Archive for June, 2012

How to Remove a Virus

Viruses are running rampant on the internet, and it creates a direct risk to your computer security. If a virus infiltrates your computer, it can destroy your data, allow someone to steal your personal information, or cause even worse damage. For that reason, virus removal is very important. Every day, hundreds of people fall victim to viruses, malware, and spyware, so there is a significant chance that at some point you will need to know about virus removal.

The most important thing to do when you have a computer virus is to avoid panicking. Panicking will not help the situation, and it could cause you to make mistakes that will further add to your problem. Most often you will not have to wipe your computer completely clean to facilitate the virus removal. In fact, you may be able to remove the virus without losing any data.

Removing a Virus – Detection

Before you can begin with virus removal, you have to determine if you have a virus. If your computer suddenly becomes sluggish or if your web browser looks different, you could have a virus on your computer. Another sign of infection is if your computer starts crashing frequently or if you attempt to open files and are told that they are corrupted.

To confirm a computer virus and its location, you will want to run antivirus software. Purchase or download an application to your computer. If the virus prevents you from doing so, you may have to transfer the program from another computer using a disk or flash drive.

Finding and Removing the Virus

When you are ready to remove a virus, it is important to remember that two antivirus programs are not better than one. Besides the fact that antivirus programs will eat up a lot of the available processing power on your computer, running two at once could cause your computer to crash. In addition, most often antivirus programs do not work together, thus crippling the functionality of both.

Running the antivirus software will alert you as to where the virus is housed on your machine, and you’ll need to make a list of the applications that are discovered. Your antivirus program may be able to remove or isolate the virus for you, but you will need to select this option. In most cases, this is a better alternative to attempting virus removal on your own.

If everything runs successfully, shut off your computer and run the software again. You should come up with a clean sweep, and if not you will need to continue removing viruses. If your program discovers the same virus again, you may have to manually perform the virus removal yourself.

Virus Removal Tips for Better Computer Security

  •  Use the boot disk. If your antivirus software allows you to create a special boot disk, then you can restart your computer with this disk. This will allow your computer to run a virus scan immediately on startup, hopefully bypassing the virus code and allowing you to disable the virus.
  •  Try safe mode. If you find the same virus is popping up on each scan, then you can try starting your computer in safe mode. This allows you to operate your computer and perform computer security tasks using only the core elements of Windows.
  •  Run the antivirus program in safe mode. This can allow you to find hidden viruses and allow you to remove all infected applications.

If you find that your antivirus software cannot complete the virus removal, you may have to do some additional research. Look for the files online with your antivirus software provider and it should be able to tell you where to find the virus and how to remove it.

Remember to save a backup copy in your registry folder in case you accidentally delete something important. Then delete all of the files associated with the computer virus, reboot your computer, and try the antivirus software again.

Worst Case Scenario in Virus Removal

If you have tried repeatedly to delete a virus and the above methods aren’t working, then you may be forced to do a complete system wipe. This will require you to format your hard drive and reload the operating system. Therefore, you should make sure that you make backups of all the important virus free files that you have to prevent essential data from being lost.

Virus removal can be difficult, so the best way to remove viruses is to avoid getting them in the first place. Be savvy when using the internet to help prevent your computer from catching a virus that will compromise your computer security.

The qPCo 8-Point Speed Up Guide

QuickPCOptimizer (qPCo) is a complete performance toolbox that helps you speed up your PC just after a few clicks. In this guide, I’ll show you how you can use qPCo’s many features to your utmost ‘speed up’ advantage.

1. Run a Windows® registry scan.
First and foremost, run a registry scan and let qPCo automatically detect all the problems that are causing your system to slow down. qPCo delves deep into the registry, checking various things such as font entries, registry malware, sharred DLL entries, and other so this may take a while. Once the scan is complete, you’ll be shown a list of the registry problems found. From here, you can simply click the Fix Errors Now button to enable qPCo to fix all the problems in one go or you can choose to manually select which errors you want repaired and then click the Fix Errors Now button.

qPCo overview

Note that before any repairs are done, a complete backup of your current registry settings are made by qPCo so you can always come back to it if you ever want to.

