Thursday, 5 August 2010


Hi Y’all
A lot of people have been asking me about viruses and malware recently, and how they get viruses when they have anti-virus software. Also, a number of people are worried because their machines are getting slower.
One of the reasons that your machine will get slower is because it’s getting fat. By this, I mean that your storage is filling up with data. Each time you turn on your machine, every time you go onto the internet, your machine records everything that you do and keeps a record. This is so that when you use system restore, the machine remembers that particular point. So you should clean unwanted files and your registry to allow your machine to run a little easier.
Doing this need not be daunting, or expensive. There’s plenty of free software to use out there, and today I’m going to list some that I’ve used myself to help to point you in the right direction.
OK, lets start with Anti-virus. Plenty of companies offer free anti-virus for the home user, because they make there money in the corporate sector. AVG is a popular choice, but the free version doesn’t scan for rootkits, so I prefer Avast 5. It has incremental updates, and automatically updates the virus database everytime you are online. I also like the boot-time scan option, which will restart your machine and scan before the operating system starts up.
For malware scanning, there are a number of options, such as Adaware, but the best on the market at the moment has to be Malwarebytes. This has removed some pretty nasty stuff for me over the years, including the XP Antivirus malware a couple of years ago, appearing out of nowhere, and holding people to ransom by pretending to be an antivirus. The only problem with Malwarebytes is that the free version that I test drove needed to be updated manually, appart from that, I thought it was great.
When it comes to cleaning the crap from you hard drive, there is Disk Cleanup in you system tools and Internet options in you control panel, but one of the greats for cleanup is, of course, Ccleaner. This program is brilliant, because it’s so simple to use. Install, change the settings to your own preference and away you go. Built by Piriform (originally called crap cleaner), their website is definately worth a look.
If you know what your doing, Hijackthis is a useful tool, if you need a firewall, zonealarm is quite good, although, it doesnt recognise some antiviruses, it still works just fine.
The important one for me is, of course, is the web browser. The list goes on and on, but the best for my money are Opera and Firefox, with Firefox being the most popular, due the hundreds of add-on that are availible.
Most free software is provided as freeware, but some are listed as donationware, where the software is made to be used for free, by non-corporate programmers, and the donations allow for the software to be updated by the generosity of the users. I would urge you to donate a small amount if you like the software and plan on using it, by way of a thankyou.
Most of you are probably quite proficient with your machines, the information here is to help those of you who are not quite au fait with your new machine, but simple steps like these can help in the longrun. Read up on how computers work, learn where the dangers lie. Don’t answer strange emails that ask for account numbers and passwords, banks don’t ever ask for sensitive information by email. Clear your browsing history with the tabs in your browser. Simple steps like these are similar to checking the oil and water in your car, or checking the tyre pressure.
I hope you all have a fantastic summer, and safe surfing, be it wet or web