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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook acting glitchy... virus or storage issue?


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saji

 
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Just registered on this site, so hope I posted this in the correct section.

Recently, whenever I opened gmail I would repeatedly get the following drop-down window.

"Allow this website to use additional space on your disk?"
"The website “https://mail.google[dot]com” is requesting 10 MB of disk space to store “[my email name]@gmail[dot]com” as a database on your disk. Currently, this website is allowed to use 5 MB of disk space. "
[ ] Allow [ ] Don't allow

Gmail indicated I was only at 4% full [of the 5 MB it was allowed, I assumed] so I wasn't sure why it was asking and I continually just clicked "don't allow". A friend advised me to allow the request [with an explaination about it's just "borrowing disk space] and I did. Then another person said it sounded like a virus.[via the request] Either way, I've been having odd little glitches along the way. E.g: sometimes Safari opens but page doesn't appear and I have to click for a 'New Window' from the top; twice all my desktop folders just disappeared; a few times my scroll bar didn't work and the up/down arrows as well... those type of things. I'm hoping that better-versed posters may be able to shed some light on this or advise me. I've gone into the system info and written down a lot of the specifics, in terms of memory and what is using how much, etc – so I can answer questions if they're posed to me. Please ask. Thanks.
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chscag

 
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I have been using GMail as my ISP mail provider for many years and they have never asked me that question. Google mail provides free storage up to a certain limit on their server. They do not need to store anything on your hard drive. Do not allow anyone or anything access to your hard drive and do not allow anything to be installed on your machine unless you specifically requested it and downloaded it.
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saji

 
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Thanks for your response, chscag. I'm embarrassed to say that I've also been a gmail user for years and have never received a message like this either. Plus, my son had warned me [back when I got my first iBook] to never go anywhere near the hard drive. I always kept that in mind and should have followed my own intial instincts and ignored my friend. So now... if this wasn't legit, what was/is it and how was my gmail accessed? Earlier today, I got an email that appeared to be from the friend with the bad advice... with one letter in his address changed. That is pretty much what sent me looking for a forum like this one! What do I need to be concerned about now? Is there anything I can do in the way of damage control? Appreciate any suggestions.
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I don't think you have anything to worry about. There are no viruses in the wild that can affect Mac OS X. There are several trojans out there but those can be easily avoided by staying away from Porn and Pirate sites. Keep in mind that nothing can be installed on your Mac without your permission.

You might want to access your GMail account on line and change its password to one that's strong. A strong password consists of letters, numbers, and characters. Also, a good password manager is a must nowadays. Most of us here recommend and use 1Password. You can download their free trial to see how you like using it.
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saji

 
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Thanks again for your suggestions chscag. I don't patronize porn sites but how can I tell if I've clicked onto a Pirate site? There's another thing that happened with gmail last night and I had forgotten it also happened a few weeks ago. While trying to send an email, this window appeared:

"Mail Goggles" (Googles not a typo)

"It's that time of day. Gmail aims to help you in many ways. Are you sure you want to send this? Answer some simple math problems to verify."

(5 math problems are displayed and a timeclock repeatedly counts down 60 seconds. With each iteration, it resets to 60 and the math problems change)

"Oops, looks like your reflexes are a little slow. Try again."

"[send] [cancel] "

I realize it's bogus [absurd, really] yet what got into my computer that is causing this? Is this limited just to Gmail or do I need to be concerned about other applications or hardware too?
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I'm posting info for other readers who may have experienced the same things.

Huge false alarm! I'm relieved, more or less. Finally located info on these two odd things and it turned out to be legit.

The math problems is Gmail big-brothering us. It's a google lab. Designed to prevent late night intoxicated email rants. (like telling your boss what you really think of him!) Call it "emailing under the influence" if you like! I'm glad to know it's nothing more serious but frankly, I don't drink and do not appreciate Gmail preventing me from sending emails just because I might. Since when is it Google's job to be in loco parentis!!?

The extra 5 MB issue was also confirmed by Google as bona fide. I still don't get it [the need] and whether it's actually a prudent idea may be debatable. I'm considering whether to reset it to its original size.

One other thing. This seems to be happening only to those using Safari as their browser.
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Thanks for the update. Without it I probably would have thought both things were bogus. I've never gotten either warning but that may be because I usually access my Gmail account through the Mac e-mail program.
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saji

 
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Hoping this query will get noticed here... wasn't sure which forum to post in, so I'm just tacking it onto my original post because it's somewhat related to my former problem.

My last post on this thread [next to last comment] reflects my current issue. I allowed the extra 5 MB and since Nov '11 have watched Google slowly eat up the extra 5 MB – generally 1MB a day. I've been keeping a daily record of since Nov '11 until Feb '12, when I just got so sick of watching the MB usage tick up, I just stopped bothering.

In disgust, tried to go back and reduce the allowed MB but wasn't successful. Seems you can add but not decrease. Via purging old emails and being more timely in dumping the trash, I've reduced my usage from the 4% full/using approx 304–330MB at the time of my original post, to 2% full/ 172–178 since Dec '11 until this Feb. I'm now at only 1% full and using 163MB, yet the last three nights it's gone from approx 7,731MB total being used to 8,000something to 10,240 today! [and it's only authorized to go up to 10,000MB total]

I suspect Google is sucking up the extra MB due to Google+ and other changes it may be introducing but I'm not using Google+ and only have 2 GB memory. I tend to have a lot of image-heavy files and emails, as well as a large amount of fonts. I really want to reduce the allowable MB. Am I screwed??

Any suggestions or comments are appreciated!
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