2. Defragment the Windows® registry.
Another way to speed up your PC is to defrag the Windows® registry. You see, the registry contains data and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of a specific PC and this data can be ‘scattered’ all over the registry. To enable the registry to perform more efficiently it makes sense that all data is easily accessible right? In short, if related date is close together, the registry need not spend time and effort going all over the place to perform a task that you want it to do.

3. Use the built-in speed up booster.
Unlike other tools, qPCo offers users the ability to speed up and optimize their systems in a customized way. Simply select the option that best descrivbes your computer and click Optimize. This section allows you to optimize PC memory and clock malicious ActiveX controls!

speed up pc

4. Uninstall unwanted programs on your PC.
One of the main reasons your PC is slow is because you simply have way too much software installed. Now you try to uninstall them but unknown to you, many of these programs actually leave behind parts of themselves on on your PC, which only consume disk space and – you guessed it – slow down your PC. qPCo’s uninstaller feature completely gets rids of programs you no longer want on your system.

5. Permanently delete documents.
For sure, you’ve got plenty of files and documents sitting around just gathering dust on your hard drive. If you’re not using them… ditch them as they just use up disk space and slow down your system. However, it’s understandable that you don’t want anyone else to be able to un-delete them just as easily as you’ve gotten rid of them, right?

Well, qPCo just happens to have a feature that allows you to completely erase one or more files, beyond recovery, using the latest security standards available today. The DoD (Department of Defence) standard implies 3 passes over each file to be called ‘completely erased’, the NSA standard implies 7 passes… qPCo supports up to 10 passes! (Note: a pass is equal to one overwrite of that file using random data.)

6. Clean your personal history.
As you browse online, you leave certain digital footprints all over the place. As such, it’s extremely important to clean your personal browsing history. It not only helps prevent id theft and data loss but it also helps speed up Internet browsing time.

clean online histrory

7. Manage IE plugins.
Is launching and using Internet Explorer to browse the web slow? This is probably because it’s launching not one but several plugins behind-the-scenes. Use qPCo to un-register or delete any plugin that you don’t want lurking in the background while you’re online.

8. Manage StartUp programs.
PC startup takes forever? Just like the ‘hidden IE plugins’ there are probably a couple of programs that are all trying to launch or open as you start your computer. All of these applications are competing for attention as your system starts, making start up times sluggish. Use qPCo to check out which programs are trying to launch without your knowledge and… put them in their place!

PC’s eventually slow down because we use them a lot; call it ‘normal wear and tear’. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to speed it up again. Follow the 8-point guide above and experience a faster, more efficient PC in minutes.

How to Install qPCo on Your PC

Here’s how you can quickly install QuickPCOptimizer (qPCo) on your PC.

  1. Start by clicking here to download the program installer.
  2. If you’re using Internet Explorer, click Run in the window that appears below the browser. However, if you’re using Firefox, click Save File and save the file anywhere on your PC.
  3. If you downloaded the file on your computer, double-click QuickPCOptimizerSetup.exe.
  4. Follow the simple step-by-step install instructions.
  5. Click Start Scan in QuickPCOptimizer to run a PC performance scan.

It’s also just as easy to uninstall qPCo from your PC. Just follow the simple instructions here: http://quickpcoptimizer.com/uninstall.php

5 Ways to Boost the Speed of Your PC

Computers, like people, get old, and the advance in age corresponds to a decline in speed. The good news is there are ways to make that aging computer shake off its sluggishness (at least for a while longer) and perform the way it used to. This article contains tips on how to speed up your PC easily.

5 Ways to Speed Up Your PC

What do you do when your once dependable PC starts conking out? Many would want to ditch it in favor of a new system. However, if you’ve got money problems and are short on mortgage or rent payments, that may not be an option. And besides, as most computer nerds know,  buying a new PC is NOT necessary because you can easily make it perform faster again… IF you know how.

