So Last Thursday you finally had it. Candy Crush level 422 is eating your bacon. It’s time to get some help. So you do some browsing and there it is: A LEVEL BY LEVEL GUIDE to BEATING CANDY CRUSH!!! Best of all, it is completely free!!! Whooohooo!!!
So you download this gem, and quickly go through all the screens that have that “ACCEPT” button on the bottom and finally when it is installed on your PC you launch the app. It’s smooth sailing now that you have the secret to level 422!!!
Hold On There!
In the next couple of days you notice that your computer is running a bit slower and you suddenly have this Candy Crush Internet Explorer toolbar as well as a toolbar for Game Central you’ve never seen before. What’s going on?
You’ve been given exactly what you said you wanted. Well, not really!
When you clicked through those “Terms and Conditions” or “End User Compliance” or “End User License Agreement”, you should have read that fine print. In it, it asks you if you are fine with not only the application you wished to acquire, but are you ok with download managers, accelerators, search bar add-ins, or other software that may be used to track your surfing habits and provide ads that match that behavior. Yes. You accepted all of it just by clicking “Agree” or “Accept” or “OK” at the bottom of the installation window.
So now what?
IT’S TIME TO DO SOME CLEANING.
First thing’s first. Go to your Control Panel and then go to “Program and Features”.
Sort your applications by the date they were installed. Look for all apps on the same day you installed your free Candy Crusher app. If you do not recognize an app or it has “toolbar” in it’s title, it’s likely that that is an app you wish removed.
A GOOD RULE OF THUMB FOR THIS IS TO SEARCH THE INTERNET USING THE NAME OF THE UNKNOWN APP SO YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT. IF IT DOESN’T STRIKE ANY CHORDS, REMOVE IT.
Select the app in question and click on “Uninstall/Change”
You’ll have to go through their uninstall process, but at the end you’ll have one less app to worry over.
At the end, restart your system and go back into Programs and Features and make sure they are no longer there.
NOW, LET’S DEAL WITH THE LEFTOVER BROWSER UNWANTED ADDITIONS.
Each browser has its own process for getting rid of unwanted extensions or add-ons. Let’s take Internet Explorer for example.
In IE, you will need to go into “Internet Options”.
The first thing to look for is if your default home page has changed. In this example, the home page has changed to “GameCentral.com”. It’s time to change it back. Simply remove the existing home page address and type in your home page and hit “Apply” at the bottom.
Now go to “Programs” tab and “Manage add-ons” button.
The next step is to go through the list and remove any extensions or toolbars you no longer wish to use or do not recognize. Highlight the extension in question and click “Disable”. This will prevent the toolbar from coming up.
Restart your browser and go back into “Manage Add-Ons” and make sure what you just disabled is still disabled.
Do this for “Search Providers” and “Accelerators” as well. Again, if you find anything that you do not want, either disable or remove them completely.
THE LAST STEP IS TO DO A SCAN OF YOUR SYSTEM FOR VIRUSES, ADWARE, SPYWARE OR MALWARE.
I like to use a program called “MalwareBytes” for scanning my system.It is free. (Yes, beware of free apps but this one is good).
If you go to MalwareBytes.Org, choose the free version of Malwarebytes or go to
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/ You can download and install this scanner.
When you install this app, on the last screen make sure you click “Update Malwarebytes Anti- Malware” and “Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”
Then run this program and choose “Perform Full Scan”. This may take a couple of hours, but you really need to run it. Choose all your drives with data on them.
At the end of the scan, click on “Show Results” if there are any objects detected. Select all of them and choose to remove them!
Now restart your computer and run another scan just like the one you did. If you have no more infections, you are all set.
SO I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON. HOW DO I PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN?
First, there is usually no such thing as a “Free” app without some strings attached. Here is a list of the things to try and stay away from when downloading.
"free e-cards," "free game cheats," "free games," "free lyrics," “"free music downloads," "free screensaver," "free wallpaper," "free word unscrambler,"
Yes. You know you have searched using these terms. Yes you have. But if you want to be safe and have a clean and fast machine, STAY AWAY FROM SUCH DOWNLOADS!
Also, Read the Fine Print. Usually, in any EULA (End User License Agreement) that comes up when you start installing applications, look for words like:
“By using our application, you consent to…” or
“By choosing to download our application, you consent to...”
But even then, you may need a PHD to decipher anything. If you REALLY REALLY REALLY want an application, be prepared to clean your system immediately after downloading the app. Don’t wait! I mean really, don’t wait!