PC Cleanup & Nasties Prevention
PC Cleanup & Nasties Prevention :
I just formatted my hard drive because I got lazy in looking after it, and I won't let it happen again . So I also decided to write you guys a guide about keeping your computer safe and clean. This is mostly intended for those newbie among us, but it may be useful for other people too .
Also this guide is intended for Windows XP so it my not be entirely right for other OS's.
Cleaning Up :
It is very important to keep your computer clean of crap and in good shape.
Manually Cleaning :
It is a good idea to always delete what you don't need. Delete any icons, those many .rars that are probably clogging up your desktop , and any other files you don't need. Clear out your Downloads folder (if you have one), and My Documents of any crap.
Use Add or Remove Programs to uninstall the programs you don't need any longer. To do this, go to: Start --> Control Panel --> Add or Remove Programs.
Also, have a look through Program Files as uninstalled programs can leave annoying files behind. So, right click your Start button. then go Explore. Just delete files and folders of programs you know you've uninstalled.
Clear out your temporary folder, to make sure there is nothing harmful in there. First, make sure all Browsers are closed. Go to... Start --> Run --> Type %TEMP% . Delete you can in there, as some files/folders may still be in use. Best to do this as soon as you boot up.
Disk Cleanup :
This is a very useful tool in getting rid of unwanted crap. To get to it go to... Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> Disk Cleanup.
Select your primary drive, and click OK. It will come up with a list of items that it can clean up, eg. Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files, Download Program Files as well as a brief description for each of them.
Disk Defragmenter :
It is very important to do this about every 2-3 weeks, or if your install something big. This clears your drives of fragmented files to help them run quicker and more efficient. To get to it go: Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> Disk Defragmenter.
Scan Disk :
This checks your disks for errors then tries to fix them. Sometimes you may have to run this before you defragment.
Go to: Start --> My Computer --> Right click C: (or what ever drive you use) --> Properties --> Tools --> and under Error-checking click Check Now.
Check both the options then click Start. It will say you need to reboot to use it so do so and let it run.
What files are viruses?
You cannot usually get a virus from something as simple as downloading a program, though it does depend on the download method. You cannot get a virus from a webpage, though you can get infected with spyware in the form of browser executables (cookies, actX codecs etc.). But, you can get a virus from running a program, particularly .exe files, or even anything else that actually does something other than just putting a file there.
Generally zip files are harmless (possibly not whats inside them), but be aware of self extracting zip files as they are actually executables themselves and can quite easily install viruses or spyware.
So now that you know what files are possibly viruses, what can you do to best protect against them? Download a anti-virus software. There are many Anti-Virus programs out there. Here are the best in my opinion.
NOD32 - I find this to be the absolute best Anti-Virus out there. Low memory usage and get detection. It is not free, so search and download a copy here.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus - This is another good one, some find it better then NOD32. Shareware, so search it out on warez-bb.
AVG Anti-Virus - This is a great free one, you could try the free or use the PRO version.
Avast! - This is another great free one, available in Home (free) and PRO.
Spyware is nasty and very common. Here are a few good programs to prevent it.
Mozilla Firefox - You should definitely be using this instead of Internet Explorer. It is a lot safer (not executing ActiveX programs etc.) plus has a ton of addons to go with it.
Spybot: Search and Destroy: Probably the best Anti-Spyware software out, and it's free. Update, and scan with this. Be sure to also immunize if you use Internet Explorer.
Ad-Aware 2007 - Another excellent spyware remover, find the PRO version here on warez-bb.