Joe's Basic Tips on Protecting Your Computer
We should all do certain things regularly to keep our computer working at the best speed it can. Here is a good list to start.
WHAT TO DO:
Do make sure your operating system and applications are regularly updated. This is usually free, and often can be set up for automatic execution.
Do make sure you have a good anti-virus/spyware program loaded. Two good ones(and free) are AVG free 9.0 and Microsoft Security Essentials
Do load Malwarebytes on your computer.
Do clean your hard drive regularly(weekly or monthly). Two good programs to use are ccleaner and easy clean.
Do backup your documents, pictures, music and videos, as well as applications for which you do not have the original disks. Because when your computer fails, and it will, you will not lose all your data.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Do not mess with your operating system or the basic load of your applications unless you “really” know what you are changing.
HOW TO DO IT:
Set up automatic updates.
1. Automatic Windows/Microsoft updating
In XP go to the control panel and select Automatic Updates and follow the instructions.
In Vista go to the control panel and select Window Updates and follow the instructions.
Many of us let the automatic updates run in the middle of the night.
2. Other Program Updates
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Usually the program will alert you to when there is a security upgrade available.
Run anti virus/spyware/Trojan Horse/cookies programs.
Load a program that protects you. We use Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/) or AVG 9.0 (http://free.avg.com/us-en/download?prd=afg). Both have free versions. But sometimes you must search for the free download.
Use a scanner program periodically to check for infections and to clean them out. We use Malwarebytes.(http://www.malwarebytes.org/) It is a free download. It can be scheduled to run periodically, too.
Make sure the Windows firewall is running, too.
Clean your hard disk periodically
Unneeded files build up on your hard disk which can slow the performance of your computer. Clean them out with a program like ccleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com/) or easy clean (http://support.f-secure.com/enu/home/onlineservices/fsec/fsec.shtml). Both are free downloads.
Backup your files
It's not a question of if. It's only a question of when. If you do not backup your files you will lose them. We will cover this topic at a future meeting.