Treat The Internet Like Your Home Part 2 of 3
Treat the Internet Like Your Home
Part 2 of 3
Computer security means thinking of the Internet like your home. You keep your home clean don’t you? Just like your home you need to keep your computer clean and up to date. That means not downloading any programs or games especially free stuff. That’s where a lot of viruses and malware come from, same for attachments that come with email. You don’t keep a cluttered home do you? The why keep a cluttered computer? Stuff like unused toolbars, programs you have no use for and games that you don’t play. Go through your computer and remove anything you do not use. Here’s how;
A) Click on your start menu then click Control Panel.
B) Once in the Control Panel click on Programs/Uninstall a program.
C) Then under Programs and Features click. You will see a selection and at the top then click on Uninstall a program.
D) A list will load of all the programs on your computer. Now find all the programs you don’t use and right click on them. You will be asked if you want to uninstall.
Look for drivers or software from that old printer/scanner/fax thing you got rid of or any software programs you don’t use or need. If you have not used in the last six months then you probably don’t need it. Make sure the programs you do keep are up to date and that includes your operating system and other software. Software like Java and many Microsoft products should be updated regularly. Make sure you have your computer set to update automatically.
Remember we’re keeping a clean house and sometimes you need to call in a professional cleaning crew. There are two excellent cleaning services available free online. The first is the Microsoft Safety Scanner. It is an excellent tool for removing spyware, malware or viruses from your computer and simple to use. I recommend that you perform the full scan when asked. Do this at least once a month or anytime your computer behaves strangely. Initiate the scan just before bed because it could take hours to finish the full scan.
If you don’t have an anti-virus program on your computer (please tell me you do!) then you should download Microsoft Security Essentials program. It’s free and effective. And remember once you install this software make sure you update it regularly. Best move is to set it to update automatically.
Another free scanner can be found on the TrendMicro website. The product is called HouseCall and it is also a very good scanning tool. One of the advantages of HouseCall is that it works with Apple computers. They don’t make it easy to find so go to http://housecall.trendmicro.com. If you look below the download button you will find the link for Apple computers. After your selection click download and follow the instructions from there. Norton Symantec also offers a free virus scanner also. I don’t make any recommendations as to which one is better.
Keeping your computer clean, healthy and up to date is not difficult. To help you I suggest you check out this article from PCWorld.com that provides excellent information on free anti-virus software that is effective and trustworthy. It’s important that you understand that there is a lot of phony software out there that you need to avoid at all costs. Watch this blog for more on that or send us your questions and I’ll do my best to help.
Cleaning your computer is very important because you may have viruses or malware that lurks unseen inside it. If you own a computer I don’t have to explain the damage a virus can do. Malware is used to steal your data and do other nasty things to your computer. Your computer can even be controlled by someone else using malware. That makes your computer zombie. Then there is the Trojan program. It’s a program that says its doing one thing but is actually doing something else. You think you downloaded a funny video but in the background the program is installing itself on your hard drive and could take over or destroy your computer. And when I say in the background I mean you don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late or you may never discover it.