Q: Facebook has terminated my account because I posted videos of the Beatles, even though I promised not to violate their terms of service again. I had received one or two warnings to remove the videos before the termination, but it’s not that easy to do. The videos were posted a year or more ago, so you can imagine all the scrolling back that entails.
I’ve seen other people post worse things than Beatles videos without being disciplined, but I guess copyright infringement is a more serious offense. What can I do?
Frank Ramos, Tucson, Ariz.
A: Because you have been banned from Facebook for repeated violations of copyright law, your current account and Facebook page can’t be recovered.
For the record, it is easy to delete Facebook videos using a computer Web browser or a mobile device app (see tinyurl.com/y7rmmo8h).
I don’t think there’s anything to prevent you from creating a new Facebook page under your own name, although you might want to use different personal photos and details to avoid being identified as someone whose account had previously been terminated.
If you do open a new Facebook account, don’t engage in copyright infringement. Facebook would face large financial penalties if it allowed you to continue posting copyrighted videos, so it won’t hesitate to close your new account if you do that again. And remember, the Beatles have copyright lawyers to protect their songs (see tinyurl.com/ya9dpt27 and tinyurl.com/hsas87l).
Q: I accidentally downloaded some malware from home.packagesear.ch. I’ve tried without success to get rid of it by deleting my Web browser’s cookies and history, running a Trend Micro malware scan and using the Adblock software. What can I do?
Chuck Fitch, Baton Rouge, La.
A: You have downloaded the “SafeSear.ch browser hijacker,” a difficult-to-remove program that attaches to a browser and takes you to a search engine that displays risky sponsored advertising.
It’s possible to remove the malware by changing browser settings and uninstalling the hijacker program (to remove it from the Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers, and uninstall it from a PC or a Mac, see tinyurl.com/y8lk2zh9). If that doesn’t work, you can try a more elaborate removal method using several security programs (see tinyurl.com/y7j573d9).
Alternatively, if you have a PC it may be simpler to use “system restore” to fix the problem (see tinyurl.com/kxanto5). System restore can return Windows to its settings on a calendar date prior to when the hijacker was installed. That will eliminate the hijacker program. It will also uninstall any software you have added to your PC since that calendar date, but it won’t affect your PC’s data.
In the future, you can avoid getting programs like the hijacker by monitoring the installation process for downloaded software. Many useful programs are packaged with optional software that you don’t want. To avoid this extra software, choose “custom installation” when setting up downloaded programs, then uncheck the boxes in front of any optional programs.
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