I’m not completely computer illiterate. There are tons of things I don’t know, but there are many things I do know. One of the things I know is that if you go around indiscriminately clinking on links, you will probably not have a computer for long.

There are a group of people I thoroughly dislike. I try not to lump people into a group and just hate the whole group, but I have to tell you, this is one of those times.

I hate people who write viruses, malware, or any other code that has as its dual purpose wreaking havoc and separating people from their money. I dislike the whole group. All of them.

I realize there are people who attempt to hack programs in order for security to find out where the weak spots are. These aren’t the people attempting to wreak havoc. I’m talking about people who are just mean, low-down vile assholes. I don’t like them. At all.

Because I’m aware these people exist, I know not to click on questionable links. I know not to just click away hither and yon, not knowing what will pop up on my computer screen because more often than not, what pops up isn’t anything I would have sought out on my own.

Yesterday afternoon, I got home from work and fired up my little netbook. My laptop was already running and I don’t even remember why I wanted the other computer. I just did. Shortly after 4.30 PM I started getting a little pop up in the lower right corner of my screen. It would take over the computer, getting in front of anything else I was doing. When I was playing a game in full screen mode, it would knock the game out.

I have a picture of the offending message.

The annoying message as it appeared on my screen

Not very much information there. Just click for something free – like a virus maybe?

I tried to alt+f4 my way out of it, but that didn’t make it go away. The red x was my other choice, I took it and prayed I wasn’t taken somewhere nefarious. The little thing went away. Then it came back – over and over again. I looked for something in Task Manager after doing the Control+Alt+Delete thing and there were no applications running and I couldn’t tell what processes were supposed to be there and what was this thing.

I have Panda antivirus on the netbook and it saw nothing wrong. I hadn’t already gotten Spybot or Malwarebytes on it, so I downloaded them and got the most recent updates. I then did complete scans and they found nothing. The little message box kept popping up.

The only other thing I could think to do was to do a system restore. So I went back in time to the day before yesterday and restored my system.

That seemed to work. At least I thought it did and then POP, there it was again. I hadn’t done anything with the computer other than let Microsoft update whatever it is they update all the time. I didn’t even go anywhere weird online. I looked at my history in both browsers I had used and there was nothing there. I was stumped.

I put up a notice at Facebook and no one else had an issue. I also put up my sad story at MWC, my writers’ forum, and there were several people there with the same problem. None of us knew what it was, no one was dumb enough to click the link and see where no man had gone before. We all like our computers too much.

We chatted back and forth about this and then all of a sudden, the every twenty minute reappearance of the pop up stopped. It went away as mysteriously as it came. We don’t really know why that happened, either.

It might have been happening to so many of us at MWC because we mostly use Panda antivirus there. It is created by people who don’t speak English as a first language. Sometimes there are issues with the translation. Perhaps they didn’t realize we here in the paranoid world don’t click on links without more of an explanation.

That is one theory, but I have Panda on both computers and only the netbook, not the laptop, had this thing going on.

Perhaps it was a virus written by some cretin out to destroy mankind or many just my computer and Panda finally got the fix for it. Perhaps so many of us at MWC had the same problem because we got it from that website somehow.

I don’t know what it was. I’m glad it is gone. I really like my computers functional and without jarring notices taking control of the screen every twenty minutes.