Though I think I’m more careful than most PC users about protecting myself from computer viruses, I’ve found myself twice in the past week hijacked by purveyors of trojan software programs that presume to infiltrate themselves into your operating system and pretend they’re *helping* you be more effective or productive. First it was a program–which I will not dignify by naming–that replaced my IE homepage with its own search engine/portal page, and that in addition *edited* any page I opened–even a local copy on my own harddrive–by inserting links to searches on certain keywords, such as ‘computer’, ‘book’, and ‘game’, which caused an intolerable delay of 5 seconds or more before I could move about that page, scroll up or down, or click on anything. Then, this evening, it was some program that endeavoured to use any available processing time so that my CPU Usage maxed out, causing any programs I was trying to use to become intolerably slow. If I sought the offender out via Task Manager and deleted it, another process, under another name, sprung up a few seconds later to take its place.

I eventually found the means to remove the offenders and went on with my work, but not without a delay of a couple hours, in each case. A computer consultant friend who advises me on such matters is becoming increasingly pessimistic, predicting the imminent demise of the entire Internet, due to spammers and the like. Could it be true? Perhaps. Take them out and shoot them, like any other hijackers? Why not.

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