Here are a number of practical ways to de-congest your machine and get it back in shape. Some affordable upgrade suggestions are also thrown in. The first three steps are pretty straightforward and free so even the inexperienced can do them. Steps four and five however, call for more time and advanced know-how, and occasionally, money to realize.

Do a thorough virus check. Viruses are usually to blame for system slowdowns. Anti-virus software like AVG Antivirus and Avira AntiVir get rid of them automatically so you’re always assured of a clean PC. Such programs provide complete virus scans, built-in capability to handle future viruses, plus free updates. Upon downloading the software, you’re guided through the scan and cleanup process. The end-result: a clean PC.

Defragment your hard drive. Saving and deleting stuff from the hard drive causes data to scatter all over the drive in pieces. The hard drive then has to search several places to retrieve one file, slowing everything down. Drive defragment will put order to the pieces so they make sense, hastening access times. System Tools in the Accessories of Windows folder has the defragment tool. Select “defragment” and wait. Letting the thing run overnight wouldn’t hurt if the drive is big.

Run a file cleanup. A sluggish computer didn’t get that way on its own. You, as its owner, had a significant hand in it. At some point, you might have clicked one too many OKs on checkboxes for installing stuff, tested out numerous freeware, and played a bunch of CDs. Now start up takes 10 minutes, three kinds of errors pop up when launching the browser, and crashes happen almost hourly.

Actually, how full the hard drive is has zero to do with PC operation speed, unless it’s practically filled to bursting that Windows has trouble writing temporary files. The real problem is that most programs you install feature components that are always running, which burdens the computer processor. One example is iTunes. It’s got a couple of components that are running in the background invisibly ALL the time. Both aid in iTunes communication with iPods when plugged in, but what’s the use of having them eat up memory and slow down the CPU if you do not own an iPod in the first place?

To view everything buzzing in the background, bring up Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl, Alt-Delete on your keyboard. Microsoft’s Processor Explorer is a slightly more complicated free app for use. Right-click any process to Google it.

Windows Vista and XP users have instructions they can follow to easily prevent unnecessary apps from loading upon StartUp. When done going over the various processes and removing those that aren’t necessary, the system will start performing faster, especially on StartUp since the programs it will load when Windows launches have been reduced. If this doesn’t work, call in the heavy artillery.

Go back to square one.  Sometimes you’ve got no choice but to wipe out everything from the computer and start from zero. Even if a computer is well taken care of, there will come a time when starting over is easier than tracking down every single issue behind the slowdown or malfunction. Task one is pulling off all critical files and writing down program names important to you. This could mean placing video and MP3 on external hard drives together with whatever else you’d like spared from destruction (bookmarks, game files and email folders). Preserve all of it using external hard drives.

For computers made by big manufacturers, re-installation from scratch probably involves simply slipping in a recovery CD and selecting the “restore” option. Some firms don’t even need a disk as all info required is tucked away somewhere on the hard drive that can be accessed when a complete do-over is called for. If there’s no restore disk, you will need a Windows key that is usually found printed on the PC label, plus one install disc.

Upgrade Windows. If Windows was recently installed and you still have problems running some programs, there’s not much that can be done with the hardware. It’s time to upgrade. Sounds daunting, but don’t worry. You just need to focus on a few key parts in the upgrade task.

RAM acts as the system memory and is the first to be checked. RAM can speed up stuff like running multiple programs simultaneously and switching among them. Go to System under the Windows control panel to find out how much RAM you’ve got. Determine how much can be added by counting the number of sockets the motherboard has. Choose the correct specs by checking out the upgrade guide of PCWorld. Go to eHow.com for advice on RAM installation. RAM is super cheap so if you add some, get the maximum your PC can accommodate.

The other thing to think about is the video card. If you own an inexpensive computer, you’re most likely utilizing built-in integrated graphics in the motherboard instead of a distinct graphics processing unit (GPU) that’s more powerful. If you can’t play 3D games without encountering issues, then adding another GPU might take care of the speed problem. See to it that the motherboard can support the card purchased.

