by MarkFlax - 8/14/10 1:13 PM
In Reply to: add-ons by raccoongirl
They can come from anywhere Melissa. Any web site, I mean.
If you did a bit of surfing when you opened IE in it's safe mode, you may have noticed how poorly many sites looked, and that's because many sites use add-ons now to enhance how they look and behave. Some of the most common are Adobe's Flash Player, for watching videos at YouTube or similar, and Windows media Player or Quicktime, also for videos or for listening to music within a web page. But there are technical add-ons as well, like Java, and also helper add-ons, like security add-ons.
IE's security settings can be changed such that no add-ons are installed without your permission. Sadly we all too often reduce the security in IE and other browsers because the warning pop-ups the browser displays get too intrusive. That allows add-ons to be installed behind our backs, as it were. The Research add-on will have come from a web site, but which one and what it does is difficult to tell.
However, now you know, you can watch out for strange behaviour in the future and you will be better armed.
There are some things you can do to help prevent/protect against this in the future.
1] You didn't mention any anti-virus or a firewall. They are both essential, but an anti-virus itself will not detect a browser add-on so we need additional protection.
2] For that additional protection, I would recommend two additional anti-malware scanners. They are free and you manually scan with them once a week or so. They are, Malwarebytes' Anti-malware and SUPERAntiSpyware.
3] Consider another browser, eg Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc. Internet Explorer is the most commonly used browser and so is the browser of choice for malware attacks. If you can use another browser mainly, instead of IE, that will help keep you safer.
Glad I could help.
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