Tip of the Week: Spyware Removal, it really is important!

I cleaned out three computers this week of spyware and viruses. It’s vital that you keep your system healthy with the right tools. Spyware can build up in your computer, much like barnacles on the hull of a ship, and needs to be cleaned off. So, how do you keep your system clean and healthy?

Tools like Norton and McAfee help, but alone they aren’t enough (although they may make you believe that). Luckily, there are some nice free tools that can help. Two I use regularly are Glary Utilities (http://www.glaryutilities.com/) and MalwareBytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org/). Glary is a suite of tools that can help with a wide variety of ailments, and the tool offers a great 1-click maintenance function which works to clean up spyware, fix your registry, and recover disk space by removing temporary files that build up over time, all by clicking one button. MalwareBytes is considered one of the best tools available to clean out spyware, and functions much like your antivirus software. Run the program, perform a scan and fix any problems found. Both company’s offer a Professional version in addition to their free one, so if you really like it, consider buying it for the additional features, and support the developers.

Here’s a quick checklist of things to do regularly to keep your system happy:

  1. Keep your system up-to-date! I can’t stress this enough, make sure your tools have the latest updates, this includes both your antivirus, spyware software, and ¬†Window updates.
  2. Run the tools occasionally, at least once a week. Having the tools is not enough, you need to use them!
  3. NEVER EVER open up .exe attachments from suspicious email messages! This is typically how viruses are allowed onto your computer. It’s like inviting a monster into your house when it knocks on the door! DON’T DO IT! Even if the message looks like it came from a trusted source, ask yourself, do they send programs as attachments? Most company’s don’t! A friend recently got tricked by a UPS message that had a program that was named to look like a tracking program. Well, UPS doesn’t send program to it’s customers.

Following these tips will certainly go a long way in keeping your computer happy. There’s no guaranteeing your system won’t get sick, but by not doing these tasks, I can certainly guarantee that your system WILL get sick. Good Luck and thanks for reading.