Computer Help & Tips
This page contains tips, tricks, descriptions and links to various subjects or products which our visitors may find helpful. Pick any category below to jump directly to the page (spot on this) with details. Use the (top)arrow to return to the top of the page. Use the "Way Up" button to return to the Gateway Page
|This introductory section describes a few common on-line problems. And presents three solutions which are reputable, well regarded, effective, and most importantly . . .|
|>>>>> free <<<<<|
|In combination, they will prevent, or detect and remedy, a very considerable percentage of the headaches you will otherwise suffer.|
|If you can't afford these products . . .|
. . . you can't afford not to use these products !
How to Fix/Prevent Bad Stuff
Bad things happen to the nicest computers. Yours could be one of them. These are some of the bad programs that might live in your computer, unbeknownst to you. The general descriptions below link to specific tips and products you might want to consider.
Spyware A malicious type of program which surreptitiously installs itself onto your computer with the intent of gathering information about you. And relaying that to advertisers, con artists, and pop-up purveyors. While it may happen to infringe on your privacy, it's most important impact is slowing computer performance. Another common, and notable side effect is causing your computer to misbehave. Like having your browser's homepage hijacked, and changing every time you open it up. Or blocking sites you happen to like, in favor of others sponsored by advertisers. Or interfering with pre-existing software, such as java.
Adware A similar noxious program is adware. Often a hidden bonus payload to that handy "free" utility add-on or program. Popular for directing users to an advertiser's site, or just popping up a window with an advertisement targeted towards products your past browsing history suggests you might want to buy. The same sort of performance robbing impact, misbehavior, and pop-up ads all over the place, to boot !
Virus A wide variety of nasty products generally created by wannabe programmers, hoping to attract the attention of potential employers. Invariably befouling unsuspecting individual's computers.
Warning: Beware of Pop-ups & E-Mails bearing Gifts !
Inevitably you will receive a pop-up or e-mail warning you that your computer may be infected, infested, inebriated, etc. All you have to do is download a free check-up program to see if you are infected. Lo and behold, the program will magically detect some offending program. Which it has just installed with your unwitting permission! Now all you have to do is pay $39.99 to download their program to get rid of the offending program. Does this sound like a scam? Of course it does.
Spybot - Search and Destroy is one of the noble efforts by the little guys in the battle against spyware. This non-commercial freeware is the product of Patrick Kolla. But don't be fooled by the price. By no means a toy -> Spybot holds it's own with the best commercial products available. The latest edition, 1.13 is a recent revamp and improvement in a number of areas of an already excellent product. (Please make sure you use the above link. Scam artists are using devious methods to trick people into going to other sites to pay for look-alike, sound-alikes.)
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition is the freeware version of Lavasoft's Ad-Aware product. A really nice engine for detecting and exterminating a lot of the junk that gums up your computer. And thus a very good advertisement for their upscale commercial products. But in truth, the free version is all many every need.
ActiveScan is a similar freeware version of Panda Software's ActiveScan Pro. Which is the low-end of their product line of even bigger and badder anti-virus artillery. It works on-line, so the virus definitions are always right up to date, just like the big versions. But a bit tedious, because you must be connected to do the scanning. Still, it's free, and effective. (This one is a bit tough to find. On the linked page, at the top right you should click on "Free Use ActiveScan" to get to the on-line scanner.)
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