Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to keep your computer clean, safe and malware free .

As a technical support assistant, I deal with all sorts of problems about computers everyday. And one thing that's always present on my daily list-of-chores is a virus-infected computer that needs to be cleaned and overhauled without loosing the precious data stored in the harddrives.

This is quite hard to do since not every malware have the same category and effect on the operating system. There are some that can make your system unusable, some are just sitting there dormantly, without any effect on the system aside from opening up ports which are normally not in use, and some are categorized as scareware or rogueware as they tend to use scare tactics to make you buy their rogue software products. There a lot of infections out there and it is always better to be on the "preventive" side to keep your computer free of problems.

Below are some simple tips and tricks to keep you computer safe and malware free.

Make a habit of cleaning your Temp Files, Temporary Internet Files and Cookies. - Some infections rely on cookies and temp files to attach itself onto the system. So make sure you do a regular cleanup of your temp files not only to avoid infection but to also help maintain your computer clutter free.

Avoid Malicious Websites - Websites like free videos, porn sites, free downloads, free smileys, free wallpapers, free video players, free serials, cracks, etc are usualy a hive of hidden malwares. Always make sure to read and re-read comments about the "free" software you are trying to download, if it has no comment - avoid it. It is better not to try it than ending up with an infection afterwards.

Install a verified, trustworthy Antimalware program. (Microsoft Security Essentials) - MSE is a free antivirus program from Microsoft. Since not all infections comes through the internet, you need a real time protection to avoid infections coming from USB, EMAIL, NETWORK and other STORAGE DEVICES.

Be careful in using P2P softwares - softwares like Vuze, Utorrent, Kazaa and Limewire are valid and useful softwares. They can either make or break your computer if you don't know how to use them. Again, you need to be wary of the files you download. Ask yourself these questions if you are unsure: Do they have positive comments? Has anyone tried the software? simple questions that can save your computer from future problems.

Avoid installing unfamiliar Browser Toolbars - Video Codec Toolbars, game toolbars, mywebsearch toolbar and other malicious toolbars can add-up "weight" on your running system processes thus making your computer slow and internet browsing sluggish. On top of that, some of them are literally spywares that feasts on your personal info. Unless you verify that the toolbar is safe and effective, do not install it.

Keep and Monitor your email - Always make sure to clean your spam folders as some spywares don't need to be installed or copied into your harddrive to phish personal information, sometimes they just need to sit there - in your spam folders. Sounds like impossible? Think Again.

These are just basic ways of how we can win the war against malware infection. Let us all be responsible and try to follow the above tips regularly. Hope this helps.

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