Q:  I keep getting messages asking me if I want to upgrade my Sonic Software. It comes as a popup. Can this be blocked by the filter?

A:  This has nothing to do with the filter.  The popup is coming from inside your own machine and not from the Internet.  You have something called "sonic software" installed on your machine that is checking for updates on the Internet somewhere.  It knows that it is out of date and wants you to do an upgrade.  Most modern software works this way. Sonic makes many different types of software but most of them have something to do with DVD or CD playing, creating or copying.
If you do not know what "Sonic Software" is and you are sure you never purposely installed it, then you have been infected by spyware.  Gone are the days when anti-virus software was all you needed to protect your PC. 

Spyware is a far more immediate threat than virus's - it has been estimated that an unprotected machine will last about 20 minutes connected to the Internet before it is infected.  Today you also need a firewall.  There is a very good, free, firewall available for download at www.zonealarm.com.   However a firewall will not clean up the spyware that is already on your machine.  You will need some sort of spyware hunter software for that.  A good removal tool is available from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/  - it is called "Adaware".
Although our filter will help keep a lot of this type of thing out, the purpose of the filter is to check that the content of the pages you see in your browser is kept clean and is suitable for family browsing.  You still need tools on your machine to protect you from viruses, spyware etc.  For a good definition of spyware please read the article at this link: 


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