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Today’s post is from J. N. Hups.

Techie Tuesday

Edition 1, Volume 3

How S-l-o-w Can You Go?
How to improve the speed of your PC and laptop

There is nothing more frustrating than a slow computer. Okay, maybe there are a few more things; however, when you have places to go and people to see, yet can’t get out the door because your PC or laptop is holding you back, computer anxiety definitely moves to the top of the list. In fact, according to ScienceDaily[1], computer anxiety has now become an “official illness” of the high-tech age.

While there are a number of reasons your computer could be running slow, the following are generally the main culprits: malware and viruses, bogged down Internet cache (temporary Internet files and history), over-filled temp folder, full recycle bin, and failure to do regular system updates. So instead of running to the Geek Squad and shelling out mega $$ to have your computer purged, try these simple tricks first:

Part 1: Malware and Viruses: Preventative measures

 Malware & Viruses                        

Malware (short for malicious software) are nasty little programs that hide in your computer and disrupt normal operation. Some gather sensitive information, some gain unauthorized access to computer systems.

Viruses are computer programs that can replicate themselves and spread from one computer to another. As with malware, their intent is to do harm. However, the biggest difference between the two is viruses have the ability to reproduce and malware doesn’t.

In either case, the BEST WAY to avoid these buggards is to prevent them from getting into your system in the first place. You can do this by having good, solid, anti-malware and anti-virus programs installed.

How to Choose

There are many anti-malware and anti-virus programs on the market, and you may have a personal favorite, but below is a list from www.toptenreviews.com that should help you get going:

Top five anti-malware products:

  • Webroot Anywhere Virus
  • Spyware Doctor
  • AdWare Pro
  • Malware Bytes
  • STOPZilla

Top five anti-virus products:

  • Bitedefender Antivirus Plus
  • Avast! Pro Antivirus 2012
  • Kaspersky Anti-virus 2012
  • PC Tool Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus 9.0
  • Panda Antivirus Pro 2012

Installation alone won’t keep you protected, however. Both anti-malware and anti-virus programs need to have the ability to update definitions automatically 24/7 so that any newbies floating around in cyberspace can be stopped before they enter your computer.

Once definitions are updated, you’ll need to run what’s called a system scan. This will search your computer and destroy most malware and/or viruses you might have picked up. Generally there are two scans that should be run: A short scan and a full scan. A short scan should be set to run every day and a full scan should be set to run no less than once a month—preferably more if you are on the Internet often. And just like virus and malware definitions, make sure these scans are set to run automatically, 24/7.

But what happens if you already have a problem? Then what? Check back next week for How S-l-o-w Can You Go? Part 2: Malware and Viruses: So you already have a problem. Now what?

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NOTE: Please be aware that free or try-before-you-buy versions of anti-malware and anti-virus software usually do NOT offer automatic definition updates or automatic systems scans. Because of this it is very important that whatever software you choose is full version.