Time For Spring Cleaning & Protecting Your PC For Free!

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Tips For Cleaning & Protecting Your PC

Here are some tips for spring cleaning your computer, getting free Anti-Virus software and finding /deleting viruses and malware. All of these links are 100% legit and all of the software (programs/apps) are used by me personally. This is mainly for Windows computers running Window OS (XP,Vista, 7). By the way, Windows XP computers are no longer supported buy Microsoft so there are no longer updates. I will try to use layman terms and not get too technical.

The links are all from download.com which is run by CNET (CBS Interactive). If you already have an Anti-Virus such as Norton there is no need to add the free ones listed below but I strongly encourage you to download and run the spyware and malware software.

Tip:

Mac/iMac owners: go to the top navigation bar on your home screen/desktop and in the very far left corner click the “apple logo” and scroll down to “software update” and make sure you update your software to help with the recent “flashback” virus. Always check the regularly.

Windows PC owners: depending on your Windows operating system you will need to find “windows update”. You can go to the start panel in the far bottom left corner and just type “windows update” in the search field/box or you may see an icon labeled “windows update’ or you may have already scheduled them regularly. It is highly recommended to check for updates monthly since windows are highly susceptible to viruses and such.

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The Software

Now the fun part… free software!! (click each bold/highlighted software name/link to be directed to the download page of your choice). You can always uninstall any of these programs after you use them or keep using them regularly.

Malwarebytes Free Edition – This software is very important and everyone should install and run this. This is the best tool for getting rid of hard to find harmful viruses, worms, trojans…etc. Use the full scan and run it overnight since it takes a few hours to scan. If you see any red files it finds that means your computer has been infected. It will quarantine and delete the files. It will tell you how bad the virus is.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 – Received awards and is very good at protecting your pc.

Avast Free Anti-Virus – Another great free anti-virus for protection alternative to Norton.

SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition – This is another important one everyone should install and run. This will help with harmful viruses but the best part is this will get rid of Spyware. Spyware is just like the name says and spies on your computer searches..etc. If you search for “horses” you may notice spam email about horses or ads popping up with horses on them. This is from spyware and amazon or facebook have built in spyware.

CCleaner – This will clean out old junk files and get rid of unwanted clutter that may be slowing your computer down. There are a lot of useful tools in this software if you know how to use it. Stick to recommended settings. (This will clean passwords and cookies so make sure you know or have passwords and log-ins saved before you wipe your computer clean. If it asks to add a free toolbar just unclick that part and install without it.

Advanced SystemCare Free –  This software is like a swiss army knife with many great tools. Use Quick Care Run a full scan and delete unwanted clutter. Again make sure you know all your log-ins and passwords before running. Write them down on paper. The reason it is good to clean is because your browser and computer become cluttered with so many files/cookies and junk when you use the internet a lot and facebook ..etc.

WOT (Web of Trust) – This will alert you when a link or web site may be suspicious or known to have inappropriate content or bad stuff. Green circle means okay, yellow caution and red means not trusted. Easy.

Google Chrome – this is a great browser and more secure than Internet Explorer (IE) the big “e” icon for getting on the Internet and browsing. I highly recommend it. You can also use it on a Mac.

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Browser Add-Ons or Extensions

For your Browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari…etc): there are things called “add-ons” or “extensions”. They have some very useful tools to add-on to your browser to make browsing more fun and secure. I would add links but they are different for every browser.

Two great add-ons or extensions I recommend are:

WOT (Web of Trust) –  This will alert you when a link or web site may be suspicious or known to have inappropriate content or bad stuff. Green circle means okay, yellow caution and red means not trusted.

AdBlock – this will prevent those crazy annoying Flash ads that seem to be popping up everywhere….Facebook ads, Google ads, pop-up ads.

So there you have some very basic details on some very good programs that everyone should have installed on your computer. If you run into any issues there are help files with each program and you can Google for more help. Good luck and hope this heps somebody.

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Free With Windows

Can’t forget about the free tools provided with Windows computers….

