PC Cleanup

These days I often use someone elses PC, only to immediately notice that something is wrong with it. Typically you click on Internet Explorer, do one search and think Spyware. This can be caused by popups appearing, slow response or other indicators that are often subjective. Cleaning up these PCs can take sometime, however there are plenty of free things out there to help.

On the spyware front, if you already have spyware installed, or don’t know if you have spyware installed, then first run this:

http://www.trendmicro.com/spyware-scan/

Then make sure you run the WindowsUpdate feature to get all the Microsoft security updates.

Windows Update

NOTE: If Windows Update makes you reboot your computer, run Windows Update again and again until it shows that there are no more updates to install.

Load the Microsoft antispyware software:

http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

There are other Anti-spyware packages around that you can use instead of the Microsoft Antispyware. To date I’ve not found one program that finds and cleans everything, so here are a couple more you can try:

http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/

Most importantly, get a good anti-virus software too. You can do a free scan now from here:

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

But long term you need something installed that auto-updates and protects your email. These programmes are free, but I’ve not sure how good they are:

http://free.grisoft.com
http://www.free-av.com/

Personally I haven’t found an anti-virus package that I like 100%. PC World has a review/rating here:

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,124475,00.asp

On the firewall front, you can use the XP SP2 built in firewall, however ZoneAlarm is also pretty good and is free, and offers extra protection:

http://www.zonelabs.com
Free download here.

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