Protecting Your Computer

Keeping Your Computer Running Smoothly

DISK CLEANUP
 
If you have not already done so, you might want to run Disk Cleanup and run it in each user's profile.
What this will do is basically get rid of all the temporary files and such that has accumulated on your computer which is slowing it down.
Dont worry, it will not get rid of any of your stuff!

To Run Disk Cleanup
Click "Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup"
Please make sure the following are checked:
-- Downloaded Program Files
-- Temporary Internet Files
-- Recycle Bin
-- Temporary Files
Click "OK" and Disk Cleanup will delete those files for you.

 DISK DEFRAGMENTER
So what does this program do? 
Well, if you were to compare your computer's hard drive to a filing cabinet with lots of file folders with all of those file folders being out of alphabetical order, this program puts all those file folders into alphabetical order thus making it easier to find what the computer is looking for and thus making your computer faster at what it is trying to do.
To Run Disk Defragmenter
Click "Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter"
Click Defragment to start the Defragmentation Process.
In windows XP, this will usually take at least 30 min to an hour or so.
In Vista, if it is the first time you have run it, it will take about 4 hours.

In Win 7, the same as XP

I recommend turning off "Scheduled Defragmentation" for Vista and Win 7
 
Run CCleaner
Similar to Disk Cleanup but better and more efficient is a 3rd party program called CCleaner <--click here
It's one of the best free programs out there that not only cleans your temp files & etc, but it also cleans your registry (which is good to clean too)!
 
Protection for your Computer
 
Personally, I only use the FREE programs to secure my computer.
 
Just because it's free, doesn't mean it doesn't provide adequate protection - as long as you use the right ones.
 
Although paying for the software does give you better protection and does decrease your chances of contracting something and allowing it create a mess on your computer, often these cant stop the infection either...
 
Dont run more than 1 anti-virus or firewall at a time or your computer will be slow!
 
Here are the FREE ones that I recommend:
 

Avast!- Anti-Virus/spyware (every year you have to re-register (its free))

Microsoft Security Essentials -
Anti-Virus/spyware
SuperAntiSpyware - Dedicated Anti-Spyware
 
Malware Bytes - Dedicated Anti-Spyware/Malware
 
 
 Here is the payfor one that I recommend:
 
 
 
What About A Firewall?
 
I dont use one because I find it annoying to have to keep allowing/rejecting connections to my computer all the time.
But hey, you stay really safe that way.
 
Try this highly recommended free one or pay one:  Zone Alarm
 
 
Got A Virus/Spyware Now?
 
Run a Scan using your Anti-virus first and then run one using your Anti-Spyware.
(the problem is most likely spyware these days)
 
Didnt work? Try downloading and running the programs I have listed above (Avast, SuperAntiSpyware, MalwareBytes)
(Rename the downloaded files - i.e. rename mbam-setup.exe file to mb.exe to help work around certain malware that will block it from being run) - unfortunately, this doesnt particularly matter these days either.
 
If you didnt have these programs on your computer to start with & you are trying to install them now, chances are the bug (if it's sophisticated enough) you have on your machine will not let you install them or even run them...
 
If this is the case, its too complicated for me explain how to fix it & it varies, so call ME to come fix it for you!
 
You can also try ComboFix (not for 64bit systems), RootRepeal (not for 64bit systems), TDSSKiller - targets rootkits
 
 
Is Internet Explorer Not Working Properly?
 
You probably are infected by some spyware of some sort - or remnants of one that changed your settings.
 
If the scans don't work above, hire a computer geek. 
Don't have the $$ right now, use FireFox to surf the net!
Cant get Firefox b/c I.E. doesn't work, download it on another computer and transfer it to yours.
 
Firefox is a popular alternative to Internet Explorer. 
Because every Windows PC has Internet Explorer, most virus's & spyware target it.

 

Is your Computer Running Slow & has been for awhile?

 

I get calls a lot about slow computers & what to do about it.

 

It can be different things that cause this.

 

First, if your computer is low on memory (if you get a message saying something about "virtual memory" being low - you definitely need more memory!) it is going to run very slow. 

 

The more things running on your computer, the more your memory is being taxed.

 

As far as how much you should have:

The industry has really hyped this up,
but with Vista/Windows 7, most people only need 3gb worth - 4gb if you do more advanced stuff.
With XP, 1gb is plenty for most, but 2gb if do more advanced stuff.

 

Second, if your computer is just plain old, its going to run slow.

 

Software and advances in the internet and what it displays is a lot more intense than what it used to be.

Some older computers just cant handle it all while others may just need a revamp (set it back to factory condition and it will run like new!)

 

For both of these points I have just made, you may be able to free up some memory & startup time by stopping some of your startup programs from running when you first turn on your computer.

 

click Start -> run -> msconfig -> enter -> startup tab

 

you can also adjust your startup items using ccleaner!

 

A lot of programs that we install & use today are pre-set to startup with your computer so that when you click to run them, they start faster (or are already running).  If you dont use them often, disable it from starting up.

 

If you dont have the $$ to invest in another computer, set your computer back to factory condition by either running a factory restore through the discs that may have come with your computer or through the recovery partition that may be on your computer. 

Dont have either of these, call a computer geek to do it another way. 

 Its cheaper than buying a new computer and will make your computer run like its brand new!

 

 

Sandboxie

 

If you intentionally go to nasty websites on a regular basis, then you probably get infected with spyware pretty often.

Well, even if you dont, this is still a great program to protect your browser with.

 

Go HERE to read about it and download it

 

It basically creates a protected space on your computer while running whatever you have sandboxed - meaning you can 100% reverse any thing you downloaded or accidently obtained while say having a "sandboxed" web browser.

 

For Example.

 

There is a particularly malicious piece of spyware floating around called "AntiVirus 2012" - or something like it.

 

This piece of spyware is able to hide in website coding and then just install itself onto your computer as soon as you pull up the webpage - no need to click anything.

 

Unfortunately, this sophisticated piece of spyware slips right past most Anti-Virus programs and does lots of nasty things to my computer.

 

However, with my browser Sandboxed, when I contract this particular piece of spyware, the spyware runs its program which usually shows a few legit looking pop-ups on my screen with a fake video showing a scan of all the stuff infected on my computer.

 

Now, rather than altering all the things it does on my computer and making it very difficult to get rid of and reverse whatever it has done to my computer, all I have to do is tell SandBoxie to delete all that has happened since I started my Internet browsing and like magic, everything is back to normal!

 

Cool!