It’s been a weird weekend to say the least!

I lost a dear friend yesterday to cancer. She’d been battling the disease for several years and had put up a hearty fight against it – but yesterday morning, surrounded by her family, she passed away – and was in no more pain. I have many wonderful memories of her – her wedding 18 months ago and my birthday last year – it was an honour to know her and have her in her my life for the last 10 years.

To occupy my mind, I came onto this blog and had a nosey on who had been to visit my page. There had been a strange message from someone new who wanted to email me something!? (All potentially legit – although alarm bells started ringing!) I had approved the message and clicked on her ‘page’ but replied through my blog instead. I have heard nothing back.

I also looked down my list of referrers which I normally find interesting – as a chance to hunt out new blogs to follow. However, I stumbled across something I didn’t recognise – which didn’t look like a blog! It did have the word ‘zip’ in the address – but innocently, due to looking at patchwork /sewing sites linked to my friends recently, presumed that it might be something to do with that. I clicked.

At the same time – I also visited an American blog roll site that I had been informed about. You can enter your email address and name/url of blog and it can direct people there who are looking for similar blogs of similar subject. I clicked.

Due to visiting ONE of these three possibilities, I became infected with a virus all within a few moments! Screens flashing Antivirus LIVE popped up – informing me that I was infected and should purchase their software to clean my hard drive. This was in fact the virus – pretending to be anti-virus software, showing ‘windows’ pop-us and advice. Worryingly, it had over-ridden and blocked ALL my connections – again all within a few seconds – so I was unable to open my anti-virus – or indeed even the internet! All were locked!

Thankfully, through my separate work laptop I was able to access advice. 24 hours later I seem to be still fighting this ‘thing’; however, my anti-virus software has found the infection and supposedly deleted it from my virus vault! I’ve downloaded lots of other softwares and been running them almost constantly since! These viruses hide in unseen places and can take on familiar forms – so you have to be really careful. Pop-ups of porn and selling of viagra commenced in and amongst too; it was all very frustrating and time consuming!

It seems to have disappeared at the moment; although my computer is slower, I’ve got problems with Word documents AND my printer – so maybe it has interferred with something deeper in my registry! To think people get a ‘kick’ out of designing stuff like this just to inconvenience and scam people is beyond me! From someone who is normally very very careful – my words of advice to anyone is: if you’re not sure – DON’T OPEN IT! We hear and read about this all of the time – however, we’re all just a click away from these terrible things and it only takes a momentary lapse of concentration, like what happened to me, to have to face the consequences. Please learn from my error and be careful what you look at through these Blog Stats!

Weekends are supposed to be full of visiting family, lie-ins, market stalls, cooked breakfasts, lazy days, telephone calls, chocolate and wine…..to name a small few – BUT NOT THIS!