Newer systems utilize PCI Express while older ones use AGP ports. Refer to the computer manual to verify which one you have. Opt for the cheaper variety of cards. Although many will recommend a CPU upgrade too, it’s usually too complex to bother with if all you’re after is additional speed. If a new processor is required, consider just buying a new PC altogether.

When confronted with a sluggish computer system, most people automatically think they need to crack open the hardware and tinker around inside to improve performance. However, with so many options for solving the problem, this seems like more of a last resort solution, especially for casual PC users. Take baby steps when it comes to approaching the process of boosting computer speed. Chances are you’ll find that trusty computer bouncing back and acting like it used to minus having to plug any extras.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet

The internet can be a valuable source of information, entertainment, and socialization. In fact, the internet can virtually open the doors to all possibilities. However, there are also certain computer risks that come along with connecting your computer to the internet. Here are some of the hidden internet dangers that could affect your family.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Exposing Children to Inappropriate Material

Most parents are already aware of the computer risk that walks hand in hand with the internet – the risk that their child will stumble upon something inappropriate. It is difficult to regulate the Internet, and children can easily find inappropriate material even from seemingly innocent keyword searches. Filtering programs can only go so far to protect children, and may have their own hidden agenda.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Invasion of privacy

Another risk that comes along when hooking your computer up to the internet is the risk that you or your child will be hurt or exploited. Any information that is posted online should be considered public information, and giving away personal information could place you identity and your security at risk. Children are particularly at risk for believing everything they read online, making them a high risk contender of child predators and scammers that could be looking to steal their identity or worse.

A subset of this is the “stranger danger” that is present to all children online. Online predators may attempt to establish a relationship with a child, earning their trust. Besides the risk of identity fraud, some predators may take it as far as trying to stalk the child. Public chat rooms are particularly dangerous to children who may not know who they are talking to.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Copyright Infringement, Plagiarism, and Cheating

When articles, pictures, and other information are posted online, they remain the intellectual property of someone else. However, this is hard to police, and many people, children and adults included, think nothing of stealing someone else’s work online. The internet has created new ways for people to cheat, from offering already written term papers to the posting of answers to quizzes and other homework. Thankfully, while the Internet can make cheating easier to do, it can also make it easier for teachers to check if their students are cheating.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Faulty Information

Since the information online is in no way policed, there is no real way to tell whether the information you are receiving is accurate. In some cases, if you trust the source, you can obtain accurate information from the internet. In many other cases, however, there is no way to tell how accurate the information is, and in some cases it may be entirely someone’s opinion or falsified statistics. Anyone can publish information on the Internet, regardless of whether or not they are an expert in the subject.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Hackers

Hackers are individuals with knowledge in how to find and use weaknesses in computer software to their advantage. In some cases the activities may be minor, but in other cases hackers can spread viruses and steal personal information. The techniques utilized by hackers are growing increasingly difficult to defend, as evident in the growing number of victims.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Malicious code

Sadly, the internet is full of viruses, worms, and other malicious codes that can harm your computer and steal your information. Viruses are infections that come from a specific activity you have done, such as opening an email from an unknown source or downloading an attachment. Worms can enter the system on their own, and then spread from your computer to any others you are in contact with. Trojan Horses are designed to look like one thing, yet have a hidden agenda that it runs in the background and steals information.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Time management

While this computer risk may not be as severe as others that come from hooking your computer up to the internet, time management presents a major problem for children and adults alike. In fact, there are now many rehabilitation centers which specialize specifically in Internet addiction.

The Risks of Connecting a Computer to the Internet – Health

You might not think that hooking your computer up to the internet would present health risks, but it can. Most commonly, heavy internet users suffer from repetitive strain injuries, eyestrain, and skeletal problems. The arm and wrist is the most common spot for repetitive strain industries, particularly on the side that uses the mouse. Posture problems are also common. And since electronic displays are harder to read than printed words, long term computer use can also lead to eyestrain. In extreme cases, it is even thought that overuse of the Internet could cause depression as some users try to replace normal human interaction with email and instant messaging.

There are numerous risks associated with connecting your computer to the internet. However, the more aware you are of these risks, the easier it is for you to avoid them.