thanks a ton for all the help. i do have some questions for ye still:
* the icons for hijack this!, adwcleaner and securitycheck are still on my desktop -- should i remove those programs as well?
* i currently have trend micro pc-cillin for my firewall (haha of course you already know this). my understanding in using MBAM is that i should run it once a week, or so, yes? and if i upgrade to the pro in order to get realtime protection, will i be able to run MBAM concurrently with trend micro's firewall, or will they fight with each other?
* winpatrol i'm unfamiliar with. is that something that would run in the background all the time?
thanks so much for including the articles as well, i will give 'em a read.
lemme know your thoughts on these last couple things and then i think i'm outta your hair. :-)
Edited by sue dinym, 18 October 2012 - 01:04 PM.