Does your computer take longer to start up and generally load software and websites slower than before? Bummer dude! Well, before you think about buying a new one you should check out a few other remedies such as finding and deleting spyware and adware; deleting unnecessary files; and defragmenting your hard disk drive.
Malware is the term for malicious, mal-intentioned software residing on your computer without your permission. Yes…there are people and companies who’d do such a thing, mainly to make a buck. Let’s talk about spyware and adware. They perform similar, but different functions.
Most spyware programs record information about you, your computer and what websites you visit, generating pop-up ads, and changing the operation of your browser to do things like change your home page and redirecting you to sites you didn’t request.
Adware automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer, and some can also act like spyware. These ads are displayed to you at the pleasure of the adware program. There ought to be a law! But wait, there is a law that’s not very effective…but let’s not go down that road right now.
If this invasion of your privacy by these two ne’er-do-wells isn’t enough to get them on your “pet peeve list”, they also slow down your computer. They do this by taking time away from your computer’s normal tasks to gather this information, transmit it to the “mother ship” company that created it, displaying ads, and defending itself from being found and deleted.
So…what can you do about this? Luckily, there are very good malware prevention, detection and removal packages available; and some of them are free.
- Windows Defender is an excellent package that comes included in Windows Vista and can be downloaded free of charge for use on Windows XP and Windows 7.
- You can purchase anti-malware packages developed by companies like McAfee, Symantec, Sophos and others.
- A third method of defending against these culprits is to purchase a “security suite” of security tools from the same sources previously mentioned. I use one from Verizon, who is my Internet Service Provider, for a small monthly fee.
More on this subject in my next post.
Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.