Computer question: About that OFF switch

The Vernon PC Users' Club takes another look at those annoying pop-ups

Last spring I got off on a bit of a tirade regarding the intrusivenes of the current version of Windows.

I can pass along a few work-arounds that avoid many of the Windows related pop-ups that are so annoying and counter-productive. Those of you using Internet Explorer might want to consider switching to Firefox or Safari which seem to be less affected, with the latter product from Apple being the most immune. It is a full-featured browser considered by many to be equal to or better than others on the market. Avoid plug-ins and apps closely tied to Windows and software vendors claiming to be Microsoft “partners.”

If you use your computer to manage your personal finances, find software that you can use offline and go on the Internet only to pay bills and check your bank account. Any pop-ups responded to positively are potentially “gotchas” whereby people bent on doing harm to your computer can gain entry to your system. Never leave a browser open and connected to the Internet even for a short time because when you return you may find many of its tabs have been opened as well. The bad stuff is coming at you at close to the speed of light so it doesn’t take long to infect. When you go to bed or leave your home shut your system down altogether. At the very least disconnect from the Internet.

Anti-malware and anti-virus software will provide a measure of protection if current, but there is a wack of it out there, some of which are “gotchas.” Be very wary of the pop-ups that warn of imminent disasters if you don’t register for and buy a product. Sorry to cast such a sour note over the first article of the year, but it is indeed unfortunate that having purchased a potentially very useful and pleasurable device that it turns out to be a source of so much aggravation.

The next meeting of the Vernon PC Users’ Club is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Schubert Centre in the cafeteria. Call Betty at 542-7024 or Olive at 542-8490 for more information.