One of the main reasons for my visit to my parents at the weekend was to look into my father's report of extreme aberrant behaviour on the part of their laptop.
A 'programme' called Windows Defender Pro kept telling them they were infected with viruses. It is a very clever infection as it has been designed to look like Microsoft's Widows Defender. The things that aroused suspicion were the inability to spell the word 'registered' (they missed an e) and the fact that the thing was after money... and the fact that every time a pop-up appeared it was a different list and amount of viruses.
It is a very clever virus that blocks anti-virus software, search engines, pretty much anything that might remove it. I ran an anti-virus scan from a memory stick (I had come prepared). It appeared that it was removed - we restarted the machine - and nothing would work apart from IE... and only that if you didn't want to use any search engines; ARGH!
My parents took this latest development very well. They'd been talking about a new laptop since Christmas so this was the push needed for them to go and buy one. Off we toddled to the shops... and some time later a new machine was duly selected and purchased. How is this for logic though; my Mum decided that they had to get Office too, fair enough. Upon purchase of the machine they were offered Norton. I'm a great believer in free AV programmes over annual subscription types and advised them not to waste their money. The sales assistant was horrified (of course), but it works out that to buy Office (which they wanted) and Norton (which they didn't) worked out £20 cheaper (due to stores obsession with selling you this particular brand of AV) than buying Office alone! Perhaps they will sell Norton on eBay?!