Time For Spring Cleaning & Protecting Your PC For Free!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Apple iMac 27-inch (Core i5)

I am a long time PC user. I started with Windows 98 and I am now using Windows 7. I have had many issues with my PC’s over the years but that is another story. This is about my new iMac.

iMac 27″

I recently decided to buy a Mac. I saw an ad on the Apple Web site that was all about the new iMac 27″ with a core i5 or i7. I said to myself “where is my credit card!”. I customized my Mac and I saved some money buy purchasing an i5 over the i7 and had it shipped for free. I received $200 off  for being in college which I think was great.

The wireless ‘magic mouse’ is very cool and creative however it is not the easiest thing to use and I like my cheap Dell corded mouse better. You can scroll just by swiping you finger on the mouse just like on the iPhone. I use a lot of mouse clicks and I code in HTML so it can get tricky. The mouse is harder to operate with some functions. Being that it is a 27″ screen you have to scroll the mouse over the mouse pad numerous times to get from one end of the screen to the other. That is the only con I have. Not bad at all.

The large 27″ screen and resolution are awesome. The HD pictures for my wallpaper/background come to life. The Mac is very powerful and packed full of everything I need. I am very happy with my purchase and I think Apple has won me over. I love my PC’s but I prefer Mac now. If you haven’t used a Mac then you must try it. It is so easy to use and it doesn’t crash or freeze. The look and feel are solid and the OS is one of the best. If you love your iPhone then you will love a Mac.

I give the iMac 27″ a 5 out of 5.

Caution: New Yahoo Messenger Worm

Thursday a worm was spreading through Yahoo Messenger. The worm tricks users into downloading an image from a friend. The link is malware that installs a backdoor on Windows systems and spreads itself to a victim’s IM contacts. It is considered very dangerous.

Do not fall for a message from a contact using a smiley icon and an image link with the word ‘photo’. The link will take you to what looks like a social networking Web site. The link really opens an exactable file (.exe). If you are using a Mac you are safe but if you are using Windows, the file will download. If the user then clicks ‘run’ the computer will become infected and the malware will be distributed to all of your IM contacts. If your contact opens the worm it will keep spreading and so on.

According to Symantec: “Once run, the worm copies itself to %WinDir%\infocard.exe, and then it adds itself to the Windows Firewall List,” modifies registry keys, and stops the Windows Updates service. Symantec detects the malware as W32.Yimfoca and said it affects Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Me, Windows Vista, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000.