Due to popular demand, here are a variety of highly recommended programs that will vastly improve your computer performance. Have a Mac? Ignore everything here because your computer already kicks ass.
Pop ups? Slow internet? No internet? Homepage keeps resetting itself? Congratulations, you have spyware!
To get rid of said spyware, download and run the following tools:
Download and install EACH of these programs. After installation, each program has an update feature that must be run. Then run the scans. Each will find a variety of spyware programs on your computer and clean them off. Don't be lazy!! Download ALL of these programs and run each of them. Non of them are perfect, and they miss things. But if you run all three, you should be in better shape.
Have an annoying virus that Norton or McAfee won't get rid of? Not sure what you have? Think you might have a virus? Well, you probably do have a virus.
Well, if you don't already have antivirus software...GET SOME RIGHT NOW. Personally, I prefer Norton, but McAfee is good too.
However, there is a nifty little program out there that is free that does an amazing job. It will find stuff that the other antivirus programs won't.
Download and install this program. It is FREE. Get it running. If it beeps, that means it found something. It will clean it off. Internet acting unusually slow? Want to find out how fast it actually is?
Go to PC Pitstop and run the speed test. There are TWO separate tests. One tests your upload speed, and one tests your download speed. Check them out and compare your speed over time.
Have the program called "Webshots?" Yeah, you know that little program that changes your picture on your desktop and what not?
GET RID OF IT. Webshots = Bad News. While the program itself it not too bad, it allows a lot of other spyware crap to get on your computer. And actually, it takes up a ton of network resources.
"But what am I going to use for my pictures?" Use Yahoo pictures of Shutterfly. But never download one of those online picture sharing programs. BAD.
Weather Bug. Sorry....bad news too.
However, it can be controlled. Do NOT run Weatherbug at all times. You may think the program is closed, but it really isn't. Usually, it parks itself down near the time on the lower right of your desktop. You need to make sure that Weatherbug does not open automatically on start-up. If you want to check the weather, open the program, and then exit out of it. Make sure it is not in your task bar!
Otherwise, Accuweather.com and Weather.com do just as good a job as Weatherbug and they won't cause problems on your computer.
NOTE: Weatherbug will attempt to auto-install itself with AOL Instant Messager. Uncheck the option to install it when you are installing AIM.
Kazaa. Holy mother of God.
If you have Kazaa, get rid of it right now. You WILL get tons of viruses/spyware if you use this program.
Kazaa Lite: Not as bad, but still not good. Sure, you won't get as much spyware, but these days there are a lot more viruses on it. Because of Kazaa Lite's growing popularity, there have been more and more virus spread with it.
Instead, use LimeWire. This program was originally designed for Mac but is now available for PC. It has a special feature that will detect corrupt files or potentially virus infected items. Plus, there are generally fewer viruses out there being spread though LimeWire.
However, ANY P2P program can transmit viruses.
Also, iTunes works particularly well with Limewire. Get iTunes and you will no longer need WinMX, Real Player, or Windows Media player to play your personal music collection. iTunes also has an amazingly simple CD Burning component.
That's easy. 1) Be careful when you click links in profiles. 2) Use run this quick tool, and it will be gone.
How could I have forgotten? Thanks, Dan, for reminding me.
If you are looking for a superior, 3rd party browser...get Firefox! Let's face it, Internet Explorer can be pretty crappy. Firefox = WAY BETTER. You can used tabbed browsing, regular browsing, and its more or less spyware free.
Bust out of the box and try some Firefox. (wow...they rhymed.)
And for the love of God...
Run your Windows Updates!!!!!!! You know that little bubble that pops up and says "Updates are available for your computer" ...? Yeah, guess what. THAT IS NOT A SUGGESTION. That little bubble can be annoying, but it is important. Those Windows updates fix the problems in the operating system that let viruses and spyware onto your computer in the first place.
Not running your Windows updates is as risky as leaving your car doors unlocked in Harlem. So don't be lazy, and run your updates. You aren't sitting in front of your computer every second of the day. So, when you get up to leave, start the updates. By the time you get back, they will probably be done. You don't have to sit there and babysit the thing the whole time.
Need more Help?
Then you need some Boda: gotBoda.com
Have ideas, questions, or contributions? Post them in the comments section below.