Q I {recently|lately} {found|discovered|identified} some {pictures|photos|images} and e-mails in my files that I {don’t|don’t|do not} recognize, some of them pornographic.

This comes about {three|3} months {after|following|right after} I had to cancel two credit cards that {were|had been} {used|utilized|employed} fraudulently.

Is it {possible|feasible|achievable} for {someone|somebody|an individual} to enter my {computer|pc|personal computer} and {try|attempt} to assume my identity? I {change|alter} my passwords {every|each and every|each} {few|couple of} months.

BRUCE EVERHART, BANNER ELK, N.C.

A I {think|believe|feel} {someone|somebody|an individual} {online|on-line|on the web} has taken control of your PC and is {using|utilizing|making use of} it to relay pornographic spam, {probably|most likely|possibly} to disguise the original source.

If that’s the {case|situation}, your credit card numbers could have been stolen if you typed them on the PC {while|although|whilst} shopping {online|on-line|on the web}.

To fix your PC, {start|begin|commence} your {computer|pc|personal computer} in Windows “{Safe|Secure} Mode,” which {allows|permits|enables} only a {few|couple of} trusted programs to run.

To do that, turn off your PC, then turn it on and press the F8 {key|crucial} {several|a number of|numerous} {times|occasions|instances} {until|till} you get a black-and-white screen that says “Advanced Boot {Options|Choices|Alternatives}.” use the arrow {key|crucial} to highlight “{Safe|Secure} Mode with Networking” and press the Enter {key|crucial}.

Now download and install the Malwarebytes {program|plan|system} (malwarebytes.org), and run the update portion so you have the {latest|newest|most recent} list of {online|on-line|on the web} threats.

Then restart your PC, and use the F8 {key|crucial} to reach Advanced Boot {Options|Choices|Alternatives}, then {Safe|Secure} Mode with Networking. run a full PC scan with Malwarebytes, and when {it’s|it’s|it is} {complete|total} {choose|select|pick} “{remove|eliminate|get rid of} {selected|chosen}.”

{Next|Subsequent|Up coming}, make {sure|certain|positive} your firewall and antivirus {software|software program|computer software} is up to date. then wait and see how your PC behaves.

If you have {more|much more|a lot more} {problems|issues|difficulties}, {try|attempt} {running|operating} a “Registry cleaner” {program|plan|system} that will scrub remnants of malicious {software|software program|computer software} from the PC’s Registry, a database of settings. Registry-cleaner programs, some {free|totally free|free of charge}, can be {found|discovered|identified} at tinyurl.com/ydehzg2.

Q I {recently|lately} upgraded my Windows Messenger {software|software program|computer software} to the 2011 release, and now I can’t make video calls to my daughter. I’m {using|utilizing|making use of} Windows 7. what can I do?

A I suspect your daughter is {using|utilizing|making use of} an earlier version of Windows {Live|Reside} Messenger that is only marginally compatible with the new Messenger 2011.