Whilst browsing the internet NEVER download anything unless you are sure you understand what it is and that you really need it.
Many adverts or pop up warning boxes warn you that your computer is running slow or not working properly or infected! They seemingly offer solutions. But, sometimes they themselves are Trojan horses. Once you download them you’ll encounter more problems. Leave all the shouty windows alone! I have a few recommendations of software you should be running below.
Whilst collecting your e-mail. Get used to NOT opening e-mails that you’re unsure of. If you open one that’s trying to sell you something or asking for some interaction from you. Close it and ignore it. If someone’s offering you something for FREE! Ignore it! NEVER open an attachment unless you’re pretty sure it’s from a genuine source (A person you know or a file that you’ve requested).
Following those steps you’ll significantly reduce the chance of problems.
You should be running a Virus protection software. My preference is AVG. The FREE version is enough to keep your PC protected. You do not require it’s paid for services for speeding up your PC because Windows has it’s own speeding up your hard disk utility. It’s called defragmenting your hard disk (instructions below).
Also, highly recommended is MalwareBytes. This attempts to stop any Malicious software from being downloaded. It updates it’s database of malicious software regularly thus keeping you pretty safe from potential threats. It also does a half decent job at getting rid of any malicious software that’s found it’s way onto your machine already.
Be very careful when Downloading anything. Even the aforementioned Virus and Malware detection software. Most downloads prompt you to install the "recommended" installation. This usually involves adding a browser ‘bar’ underneath your own browsers search bar. This may be fine (I don’t like them) but with every new download a new search bar and soon your browser starts to dissapear under the weight of new browser bars being added to the top of your browser window. In most cases, on every new download, choose the custom install and then select everything that you want OR more importantly de-select everything that is more than you wanted. It’s worth taking time over downloads. The extra 10 minutes of actually reading what it is you’re downloading is well worth while as it can save you hours if not days of frustration later on.
OK, you have your virus and malware prevention software installed. You can leave them all alone. Let them run in the background as they’re meant to.
Finally, you might be reading this with your computer running slowly. It might be taking ages to boot up. The last piece of software I’m going to recommend is piriform’s C Cleaner. It has some very handy features to help you locate faults and clean your hard drive. For instance being able to switch off start up items one by one. This can often, by process of elimination, find the cause your computers’ problems if it starts to run slowly upon boot up.
FREE C Cleaner
Last, but not least. Defragment your hard drive every-so-often. Right-click the media you want to defragment, in most cases this will be Local Disk (C:). To find your “Local Disk (C:)” click on your start button and select computer from the start menu.
Right-click Local Disk (C:). The properties window appears. Click the Tools tab. You will see the option to Defragment Now… Defragmentation can take some time if you’ve not done it for a while so allow for this. If you’re a heavy user of your computer do this once a month, if not once every six months should easily suffice. (You have the option to Analyze before you defragment. This gives you a quick scan to see if you do need to defragment).
Nothing’s perfect! Make sure that you back up your work, files, photo’s, movies and pictures etc. You can burn your work and files to CD or DVD or even upload them to a cloud space you set up. Whichever way you decide to do it, JUST DO IT! You may one day encounter a hard-disk failure (not uncommon) or a naughty thief might steal your pc.
To keep the experience of using your computer as fast as it can be choose a good browser to use. DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER. Unfortunately Internet Explorer has gained a bad reputation for speed as it’s chosen to ignore W3C suggestions on the implimentation of code. Almost every other popular browser conforms nicely so the choice is yours.
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