Tag Archives: home page

Computer Settings Hijacked? Hijack Them Back With Free HijackThis

HijackThis is a free utility from Trend Micro, which heuristically scans your computer to find settings that may have been changed by homepage hijackers, spyware, other malware, or even unwanted programs.

This application has a well deserved reputation for being aggressive in tracking down unauthorized changes that have been made to your system/applications.

The program doesn’t target specific programs, but instead it analyses registry and file settings, and then targets the methods used by cyber-crooks. After you scan your computer, HijackThis creates a report, and a log file (if you choose to do so), with the results of the scan.

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Because of the heuristic methods used by HijackThis, the results of the scan can be confusing/intimidating, to those who are not advanced users.

On the other hand, the strength of this program lies in the large community of users who participate in online forums, where experts (voluntarily and for free), will interpret HijackThis scan results for you, and then provide you with the information you need to clean any infection.

This screen capture shows a partial scan result on my test machine.

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The latest version (2.0.4), adds potent tools to the Configuration window, including a process manager and hosts file editor, to help you remove dangerous infections, and an ADS Spy tool which scans alternate data streams which  browser hijackers can, and will use, to evade antispyware applications.

The following screen capture shows a Configuration – Hosts File Manager request being implemented but, you’ll also notice one of my antimalware tools, ThreatFire, has prohibited hosts files from being opened as a safety precaution against a malware penetration.

This is one reason I so strongly recommend ThreatFire as supplementary malware protection. In this case, I allowed the process to continue.

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Despite the fact that you may only need this small application infrequently, it deserves a place in your anti-malware toolbox.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Me, 98.

Note: The continued use of Windows 2000, Me, or 98, is not recommended.

Software requirements: Internet Explorer, Firefox.

Download at: Trend Micro

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Malware Removal, Manual Malware Removal, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Take Control of Your Home Page With Symbaloo

Popular guest writer Rick Robinette, has a knack for finding great free applications – applications that make the Internet experience smoother and more interesting. Read what Rick has to say about his most recent find – Symbaloo.

imageI don’t know what it is, but I have an obsession for program launchers and web launchers. I guess it comes from my past experience as an IT Manager where I found out early on that customizing an end users PC with shortcut toolbar menus to their apps, saved them and me a whole lot of headaches.

Even today, I find myself testing various launchers to see if I can make my PC and internet experience all that more efficient and easier. This is where Symbaloo comes in…

Symbaloo is an online cloud app that is designed to make your web experience more accessible. From my experience I have found that the everyday home computer user is a big creature of habit and will usually visit the same web sites over and over using their browser bookmarks or favorites.

Occasionally, this creature of habit will stray from the comfort zone and visit other places. If you are one of those creatures of habit, then Symbaloo will make your life a whole lot easier.

Symbaloo allows you to customize your very own start page (or home page) that tiles your favorites, rss feeds, etc… in the form of icons, on one page. You can even upload and use your own icons if you desire.

If you are familiar with “speed dial” in the Opera and in the Firefox browser (as an extension), then you will relate to Symbaloo. Only difference is that Symbaloo is much more attractive (and configurable) AND can be accessed from any PC where there is internet access.

For example, below is a small screenshot of my Symbaloo desktop page (that is still under construction).  When I launch my browser (Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer), this page is the first page I see. From my Symbaloo desktop page I can easily check all of my email accounts, my blog, perform searches, etc…

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Another cool factor to Symbaloo is that you can make additional sub pages, that are conveniently tabbed across the top of Symbaloo. For example, I am currently working on a second page that will contain RSS feeds to everyone that is on the What’s On My PC blogroll.

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There is a little bit of a learning curve to using Symbaloo, but once you get it down you will not regret it.  One area where I experienced brain lock was on how to edit, delete, or move/copy the tiles.  What you do is drag the tile to the middle of the tiled area (in the white) and it will automatically provide you with options to perform those tasks.

If you are a Firefox user, there is a Symbaloo Bookmarker browser extension that will allow you to rapidly (and automatically) bookmark sites to your Symbaloo desktop.

The only way to give this a try is to visit Symbaloo and play around with it.  Symbaloo is currently in beta; but, don’t let that stop you.  It has worked flawlessly for me. If you like it, sign up for a FREE account and start customizing your very own personalized internet launching point.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Beta Software, Cloud Computing Applications, Desktop Applications, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Guest Writers, Recommended Web Sites, Windows Tips and Tools

Free HijackThis – A Powerful Anti-Malware Tool

Given the extreme state of the Internet today, and all of it’s accompanying dangers, computer users’ need all the help we can get to keep our machines free of spyware/Trojans/viruses/hijackers ……. Just fill in the blanks.

HijackThis is a free utility by Trend Micro which heuristically scans your computer to find settings that may have been changed by homepage hijackers, spyware, other malware, or even unwanted programs.

This application has a well deserved reputation for being aggressive in tracking down unauthorized changes that have been made to your system/applications.

The program doesn’t target specific programs, but instead it analyses registry and file settings, and then targets the methods used by cyber-crooks. After you scan your computer, HijackThis creates a report, or log file, with the results of the scan.

Because of the heuristic methods used by HijackThis, the results of the scan can be confusing/intimidating, to those who are not advanced users. On the other hand, the strength of this program lies in the large community of users who participate in online forums, where experts (voluntarily and for free), will interpret HijackThis scan results for you, and then provide you with the information you need to clean any infection.

The latest version (2.0.2), adds potent tools to the Configuration window including, a process manager and hosts file editor to help you remove dangerous infections, and an ADS Spy tool which scans alternate data streams, that browser hijackers can, and will use, to evade antispyware applications.

Despite the fact that you may only need this small application infrequently, it deserves a place in your anti-malware toolbox.

To get a real feel for how powerful this small application is, checkout the great tutorial on using HijackThis, at BleepingComputer.com.

System requirements: Windows Vista, XP, 2000, Me, 98

Software requirements: Internet Explorer, FireFox

Download at: Download.com

To read a great article on the current state of other free security tools hop on over to Techwalker, and checkout my friend Mark’s article on
Online Security Tools Revisited.

Comments Off on Free HijackThis – A Powerful Anti-Malware Tool

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Diagnostic Software, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Home Page Hijacking, Manual Malware Removal, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System File Protection, System Security, System Utilities, trojans, Utilities, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools