We have all done it before, or our kids have, or a friend has, and that is we have all opened an email with a virus, went to a website that installs spyware, or downloaded something that has infected our computer with some type of destructive crap. Well this can potentially cost you several hundreds of dollars if you don’t know much about computers. But I am here to try to help you save your money; I want you to know there are free tools you can try before you go to a professional. Don’t worry if your computer knowledge is minimal these tools are basic and fairly simple to use.
The tools I am talking about are freeware programs developed for the general use of the public free of charge (all though making a small donation does help keep these products free to all of us). These tools are very easy to get and I will tell you where to get them, the basics on how to use them, and when/why you should use them.
First one is new and still in beta testing (means not all the bugs are worked out yet) but don’t worry it works very well and is a Microsoft product so you know you can trust it. Microsoft finally developed its own AntiSpyware software to eliminate threats on your PC and protect your computer from all the bad known content on the web. This product is free to users and can be obtained at this website (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx).
I have used this product a lot and have found it to be very easy to use and love the functionality of the software. It’s a simple enough program once you have it downloaded and installed the walk through will setup all the users who don’t know anything about computers. After downloading the program it guides user through four simple questions and then it will scan your system and show you what it found and what it wants to eliminate. This program is very good about defining the problem in writing, and telling you why you might want to get rid of what it sees as a problem. You can choose which products to eliminate and then destroy them, and then your system should be safeguarded from these problems reoccurring on your machine.
If you have any troubles with the software the help files are a great tool you can use, and normally can help you answer any questions you might have. Never be afraid to use the help files they contain some great information and could help you better use the product. One thing I don’t like about this is it tries to block P2P networks what are better known as download programs (Lime wire, Kazaa, etc…). Overall I would say this is one of the best products you can find to find and eliminate problems on your PC.
Spybot Search and Destroy is the most common used software for eliminating problems on your computer. This product has been around a long time and is widely accepted as one of the best and most trusted software programs to eliminate threats on your machine. Spybot can be downloaded for free at http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/ and I suggest making a small donation so we all can continue to enjoy this free program that has helped so many of us out.
This software much like the Microsoft Beta is simple to use and very helpful. This software will scan your computer for potential threats and display those found to you and allow you to remove what you want. With constant updates this program coupled with the Microsoft will keep your machine pretty well protected. This doesn’t mean that your computer is never going to get a virus or have problems but using these two software programs can greatly reduce the risk of potential problems on your machine.
Spybot is a very simple program to use built with the user in mind, and the mentality not everyone knows how to use a computer or a program. Pretty easy to use again help files are there for anyone who can’t figure out how to do the basic search and destroy. Not too much to this program good to run it once a week and keep it updated. This with the Microsoft Beta I think would be a good idea for anyone wanting to protect their system from internet threats.
The last program I suggest is just one for more advanced users, with more serious issues. It is called highjackthis. It can be downloaded for free at http://www.majorgeeks.com/download3155.html. This is for users who want to edit their registry and get rid of unwanted problems in the registry. Since the registry is very sensitive I suggest only users who know what the registry is and what it does use this program. And if you are going to use this program I suggest googling your issues and finding the proper solution to your problem, or posting your highjackthis log in a web forum asking for help. You can generally find someone who has had the problem and solved it or someone who knows what the problem is and wants to help. One great forum I found for highjackthis is here http://www.ozzu.com/ftopic31034-15.html.
All of these tools are used for removing problems on your machine, and if they are run properly and often they can prevent many problems that you might have otherwise encountered. All of these tools are free so they won’t cost you a dime and they could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. I hope this helps you to protect your computer from threats and helps anyone who already has problems to solve those.