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User account hijacked by MSN, thanks to Avira


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#1 WouldBePolymath

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:29 PM

I installed Avira Phantom VPN. It stopped working. Avira tech support had me download a program by which they would take control of my computer, so they could fix the problem. I was to talk to them on the phone while they did so.
 
The first thing they noticed was that I had both Avira Antivirus Pro and Malwarebytes Antimalware Premium installed on my machine.
 
Although having multiple antivirus programs simultaneously providing real-time protection can cause problems, a number of knowledgeable people had told me that it would cause no problem in this case.  And they were right; these two programs ran together for months without colliding.
 
But the Avira tech insisted that we uninstall (not just disable) Malwarebytes. I allowed this, knowing that I could reinstall it later, but I was and am pretty sure this was just an attempt to quash the competition.
 
So they tinkered with my system, then rebooted it.
 
Before this, I had had three local user accounts.  Two were administrator-level accounts, each of which required a password, and the third was a user-level account that did not require a password
.
Two of these accounts are still present and apparently unchanged, but one of the administrator-level accounts, the one I use every day, has been changed.  It now requires me to logon to MSN, using my already existing Microsoft account, in order to simultaneously logon to my computer.
 
I can go into User Accounts > PC settings > Sign in with a local account instead, but that appears to create a new local user account.  What I actually want is to convert my hijacked MSN account back to a local one, while retaining my Microsoft account for logging on to Microsoft websites.
 
Can anyone tell me how to do this?
 
P.S.  Avira DID fix the problem.  But when I next touched my computer 15 minutes later, it was broken again, and I couldn't restart it, even after rebooting.
 
So if anybody could also recommend another VPN product, that would be nice too.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 09 July 2016 - 09:25 AM.
moved from Windows 10 Discussion to Windows 10 Support


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#2 WouldBePolymath

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:52 AM

Never mind.  It turns out that User Accounts > PC settings > Sign in with a local account instead (or Settings > Accounts > Sign in with a local account instead) does not create a new local Windows account, but instead does indeed convert what seems to be an "MSN account" into a local Windows account, while retaining the basic Microsoft account for logging on to Microsoft websites.  So, problem solved.



#3 RolandJS

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 09:40 AM

I'm with you, running both Avira AV and MBAM never has been a problem for me either.  Did you get everything back to a-1 running order?  Now, to clarify things for the speed-readers:  I said A-AV, not Avira Swiss Army Knife; I said MBAM, period.


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#4 Ridernyc

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 10:08 AM

Are you sure you were actually talking to Avira Tech Support?



#5 WouldBePolymath

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 01:38 PM

Are you sure you were actually talking to Avira Tech Support?

 

I got their email address and phone number through their website. Their phone numbers, except for North American support, were preceded by 49, the German country code.  Their email was written in both German and English.  I plugged the German into Google Translate, and it was really German.  On the phone, they spoke with heavy German accents.  And I just now traced one of their emails back to Kaplaneiweg, Tettnang, Deutschland (Germany), which is indeed where Avira's headquarters are located.



#6 WouldBePolymath

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 01:43 PM

I'm with you, running both Avira AV and MBAM never has been a problem for me either.  Did you get everything back to a-1 running order?  Now, to clarify things for the speed-readers:  I said A-AV, not Avira Swiss Army Knife; I said MBAM, period.

 

Yes, the user account problem is fixed.

 

No, the Avira Phantom VPN problem is NOT fixed.  It WAS fixed twice, but both times Phantom "broke" again shortly thereafter.  I'd really like to get it fixed permanently though, it would be a great additional layer of security, and since I got hit with ransomware several months back, I prefer to go in for an overkill approach to security, rather than there be any chance of a disaster later.



#7 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 04:24 PM

While this is not the proper place for a discussion of the pros and cons of VPNs I have always been under the impression that a VPN will not of itself protect you from malware, ransomware etc. since this is normally installed by clicking on an infected link or downloading an infected document.

 

Should you wish to discuss further the security aspect of VPNs, you would be better to start a topic in the 'General security' section. Similarly for technical advice on VPNs, start a topic in the 'Web browsing, emails etc.' section.

 

Chris Cosgrove






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