Thursday, August 8, 2013


We’ve seen a fairly dramatic uptick in computers that are infested with all sorts of junk programs such as “registry boosters”, computer speeder-uppers such as “My Clean PC”,  “24x7 Help” and song lyric application and scammy “remote backup” programs. It is not uncommon for us to remove dozens of these programs from client computers. All these things clog up your computer with all
It's a scam!
sorts of pop-up messages and annoyances and makes your computer run slow.

I’ve struggled to find out the source of this amazing revenue generator to no avail. At long last, I’ve identified at least one major source: Kids. Each week I will see one or two grandmotherly types who tell me their computer started behaving badly after a visit from the grandkids.

It seems to start with children’s propensity to download games and “free” music programs. When you download and install some of these scammy bits of software, kids are often tricked into installing something else first. Sometimes, when you install a bit of software, it will come with “free” programs that promise to speed-up your computer or other silliness. Kids haven’t developed the skeptical part of their brain that tells the rest of us to not do something silly. So they do the silly thing then you have to pay people like me to undo the damage. I’ve a recommendation for you folks with kids and grandkids. Follow these steps and you might be able to avoid me for a little while longer.

The goal is to set up a special account on your computer that the kids use. With this special account, they can use any software that is already installed on the computer, but if they want to install some bit of silliness on your computer, they will have to ask you for a password. At that time, you can monitor what they are installing or you can tell them to go play in the street instead.

Most of you only have one account on your computer and the computer boots straight into it every time you turn the computer on. You need to add a “limited” or “standard” user account.

The first step is to password protect your own account. To do so, access your Control Panel then click on User Accounts. You’ll be presented with options for creating a password.The next step is to create a “standard” or “limited” user. You do this in the same Control Panel used to create a password. After you create an account, reboot your computer and you’ll see an individual icon for each user.

One of the cool benefits is that each user will essentially have their own “computer” to play with,. They can change the desktop colors, move icons around and customize their own stuff but it will not affect any of the other user’s stuff.