PCgeekdom.com - PC Tricks and Projects

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Keeping a Clean PC


In the past three and a half years I have spent providing technical support, I have seen the majority of computer problems that home users face. Lately the biggest problems have been caused by malware (Spyware or Adware.) Symptoms of Spy or Adware are: your computer acting slow and sluggish and odd Internet behavior such as your browser going to advertisement search pages instead of the address you typed in. This malware is usually hidden inside of things you download from the Internet, or can even get on you computer without you even meaning to, usually accidentally by clicking on pop up ads etc. There are many ways of dealing with this problem. The best FREE tools I have found are LavaSoft's AdAware, Microsoft Anti-Spyware, and SpyBot Search and Destroy.

AdAware is very thorough and powerful for removing the junk that your computer has already collected. It is important that you keep AdAware's definition file up to date. You can download AdAware from LavaSoft's Webpage.

MS Anti-Spyware is also a powerful program for finding and removing adware and spyware. The nice thing about this software is that it updates automatically, and runs in the background helping prevent the malware from getting on your computer in the first place. In order to run this software you have to have a valid installation of Windows 2000 or XP, and can be downloaded from Microsoft's Webpage.

SpyBot Search & Destroy is like AdAware, I would recommend installing both if your computer is already badly infected, running both will help catch all the bad guys. You can find SpyBot here.

It is also very important to have an up to date Anti Virus program. Grisoft makes a program called AVG FREE, as the name implies is completely free, you don't have to keep shelling out money to get the updates like you do with Norton or McAfee, and my experience has been that AVG even works better then most of the pay versions out there. It is important to remember in the computer world the rule of you get what you pay for does not always apply as it does in the physical world. You can download AVG Free from Grisoft's Webpage.

Having a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program installed on your computer is a must if you want to be able to be on the Internet and keep your computer healthy.

Later I will discuss more advanced tools and tricks to fighting malware that the above programs can't always find and fix.


Post a Comment

<< Home