I am posting this reply in a general message because it is important
to everyone who uses the internet.
First, go to FindAnISP.
Look for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that is local to you. AOL
is a service and is not a standard. As a service, it is more
expensive. Avoid ISPs that are service oriented (JUNO and NetZero fall
into this catagory) They are not providing what you truly want, which
is direct access to the internet. Plus, they use proprietary
connections which takes away choice. But, look at cost and connections
to find the best provider.
Second (or if there is no alternative to AOL), go to Google and search
for "free virus protection."
I installed AntiVir or AVG Anti-Virus on a friend's computer and was
quite impressed by it.
But look and decide for yourself. At this point, there is no reason to
pay for a commercial virus software when there are high quality free
Next, if you have set up you computer to dial up your new ISP (you
have changes providers successfully) you now want to log onto the
internet. The one program that you currently have is microsoft
internet explorer. Once connected to the ISP, us ie to go to FireFox,
Mozilla, or Netscape (or all three.)
These browsers are all developed on the Gecko engine. They have been
improved over the years and are arguably the best.
Firefox is the newest. While it is in pre-release form, it is stripped
down and only does browsing. If you want a fast browser, this is the
one to use.
Mozilla has more features for those who do more than just browse sites
on the internet. It uses the same gecko base, but includes a mailer
and newsgroup reader.
Netscape is the most robust. It is a little behind the current release
of Mozilla, but it is tested for the common user.
The best part is that since they are free, you can download all of
them and see which you prefer. They have pop-up blocker, so that
annoyance is a thing of the past.
One last thing: if you don't have it, you might need WinZIP, for those
who don't know how to use console commands (i.e. "dos"). You can
download WinZIP from here:
Remember, download the free (trial) version.
I hope that this helps.
For those who want to try something better:
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "dghprobe3" <dghprobe3@a...> wrote:
> Note to all: Find out what you can about spyware. I had some
> problems this weekend. I somehow got a variant of CWS
> (CoolWebSearch) spyware which hijacked my AOL browser. What it does,
> popups appear out of nowhere, then it slowly starts to push down the
> page you are viewing in favor of a suspicious "web search" page with
> no brand names on it, and you can't stop it except by going offline.
> When you go back online, it starts back again.
> I had been hearing a little about spyware and browser hijacking in
> the past few weeks, and by chance had already downloaded AD-AWARE 6.0
> and SpywareBlaster, both of which helped remove the trouble. But it
> took a little while because it would have helped to have had a few of
> the other tools listed below. I'm not an expert on any of this, but
> will be glad to answer whatever questions I can.
> Another tip: Those who have Windows should get updates as often as
> they can, as the updates contain patches which help deal with the
> latest internet threats:
> Very good info on spyware and variants:
> free software:
> AD-AWARE 6.0
> SPY-BOT SEARCH AND DESTROY
> HIJACK THIS
> not free:
> NORTON FIREWALL
> PEST PATROL