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.

SearchGol browser hijack removal

A new client called me in because they had adverts on their search page and pop-ups, and their home page was set to  These browser hijacks or search hijacks aren’t just annoying, the can lead you to other websites that install more rubbish on your system, and the certainly track your internet searches and browsing history and habits.

I have had lots of this type of thing lately and usually it’s fairly easy for me to remove these search hijacks, but it was the first time I had seen SearchGol.  I removed everything as usual, but each time I restarted Chrome searchgol came back.  Internet explorer was ok, but even unistalling Chrome and reinstalling wouldn’t stop the searchgol redirect from coming back.

[EDIT: I subsequently suspect that Search Protect was being used to prevent the user (and me) from changing the search provider too.  Search Protect can also be difficult to remove]

I tried all the tools and instructions I could find when searching for a solution on Google, but none of them worked.  It had taken much longer than the time I estimated, but I was determined not to give up.  I slept on it, and had an idea.  The next evening I tried it and it worked, searchgol was gone!

I’m usually good at finding a solution on Google, but none of the solutions I tried had worked.  Sometimes, I have to rely on my own brain to solve a problem.

If you have ads showing on your search engine (or search page) then you might have a browser hijack or search hijack.  Contact me and I will arrange an appointment to remove it either in person, or by remote login to your computer.

Fast turnaround for new business client

A couple of weeks ago someone called me from an unknown mobile number while I was with another client.  I returned the call between that client and the next but there was no answer.  This happened again at the next client.  Heading back to the office, I called the number again and got through to someone.  It happened to be someone from the company I advertise through; I am their client, but they were asking for my help.

He explained that they are moving offices and want to get their internet wiring organised.  They have some of the equipment, but their internet wall sockets (ethernet ports) aren’t all working.  Due to the office move and change of internet service provider, they had no internet service at all at the time.  I asked where the office was, and said “I’ll be there in 10 minutes”.

We spent a little time figuring out what it was they needed, and looked at their existing equipment.  We quickly tested a socket to find that it wasn’t connected at all.  I explained that I can sort it all out for them.  This was all he needed to know at this stage.  Later I texted him to say that he doesn’t have to wait for the new internet installation in order to sort out the wiring problems.  He replied that he would be in touch soon to arrange a visit for me to do the work.

I expect to hear from them when they decide where their desks are going and which sockets they need connected.  It will be nice to send them an invoice for a change!

Computer tune-ups

I do quite a few tune-ups.  Windows gets more complicated each time Microsoft Updates are installed (yes, you should install them, they are often security updates).  New software is installed, and often forgotten about.  But what slows things down the most is the software that gets installed without the user realising it.

If you open up your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) and above the webpage there are toolbars (Ask Toolbar, Norton Toolbar, etc), these things are slowing down your internet use.  You might not even have meant to install them, and some come in as part of other installations (like Abobe Flash player).  Some are more sinister, like CoolWebSearch, ALOT toolbar, and others that give you search results that are paid adverts rather than the thing you’re actually searching for.

As part of a tune-up, I remove all those toolbars and other software that you don’t use (like old printer software).  I also cut down on the things that run when your computer starts up, speeding up your boot up time.

You can see a list of the types of tune-ups I do here  The Express Tune-up is one I can do online, so I don’t even need to visit you.  You install some software that allows me to log in (with a password that changes each time) and tune up the PC via the internet.

Contact me to find out more.