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Posts tagged ‘antivirus’

Don’t get trapped in the Clouds

January 6th, 2016


The New Year is the time when I like to look at new beginnings, and renewal, with all things technology. I’ll be writing about a few topics which you should think about over the coming weeks, and this week it’s focussed on a problem which arises with new computers.

You may have been lucky enough to get a new PC or laptop for Christmas, freeing you up from that dusty old box which you were ready to exile to the landfill. With all that shiny new gear, you’ll be speeding ahead with everything from gaming to everyday office work!

But you might also be running straight into a trap. Read more

Playing with your new PC – the non-boring way

December 17th, 2014


There are a million blog posts out there telling you what to do now you have a new PC or laptop. They all have one thing in common:

They are sooo boring!

Security this, firewall that, registry clean the other.

You’ve got a new computer for Santa’s sake! It’s faster, whizzier, and more shiny than the one before. It’s got so much… potential! I really hope you didn’t spend Christmas Day spending Actual Money on upgrading your trial antivirus to a full version, or sitting there while Windows updates, restarts, updates, restarts…

There’s a whole encyclopaedia out there to read for free, you know! Read more

6 ways to make a bad PC situation even worse

November 3rd, 2014


You don’t need to have a computing degree to use a PC these days. That complicated bit of kit sitting on your lap has been honed to the point where it pretty much browses the web, installs programs and empties your bank account all on its own.

But when disaster strikes, why stop there? Here are a few ways to take a perfectly virus-ridden, shattered laptop and really go to town on it.

Grab a registry cleaner, any one will do. Then hit CLEAN, then CLEAN again!

Registry cleaners are a Windows user’s best friend. Install one (or four), hit the button marked ‘clean’ or ‘wipe’ or ‘destroy’ and wait a few seconds for your registry to be stripped of every pesky setting you’ve given it. Then hit that button again, just to catch a few extra things.

And try to install just one more registry cleaner from whichever popup catches your eye first.

Go on – or are you chicken?

One thing I’d certainly avoid is these two programs. They’ve got good reputations, let you backup your registry before making changes, and come with a host of other tools to keep you PC ship shape.

Free: CCleaner: not only makes it easy to do proper repairs to the Registry, but bundles in a couple of other tools too.

Paid: iolo System Mechanic: you get a hell of a lot of tools for your money, and I’ve been using this for years on my own PCs and laptops. If you’re happy to pay a little for a lot of power, try this out. If you’re a real glutton for punishment, get 40% of System Mechanic here.

Browse dangerously

Ignore the nay-sayers who think you should only use top-notch software like AVG and Kaspersky. To really bugger up your PC you need to find a ‘Top 10 Review’ website which peddles its own substandard product, and get that installed.

Then, when the shocking messages appear suggesting you spend more money, click away!

And pity those scaredy-cats who cower behind things like:

The Netcraft Toolbar Extension, which makes it far too easy to spot spammy links and dodgy websites. This is one freebie you won’t be finding me bothering with.

AVG Free: Supposedly the best free antivirus. I wouldn’t know, because I got my A/V from some website somewhere. I forget.

Kaspersky Security Suite: a reputation as the best of the best, two years running from PC Pro and MicroMart magazines. A whole security suite too, if you’re that way inclined. Put this on your computer and you’ll never achieve that Disaster Nirvana that we’re looking for.

Knacker your laptop

Laptops are a special case. They’re basically built to be thrown around literally, and to slip out of bags perched on walls.

So don’t treat your laptop like a priceless antique or the brittle concoction of plastic and silicon that it is. Try these tips:

Drop your laptop

Make sure your thumb is pressed hard on the screen when you close the lid

Slam that lid down like a mousetrap spring

Play tricks on siblings / husbands by crushing hands in laptops for combined laptop-relational breakdowns.

Bonus tips

If this isn’t enough to wreck all chances of seeing Facebook again, I have some bonus tips for you:

  • Always send angry replies to spammers. They’re a sensitive bunch, and will take you off their list straight away
  • If an email comes in offering something which sounds too good to be true (like, say, a pill which ‘doctors are furious at’), there’s only one way to reap the benefits: whip out your credit card.
  • To turn off your computer, just hold down the power button for 8 seconds. This kills the power, and saves you having to click three times to get it to shut down. This is best to do during a Windows Update or defrag.

Now that you know how to really mess your computer up, get going! Alternatively, if you know a friend who’s done one of these things and needs a little help, call in a PC repair expert.