 

Disk Cleanup – Use Disk Cleanup to delete files you no longer need and reclaim storage space on your computer

 

Disk Defragmenter – Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also defragment your hard disk manually.

Continue reading

Good Free Spyware and Malware Removers



By Bryan Sanders posted Jul 28th, 2010 at 12:54AM


Can you fix my computer?

I get asked a lot by friends and relatives if I can fix their computers. They seem to think I use some expensive magic software to get their computer running normal again. I do use a lot of expensive software at home on my personal computer, but a majority of my best software is free.

I thought I would share some of my personal favorite software for removing spyware and malware. I will also share my favorite free cleaners to get rid of clutter. You may have your own personal favorites and feel free to share them. There are many of places to download free software but I use download.com.


Free Software (Windows)

Ad-Aware (Free Edition)

One of the first applications built to find and remove malware and spyware, Ad-Aware’s reputation is well-justified.

Ad-Aware is completely free but limited. The UI is simple and easy to use. Some are have trouble with Ad-Aware freezing. I have never had any trouble. Just make sure you click Web Update each time you use it to keep up with all the latest attacks.


SuperAntiSpyware (Free Edition)

This software is awesome. One day I ran my whole arsenal of spyware removers and even the trusty Malwarebytes and they found nothing. I ran SuperAntiSpyware and it found 34 threats including 2 trojans. I was amazed that all the others failed to find them.


Malwarebytes

This software will scan deep into your computer and find the really harmful malware that has been making your computer act weird. I used Malwarebytes to get rid of many hard to kill worms. This software is also limited but it works.


Advanced SystemCare (Free)

This is an all-in-one software for cleaning and maintaining your computer for better overall system performance. You can get rid of spyware, junk files, registry cleaning, and much more. It comes packed full of different utilities. This one is a must have.


Glary Utilities

This software has a few great features and a nice, simple UI. There are great tools to manage start-up programs and memory optimization. This application offers utilities to improve your system’s performance and protect your privacy. Cleans unwanted junk files and remove invalid and broken shortcuts, freeing up valuable disk space.


CCleaner

This is a great application with many tools. CCleaner’s interface makes it easy to wipe away your tracks from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome from various Windows system areas, and from some third-party applications. I have had times where I tried to uninstall a program using Windows uninstall and it would not let me. There is a quick and easy tool for removing unwanted programs in CCleaner that works better.


Disk Cleaner

This software has been around forever. This is a simple to use application for cleaning out your computer. Always a good one to use if you are in a hurry because it is fast.

Disk Cleaner is a free open source (GPL v2) tool to quickly and easily clean your hard disk from temporary files like those in the system temporary folder, the Internet Explorer Cache and Cookies folder, and the Recycle Bin. Disk Cleaner is absolutely free from adware and spyware.


File Shredder

If you have some private and very personal files on your computer that you want to delete for good, then here is your application. Erase files from your hard drive and choose from five options for shredding algorithms, ranging from simple one pass to DoD 5220-22.M to Guttman algorithm with 35 passes. Works great.


Update Checker (by FileHippo.com)

What is it?
The Update Checker will scan your computer for installed software, check the versions and then send this information to FileHippo.com to see if there are any newer releases. These are then neatly displayed in your browser for you to download. Please note that not all programs are supported.


Summary

I hope you find these applications helpful. I know there are many other good applications out there, but these are my favorites.

I wish you the best and happy cleaning! Let me know if any of these applications worked for you.


Note:

When you install these applications, be sure you read before you click “next” or “ok”. Some of these application try to get you to use a free toolbar or change your search engine provider. You may want to uncheck boxes on things you are not sure about and just go with the recommended install.

You can also choose to receive automatic updates which is what I do. If you are not sure how to use the application and you’re afraid you might accidentally delete wanted files, use the help menu. Some of these application may delete wanted files so make sure you read the warnings before deleting. Use at your own risk. I have never had any issues, I am just letting you know that it is possible.


My favorite web site for FREE software

http://download.cnet.com/windows/

www.download.com