What to do when you get visual and audio alerts that you computer is infected

I have heard of several people in the last couple of weeks whose computer has shown fake warnings of viruses or system problems, often with audio warnings. The computer is locked and you can’t close the windows or get rid of the warnings. The warnings say you must phone a number to repair the computer. DO NOT PHONE THAT COMPANY, they are scam tech support companies. See here for examples https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/11/psa-tech-support-scams-pop-ups-on-the-rise/

Some of these warnings take the form of pornographic images in order to shock and scare the user into calling the fake tech support company and pay for their “services”. See here for more info. https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2015/05/tech-support-scammers-go-for-pornographic-shocker

Don’t fall for these scams, they’re expensive with the scammers and expensive to sort out afterwards. Instead, go to a trusted tech support company (like me) for professional help.

Here’s what you should do if the computer is locked by fake warnings, maybe with loud audio alerts:

  1. Put your finger on the power button and hold it down until the computer shuts itself off
  2. Restart the computer and run a full virus scan and malware scan (contact me for my recommended security software)
  3. If the results of the scans show infections, or you can’t complete the two steps above, or you feel that you want the computer looked at professionally, contact me.
  4. Be aware that a website you visited recently or software you installed or files you opened recently may be the cause of the problem.

Contact me for help and advice, virus and malware removal, or for my recommendations and tuition to keep safe online.

Uninstall Flash to protect yourself

That’s it, I’m done with Flash. I don’t have it on my desktop PC and because I use Chrome browser I haven’t had any problems. I just uninstalled it from the one remaining laptop. I recommend that you do the same.

While you’re at it, buy Malwarebytes Antimalware from my to help protect against this stuff, £17.95pa for three computers.


You need a (local) backup of important photos and files before you get an encryption virus

Encrytion viruses such as Cryptolocker, Cryptowall and Teslacrypt silently encrypt your files (photos, documents, everything) so you can’t open them without paying around £400 to the bad guys for the decryption password. Antivirus might not protect you. The new viruses also encrypt online storage and backup, so having an online backup or online storage might not help you. What you need is a memory stick or an external hard disk that you can connect whenever you want to do a backup and disconnect when the back is done.

Please, if you value those photos and files, make sure you have a proper backup that you control (ie more than one copy, not online). If you want me to help you set it up, including recommending any memory stick or hard disk you need, then please get in touch.

Pay by credit card, debit card, PayPal, bank transfer, cheque or cash

No need to wait until pay day!

I am now able to accept credit cards, debit cards and PayPal payments. I can also accept bank transfers (in advance), and cash and cheques for face-to-face support.

Call now for fast, convenient tech support, or download the remote support app for Windows and Mac and install/run it, then click “Start Session” for immediate support if I’m online. If I’m not online, you can leave me a message to connect  or contact you.

BT about to mess up your email (again)

Setting up new BT MailBT is about to move from BT Yahoo Mail (which sucked anyway) to new BT Mail. Most people are going to need to make some changes to their email settings in order to continue to use their BT email services.

If you use an iPad, tablet, phone, Outlook, Mac, Windows Live Mail, etc, you’ll probably have to change the settings. As BT admit, “it’s a bit technical” and they can’t do it automatically.

If you have read this far and don’t relish the thought of manually changing your email settings yourself, contact me now and I’ll make the transition as smooth as possible for you, and save you perhaps hours of frustration and phone calls to BT’s lovely call centre.

If you want to make the changes yourself, look out for an email from BT and follow their instructions. I’ve looked at their instructions, and they’re confusing (even to me) and wordy. Good luck!

My advice is to move away from BT email entirely. In fact, in my opinion, you should not use any email service provided by your Internet Service Provider. I’ll write another blog post soon about this, but contact me if you want to hear sooner.


My new remote support setup



I have new remote support software, so I set up my office to help me to provide a better service to people who need online support.

If you need remote support, go to this page www.cbits.instanthousecall.com click the blue “download” button and run/install the software. Then click start session. Easy. Takes two minutes.

Foxit Reader now comes with unwanted programs

I have to be careful here, so I don’t get sued, but my recommended PDF reading software now comes with Conduit Search and maybe SearchProtect, which some people label as malware or virus.

The latest version of the free Foxit Reader has an option during the installation to opt-out of the added software.  Since most people just click through with OK or Accept they’re unlikely to notice they are installing additional software.  Conduit and Search Protect are therefore ‘potentially unwanted programs”, or PUPs.

If you have these unwanted programs on your computer, contact me and I will remove them for you if you can’t do it yourself.

Conduit is adware, meaning it delivers adverts to people who have it installed.  It’s a ‘browser hijack’ which takes over your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc) and instead of using your chosen search engine (Bing, Google, or whoever), it uses Conduit’s search engine which delivers adverts and tracks your internet searches (and maybe other internet use).

Search Protect is software that makes it very difficult (virtually impossible) to change your search provider back to Google, Bing, or whoever you choose.

Foxit, I assume, generate income from the installations or use of these unwanted programs.  If they didn’t get income from them, why would they add them to their installation package?

These sneaky add-ins are getting more and more difficult to uninstall, and I’m seeing many more of them.  Always take time when installing software or updating software to make sure you un-tick (un-check) the additional software “offers”, even if they seem tempting.  The key is, if you dodn’t go looking for that software, don’t install it.

I will uninstall Foxit Reader from all my PCs and use an alternative (when I find one).

Again, these ‘infections’ can be difficult to remove.  Contact me if you would like me to remove them for you.

Mining Litecoin is not worth the effort

Mining Litecoin generates £0.97 profit per day (actual, real-world figures).  Conclusion: not worth the effort, and certainly not the investment.

This is based on the actual figures of my mining rig, actual hash rate, actual pool fees, actual electrivity costs, and the well-regarded Litecoin Mining Calculator for extrapolating LTC/day.

GPU: R9 280X.  691Kh/s.  Gross mining revenue 0.22LTC per day.  My rig has been pool mining for about 14 hours and seems to be performing as per the Mining Calculator.

Current LTC price c £9.50.  0.22 LTC = £2.09 per day income.

Single GPU rig averages 370W/h without monitor.  Cooperative Energy (power company) is £0.1265/KWh including 5% VAT (fuel tax).  Fuel cost is £1.12 per day.

Income minus running cost is £2.09-£1.12 = £0.97 profit per day.

Given the cost of the card alone, around £270, the break-even point is around 11 months, without any other hardware or time taken into account.

Here’s where the variables come in, the what-ifs.

What if I buy another card?  I think it will run at 250W and double the income.  Calculations show a daily additional profit of £1.33.  Break-even point 6 months 20 days.

What if LTC prices rise?  They were 50% higher on my exchange while I was researching rig building.  They may recover or fall lower, or sky-rocket.  That’s opinion, but the current facts are above.

Mining difficulty will get harder.  Maybe the increase in difficulty will offset the rising value of Litecoin.

Cryptocurrency is volitile.  Governments seem to be trying to regulate it, outlaw it altogether.  In the UK, mining income is taxable.

From a theoretical, intellectual, practical, and geek point of view it has been a worthwhile experience.  From a money and time point of view, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Netflix scam similar to the Microsoft scam

I just read this.  Please read it and familiarise yourself with how these things are perpetrated.


Never let anyone long in to your computer unless you know them personally and trust them.

If you need any help or advice, please contact me.