Technology is great… until something goes crazy. The world is full of the bad guys, who want to attack your computer in a variety of ways. What I’m going to do here is set you up with a few tips that will help you tackle a number of the different things that might happen. I’m only mentioning FREE programs here, as I want you to not have to pay to get rid of the bad guys. If you decide to pay, that’s cool too, and I recommend that you “feed the programmers” by spending something on whichever one does the best for you, but I consider that an unofficial approach.
So, what are we looking at here? Malware can be tackled in two different ways. Some programs tackle the bad stuff live, in real-time, and some tackle it after you’ve got a problem.
Compare this to where someone in the house might have a bad flu. You wear latex gloves, wash your hands, and you are careful to not get exposed to germs. The gloves and hand washing are like typical Anti-Virus software, and they work really well.
Sometimes, however, you still get sick, and that’s where some of these packages come into play. They are much like DayQuil or NyQuil, or even Tamiflu (all registered trademarks, I’m sure). These malware packages that I’m going to suggest each have a real-time component option, but many are designed for after the fact.
This software has really caught my eye over recent years, and they are doing a great job at protecting us from the bad stuff. Each new version improves on previous ones, and bring us closer to an awesome level of protection. Only recently have I moved this to the top of the list, but it works well.
A great program in the free version or the full “Pro” version. You want to download this software, get it going on your computer, and you sit back for about an hour after it completes it’s updates, and you let it scan. Remove anything you don’t want after the scan, and you’ve got a lot cleared up already.
AVG is an Anti-Virus, and they have really approached the attack against the bad guys in new and powerful directions in recent years. You’ve got to have something, and if you are doing this on a free budget, this is the place to go.
So, beyond all of this, there’s another program that may help your computer run a little better.
This software cleans up the temporary files that your computer leaves behind… everywhere. I use this software when dealing with malware, but also with mysterious problems that I can’t attribute to any specific thing. Recently this helped out with a user that just couldn’t print. There’s a lot of power in this little program, and I’m not looking for you to do anything but run the basic CCleaner scan and clean… but it wouldn’t hurt to look around.
Side note on registry cleaning… CCleaner has a registry cleaner. It is a tool that can be used, but I don’t suggest it. I don’t suggest any registry cleaner, unless you are dealing with a corrupted registry… and even then, I suggest that you rebuild your computer at that point. The registry is a tricky area, and it simply just doesn’t need any meddling. It’s not going to make your computer faster, better, stronger, or anything like that. This concept is one that creates a ton of hype by various geeks that are more concerned about their wallet than your computer. Don’t fall prey to the hype.
This isn’t perfect stuff… but it’s a good place to start, and I wish you the best of luck. If you’ve got questions, please drop me a line through the contacts tab above.