Spring Clean Your PC in 5 Steps

Internet SecurityThis post was inspired by A Virtual Perception’s Welcome Spring Contest!

Some people have been having some trouble lately because of the Facebook virus and others are complaining about slow computers.

Virtual IT Assistants concluded that now is the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning on our computers.

Before updating or running any of these computer cleaning programs presented here, please backup all of your important files and program databases.

It is also not necessary for you to install and run all of the cleanup programs that are shared here.

The purpose of this post is to share some valuable and yet free ways to make sure that your information and privacy is protected while working online. Here are the tips broken into five different steps:

1. Cleanup temp files.
2. Run all updates.
3. Remove any virus or spyware.
4. Change your passwords.
5. Stay safe.

1. Cleanup all of your temp files and disk de-fragmenting software.

(Get help doing this for Mac and Windows.)

Do you already have virus and spyware protection?

Before going on to step 2,
see how your virus scanner is doing.

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2. Install and Run Virus and Spyware protection on your computer.

Spyware Protection and Repair

Download and run CleanUp! 4.5.2 by Steven Gould.

You’ll find the rest of these tools on our Anti-virus and Spyware Protection list at virtualitassistants’s community profile on CNET.

malware bytes Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Spybot Spybot Search and Destroy For the best results, install this program and all of its updates while in safe mode with networking enabled. I also strongly recommend that you uncheck the install box for the TeaTimer and SDHelper components.

HiJack This Trend Micro HijackThis Do not download this unless you know what you are doing. This tool is powerful and very effective. However, if you remove the wrong components, you may be unable to even boot your computer back up!

Virus Scanners

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition This is the best free virus scanner that we have found.

Avast Pro Anti-virus Avast Pro Anti-virus Virtual IT Assistants has not installed this program on any of our client’s computers, however our more technical contacts are beginning to highly recommend trying this out. So, it’s being included in this post for that reason.

Notice: Some high speed internet providers (like Comcast and other broadband providers) have gotten smarter about the habits of their users (especially with social and sharing media being more popular than ever), and began providing free internet access with their service. This is the best free virus scanner you’re gonna get.

3. Run all updates on all applications including OS.

Internet Browsers

Browser Plug-ins to Update

Virtual Office Tools

Think about it this way, you have all kinds of programs and applications working on your computer on a daily basis. Those applications are working, so you may ask yourself “Why should I run any updates?”. The reason behind software needing to be updated is that there are new security issues and vulnerabilities being found constantly that may leave your computer open to these threats if you fail to install the patches.

4. Change your passwords on everything!

Once you know that your computer is safe and clean, restart your computer and reset your passwords to everything.

5. Be more careful of what you click on and share.

Do not buy into those heavily advertised MyCleanPC .com or finallyfast .com! If you learn about a new privacy protection program, look them up at WOT Web of Trust) or McAfee

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