About once a month my Ex-wife asks me to "Fix" her computer, at the same time my mother asks me to "Fix" her computer about 3 sometimes 4 times a year. They are always concerned because their computers have gotten slower and are acting weird.
On my Ex-wife's computer, it is usually a combination of factors almost always related to the fact she lets our kids use her computer whenever they want and we have 4 boys who LOOOOOOOOOOVE computer games. And downloading patches and cracks. Yes, most of the time her computer is Virused up with so many Virii I just pull her hard drive out of her computer and hook it up to one of my external drive enclosures and start letting my various A/V, Anti-Malware and drive maintenance programs go to work on it. The full scans usually take 2 days. Seriously, for a 320GB hard drive it takes 2 days to run all the scans I do on it. The last time I pulled full maintenance on my computer I was on the laptop for a full week, 3.4 TB spread out over 5 drives takes a long time to scan fully.
My mothers computer isn't usually as bad but some of the Virii and other Malware she has gotten have been rather bad. I actually had to do a wipe and full re-install once on her laptop it was so bad.
Both my Ex and my mom try to keep up with their computer maintenance, but with me just a phone call away they don't really stay up on it like they should.
However it does get old after the 7th or 8th time.
This isn't directed at my mother or my Ex, but to everyone in general.
The following are the list of programs I use. And the schedule I follow for my personal computer systems.
CCleaner I run this program every time I close my browser
Registry Mechanic This is run once a day, I have a subscription that covers my two desktops and my netbook, which all run different versions of Windows, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Home Premium 64 Bit, and Windows 7 Business.
Malwarebytes Which is run every Saturday after being updated, and run in Chameleon Mode once a month.
Spybot Search and Destroy Is also run every Saturday after updating and run in detail full scan mode once a month as well. Be sure to re-immunize your system after every update.
Advanced System Care This is run once a week after update, usually Sunday morning.
AVG Anti Virus This is my main AntiVirii Program They also have a Free version for home/Student use at Free.AVG.com This is also a decent program.
There are other Free and low cost Anti Virus Programs but I don't use them as I have had problems with them in the past, usually related to browser setting they didn't like and kept trying to change and I didn't want them changed. So the programs got changed.
Also, I reboot my computers once a day, normally after it finishes it's daily virus scan.
File Back up - I use the built in Windows Back for my Vista desktop and the Win7 Netbook, for the Win XP Pro I use Filefort File back u. And all of my computers are backed up twice a week, on Tuesday and Saturday.
Defrag I use the built in Defrag program for the XP and Vista systems once a month. Still haven't found a Defrag I like for the Win7 yet.
Now those are just the scans I do offline to protect my system. Lets get into what add on I use to protect myself when I am on line.
First my browser.
Firefox is the browser I use and I use several add-ons/plugins to protect my system.
Adblock Plus to block ads
Adblock Plus Pop up Addon to help adblock block pop ups
Better Privacy which removes pesky Flash Cookies that track your browsing
Do Not Track Plus which blocks even more tracking cookies and such
Ghostery add on blocks even more cookies and trackers.
No-Script Blocks scripts from running until you authorize them.
install and configure those addons to make it a LOT harder for malicious and rogue code to get loaded on your computer. Of course they can all be undone by clicking on the wrong thing. But I can't sit over your shoulder to tell you what to not click on.
With a little effort and some commonsense you can protect your computer from virii and other assorted nasties, however the best program or add on in the world won't protect you from your own stupidity.
So be sure what you click on, and remember.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
or TANSTAAFL There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch