Every once in a while the notification balloon saying that “magma.ca
is now connected, speed 44.0 bps….” comes up while I am definitely
not connected. I am suspecting a software glitch but can not, of course
identify it since I am just an ordinary user of a PC. I have run all
kinds of cleaning programs to no avail. If you have some idea what
could cause this, I would be grateful if you would let me know. Running
Windows XP, Home and SP3 installed.
“definitely not connected.”?
I beg to differ. That’s exactly what that little balloon means.
And depending on what you mean by “cleaning program”, I’m not at all
surprised they didn’t help.
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If I were you, I’d check my phone bill asap. And then check a few
things to make sure that this isn’t some malicious software.
I get the sense that they’re not as common as they once were, but
one particular form of malware is called a “dialer”. When you’re
infected, the dialer does exactly what it sounds like: it dials the
phone and makes a connection to a remote number. The problem, and the
scam, is that the number is usually a “900” or similar so-called
“premium rate” phone numbers where you are charged an exorbitant amount
of money by the receiving party, often per minute.
You typically don’t realize what’s happening until you get a phone
bill of several hundred, or perhaps even thousands, of dollars. And
phone companies are notoriously difficult to deal with on these
So the very first thing you should do is scan your computer for
viruses and spyware, making sure you’re using up- to- date programs with
up- to- date databases. Most so called “cleaning” programs do not do this;
they are not anti-malware in the same sense that anti-virus and
anti-spyware programs are. And anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are
something you should be running regularly anyway.
malware, and block the calls.”
You may also be able to call your phone company and have them put an
explicit block on outgoing calls to 900-like numbers. You won’t be able
to make a 900 call if you actually wanted to, but I’m guessing that’s
something you can live with.
In your shoes, I would do both: scan for malware, and block the
Now, there is a possibility of a non-malicious source for this
connection. It could be your email program.
If your email program is configured to check for email every so
often, and it’s configured to dial up as needed, then it could be doing
exactly what it was told to do: dialing out to check for new email
every so often.
First, in Outlook Express, click on Tools,
Options and then make sure you’re on the
Make sure that “Do not connect” is selected where it says “If my
computer is not connected at this time”.
Then click on the Connection tab, and press the
I would make sure that “Never dial a connection” is selected. That
way to actually connect you’ll have to do so manually, but you’ll be
assured you only connect when you want to.