is continually compromised how can you afford not to?

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