Simple Steps to secure (and possibly fix) your computer

msconfigUse msconfig to make sure that no unnecessary programs are starting up with your computer.  To pull up msconfig, simply click start, and type “msconfig” into the search box and press enter. You will be greeted with the msconfig utility. On the startup tab, uncheck everything except your antivirus program and hit apply/ok, and restart your computer. You will likely notice a much faster startup time.

Review your virus protection.  And by review I mean have a look in control panel > installed programs and make sure that multiple anti-virus programs are not running. Multiple anti-virus programs will recognize each other’s signature and flag innocuous files as infected. In this way, anti-virus programs will fight each other to the death.

Uninstall bloatware antivirus programs (such as any anti-virus program created by norton).  Norton antivirus programs will happily grind your entire system to a standstill, or at least to the point where your system is unbearably sluggish.

I highly recommend uninstalling all Anti-Virus programs and instead grabbing “Microsoft Security Essentials”  from microsoft. It is an absolutely excellent anti-virus program and eats up very few system resources.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

Make sure you have an anti-malware scanner handy.  Malware is commonly grouped in with virii, however, security companies don’t see it that way. Some time ago, anti-virus and anti-malware firms has a big discussion as to whether anti-virus programs should cover malware removal. The consensus was that they should not, so it is necessary to have an anti-malware scanner around so that you can periodically run a scan just to be safe (once a month is most likely adequate).

The undisputed best program in the business is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It is a free program, but there is a paid version (which you do not need).

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4716-malwarebytes-anti-malware.html

Furthermore, you can install #WinHOSTS (from us) which will add a blocklist of known “parasite” (virus/malware/etc) servers directly into windows using the HOSTS file.  This solution will instantly improve your browsing experience (no matter what browser you use).

http://www.it-magique.com/winhosts/

Stop using Internet Explorer.  Let me say that again, _ Stop using Internet Explorer!  _   There are many alternatives that are lightyears ahead of Internet Explorer and infinitely more secure (not to mention better performance and nicer features). I suggest Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/

By following these simple steps, you will make your computer much more secure and safe from the threats out there. No solution is foolproof. More often than not, virus and malware infections are caused by computer users not reading what is right in front of them. If microsoft has accomplished anything it is to get us into the “next>next>next>next>etc” mentality where we don’t actually pay attention to what is going on. Try to force yourself to be more alert.

Happy Computing!

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