I am wondering if I am having a security issue and if so, what is going on and what can I do about it.
I began noticing that when I visited various websites, a screen would cover my entire browsing window and force me to watch an advertisement (I was permitted to skip it and continue on to the web page I was trying to access by clicking a link). It was happening on lots of different websites and frequently on websites that normally don't have advertising, like government websites. I saw the advertisements with two different browsers: Chrome and Firefox. I ran scans with Microsoft Security Essentials, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Ad-Aware, but wasn't able to find and fix anything that stopped the advertisements.
Eventually, I clicked the "About this ad" link at the bottom of one of the advertisements and found out it was from Jeetyet Media. I looked in my cookies and saw that there were several Jeetyetmedia cookies, including ones from edge.jeetyetmedia.com. I deleted all my cookies, but I still kept seeing the advertisements and when I looked in my cookies again, the ones from Jeetyetmedia were back. So then I set Firefox to ask me every time whether I wanted to allow cookies. It turned out that the cookies were being placed when I signed into my gmail account. I have set Firefox not to accept cookies from Jeetyetmedia and I have not seen them come back in my list of cookies. The advertisements have also stopped.
However, now I have begun to notice that whenever I go to google.com, the status bar at the bottom of the browser says that it is connecting to edge.jeetyetmedia.com. I have checked with other people and they say that they do not see that when they go to google.com. I became even more freaked out when I went to pay my credit card online and saw that their website was also connecting to edge.jeetyetmedia.com.
I am not a knowledgeable computer person. From googling, I thought maybe I could prevent my computer from connecting to that website by editing my HOSTS file, which I did, and I am now prevented from purposefully going to that website myself. I am not sure if that was relevant to what is going on. My browser still tells me that I am connecting to edge.jeetyetmedia.com when I go to google.com. I have run the Trend Micro Housecall online scan and it didn't pick up anything.
I have Vista (32-bit). I was using Google Chrome as my primary browser when this problem first started, but now I am using Firefox. I'd really appreciate it if someone could tell me what is going on, if it is something I should be concerned about, and, if so, what I can do about it. Thanks.