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Virus, Spyware Removal, Computer and Internet Security Tips

Ryan Critchett

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A lot of us now a days are on the computer all the time. Whether it is for your personal use at home, checking emails and browsing the web, or you work with computers at your current job, computers are a necessity and protecting them from attacks is an even bigger necessity.

There are many ways to protect your computer. Some people use the most commonly known programs such as “Norton Anti Virus" and “Spybot" to help protect against viruses and spy ware. I have been toying around with different programs for years and honestly, if you have a PC (Mac's aren't as vulnerable) I would suggest you do this. Download a program called AVG. It's a free antivirus program that works wonders. If you constantly update it, it recognizes most malicious programs. Now, that alone will not protect you completely as there are many other factors included. Spy ware is pretty easy to get, especially if you like to browse around on the web. I would suggest something like ADAWARE for an anti ad/spy ware program. Run scans on your system daily, do not go to websites you don't already trust and start learning how to manually remove bad programs from your computer.

Say you your computer all the sudden is slowing down significantly and out of nowhere there is an Ebay icon on your desktop. Well some websites install certain things on your system. For that particular situation, I would open up my registry (start, run, “regedit") which is basically the guts of your computer. There are values in there for everything you have on your system. “control F" which is “find" and simply type the word “E Bay". See what it comes up with. If its something that shouldn't be there, delete the value. Of course you have to be careful when deleting things from your registry, so have your web browser open and research file names, file extensions and types in the user friendly search engine giant, Google. Say you download something from a website, and your antivirus tells you that you have a virus. It happens all the time. Find out where that specific file went (AVG will tell you where it is and attempt to delete it) and delete any files it came with.

Go to your start menu, run “msconfig". That will display a lot of information you don't necessarily have to pay attention to right away, but it will display what normally starts up when your computer starts up. Again, if you have trouble differentiating whats good and whats bad, Google it and research it until you are completely positive as to what exactly it is. Search through all your programs for things you did not install and do all this while your computer is in safe mode. Basically safe mode is a mode on your pc that allows you to eliminate any bad programs without everything running at once. Only the programs needed to run your computer, run. I suggest unhooking your ethernet cable as well. Some of these programs feed off of an internet connection. To start your computer in safe mode, simply restart the computer, and as soon as it starts to boot, repeatedly hit the “F8" key until a black screen with white writing comes up asking you to run computer in safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt or just safe mode. Scroll down to just “safe mode" and hit enter. Once your desktop shows up, you'll notice your icons a bit bigger than normal and your screen resolution a bit different. This is all normal, now you can engage in deleting any bad programs your system may have contracted. Run your virus scan, run your spy ware scan. Sometimes those “bad files" will end up in your temp folder. If your antivirus program identifies a virus or trace of spy ware in your temp folder, and cannot delete it, simply go to your start menu, run, “%temp%" which will open up a folder of mostly . dll files. Seek and destroy that particular file that your antivirus says is corrupted or malicious. Sometimes certain files only have certain permissions so you are going to have to play with it a bit to delete it. Once you delete something, ensure you delete it from your recycle bin as well.

Using torrents to download certain programs is not always a good idea. Pirated software, I mean yes it's free but mostly filled with hidden viruses. All of those programs have “cracks" in them which allow you to get the full version of the program without paying a dime. Your antivirus program might recognize them as trojans or viruses, and some of the time they are, but other times it's just the crack itself because in reality, a crack is a virus. You just have to know how to work with it. Either way, I do not suggest downloading anything from anywhere but a trusted site. Say you find a program that you can download for free, but you get a virus. You can't fix the virus because it has attached itself to many other files in your computer to stay alive. Then you might have to spend 75 bucks for a computer repair company just to look at it and give it a diagnostic. Not to mention the other 100-200 bucks they are going to charge you for fixing it. So in essence, you probably should of just paid for the program you were trying to get. Yea?

Obviously venturing into the many *** ographic websites out there is not a good thing for your computer. I know many people who have had serious problems rooting right from that. There are sites out there that are not harmful, but most of them, are. I'm not saying I know those sites or anything lol! Just be careful. Anything that pops up, don't click on it. Even though some pop ups are harmless, some could prove to be horrible for your computers performance. Never click on a banner that pops up and says “your computer might be infected, click here" or something to that extent. Thats about a spy ware haven right there, you want to stay away from that stuff. Don't go on limewire or frostwire and download anything because it has the name of the song or video you want. Check the size of it, ensure it is the right size it should be because there are many nasty viruses on file sharing programs such as the ones I have stated above. Oh, and never download an executable program from a file sharing program. (anything with the file extension of . EXE) Most likely, if you do download it, you just downloaded a nasty backdoor trojan or virus that will steal your information (passwords, web browsing habits, even credit card numbers) Some trojans are made to download other trojans feeding from your internet connection. Bad thing to have.

So with all that tooken into consideration, implementing it into your everyday computer usage, you are still not 100% safe from threats. Just be careful, browse smart, scan your computer and stay on top of its performance and security. If anyone has anything else to contribute to this article, or any one of my articles, feel free to comment! In fact I encourage it! Until the next time, that's all I got for now.


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