Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
If your computer is connecting unexpectedly, there are things you should check. You may have spyware, or your email program may have a mind of its own.
Every once in a while the notification balloon saying that "magma.ca is now connected, speed 44.0 bps...." comes up while I am definitely not connected. I am suspecting a software glitch but can not, of course identify it since I am just an ordinary user of a PC. I have run all kinds of cleaning programs to no avail. If you have some idea what could cause this, I would be grateful if you would let me know. Running Windows XP, Home and SP3 installed.
"definitely not connected."?
I beg to differ. That's exactly what that little balloon means.
And depending on what you mean by "cleaning program", I'm not at all surprised they didn't help.
If I were you, I'd check my phone bill asap. And then check a few things to make sure that this isn't some malicious software.
I get the sense that they're not as common as they once were, but one particular form of malware is called a "dialer". When you're infected, the dialer does exactly what it sounds like: it dials the phone and makes a connection to a remote number. The problem, and the scam, is that the number is usually a "900" or similar so-called "premium rate" phone numbers where you are charged an exorbitant amount of money by the receiving party, often per minute.
You typically don't realize what's happening until you get a phone bill of several hundred, or perhaps even thousands, of dollars. And phone companies are notoriously difficult to deal with on these issues.
So the very first thing you should do is scan your computer for viruses and spyware, making sure you're using up- to- date programs with up- to- date databases. Most so called "cleaning" programs do not do this; they are not anti-malware in the same sense that anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are. And anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are something you should be running regularly anyway.
You may also be able to call your phone company and have them put an explicit block on outgoing calls to 900-like numbers. You won't be able to make a 900 call if you actually wanted to, but I'm guessing that's something you can live with.
In your shoes, I would do both: scan for malware, and block the calls.
Now, there is a possibility of a non-malicious source for this connection. It could be your email program.
If your email program is configured to check for email every so often, and it's configured to dial up as needed, then it could be doing exactly what it was told to do: dialing out to check for new email every so often.
First, in Outlook Express, click on Tools, Options and then make sure you're on the General tab:
Make sure that "Do not connect" is selected where it says "If my computer is not connected at this time".
Then click on the Connection tab, and press the Change button:
I would make sure that "Never dial a connection" is selected. That way to actually connect you'll have to do so manually, but you'll be assured you only connect when you want to.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.