Q: I’m using Windows 7 Home and I’m getting a security alert pop-up that says, “The identity of this website or integrity of this connection cannot be verified.” How do I get rid of this critter?
A: That message generally comes up when the site you’re visiting does not have a legitimate security certificate.
Websites that support secure transactions acquire certificates from third-party providers that confirm the site is authentic. Web browsers are by default configured to check for these certificates. Most browsers let you turn off this checking feature, though I don’t recommend that you do so.
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If you’re getting this message from many sites, it’s possible that your computer’s clock is not correctly set. If that’s the case, the browser may incorrectly be judging the sites’ certificates to be out of date.
Q: When I start my computer I get a blue screen that says, “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart.” It says that it will restart, but it doesn’t go all the way and then just stops. I turn it off and restart, and the same thing happens again.
I do this three, four or five times and then it comes up fine and I am good for the rest of the day. I have Windows 8.1 and have run anti-virus and anti-malware scans with all showing OK. Any suggestions?
— Burt Shearer, Mercer Island
A: Actually, I’m surprised you’re able to get the system to boot after multiple tries.
Personally, I wouldn’t trust the computer until you can get rid of those faulty starts. Generally, the cause of such problems is that a file was corrupted — perhaps a result of a power failure or low battery — during an update of the operating system.
I’d try a repair of the operating system using your Windows 8.1 disc.
Q: About a week ago, this completely annoying Rocket tab shopper appeared. I’ve tried to uninstall it, but it doesn’t show up as a program. I’ve Googled it, but haven’t seen any removal instructions for it specifically.
A: First, I recommend running an anti-malware program. I use Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware. You’ll find a free version of the program available at www.malwarebytes.org.
If you don’t find Rocket Tab listed under Programs in the Control Panel, it’s possible that it is installed as an extension or an add-on in your browser. If so, you should be able to disable or uninstall it there.
Q: I am one of those folks who hasn’t upgraded and is still using Windows XP on my seldom-used home computer.
Several times since the end of support, the computer has insisted there are updates I need to download. If MS is no longer supporting, where are these coming from? Do I need to avoid them? And how do I stop that annoying end of support pop-up I see every time I turn on the computer?
— Gene Wisemiller, Edmonds
A: I don’t want to nag, but if that computer is connected to the Internet, the best solution is to move to a supported version of Windows. Since Windows XP isn’t being patched, it is increasingly vulnerable.
That said, you could try configuring the computer not to check for updates. You’ll find directions for configuring the update feature here: support.microsoft.com/kb/306525.