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Friday, August 28, 2009

Why Do I Need Anti Virus Software For My Computer?

by: Angie Noack

If you’ve recently purchased a computer, or are just learning about using email and the internet, you may have heard about computer viruses and anti-virus software. You may be wondering if this is something that you should be concerned about, and if so, what you should do about it. This article will attempt to answer these questions for you.

First, you may be wondering just what a computer virus is. Basically a computer virus is one of many types of small programs that install themselves on your computer without your consent. Usually they enter your program through an email, or while you are browsing a website.

When these programs run, usually without you knowing, they can cause all types of problems with your computer. Some viruses can be mildly annoying, slowing down your computer as they use your computer’s resources for another purpose. Others can be very dangerous, collecting your personal information and sending it to another party, or damaging your hard-drive.

True to their name, viruses are able to use your internet connection and email program and send themselves to the computers of other people you know, spreading themselves just like a contagious disease.

Because of this, just like the health of your body, when it comes to computer viruses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is much easier to prevent viruses from entering your computer than it is to get rid of them and cure your computer once it becomes infected. This is why Anti-Virus software is important.

Once you realize that you need anti-virus software installed and running on your computer, you’ll have to choose which one to purchase and install. This can be a complicated process, but here are some tips to make it a bit easier.

First, check your computer to see if it came with anti-virus software. Many new computers are shipped with anti-virus programs already to go on them, you just need to turn them on. Check your instruction manual to see if this is the case with your computer.

Check with the vendor. If you purchased your computer from a local retailer, check with them to see what anti-virus program they recommend. They should be more than willing to help you and may even be able to provide you with a discount since you purchased a computer from them.

Once you have your anti-virus installed and running on your computer, be sure to contact the software’s support if you have any questions. It is also important to keep your software updated. Many of these programs will automatically update themselves when you are online. This is very important since new viruses are always appearing and you want to make sure your computer is protected.

About the author:
Angie Noack is a business strategist with a sharp edge for technology. With her unique ability to combine these two skills, she's able to help businesses save time and increase profits. You can find her online at

Have you been looking for the best assistance relating to notebook computer reviews.

by: Tom Brown

Have you been looking for the best assistance relating to notebook computer reviews. When you are looking for excellent information about notebook computer reviews, it will be intricate sorting out the best information from ill-equiped notebook computer reviews suggestions and advice so it is important to know how to moderate the information you are offered.

Here are a few tips that we believe you should use when you are trying to find information about notebook computer reviews. You need to realize the advice we give is only appropriate to internet information concerning notebook computer reviews. We can't offer you any assistance or guidance when you are also conducting research in books or magazines.

An excellent tip to follow when you are presented with help or advice concerning a notebook computer reviews webpage is to verify the ownership of the website. Doing this could reveal the owners notebook computer reviews credentials The easiest way to find out who is behind the notebook computer reviews website is to look on the 'contact' page or 'about this site' information.

Any worthwhile website providing information on notebook computer reviews, will almost certainly provide an 'about' webpage that will list the owner's details. The details should let you know a number of key indications regarding the owner's proficency and credentials. This means you can conduct an appraisal about the webmaster's depth of experience, to offer assistance with notebook computer reviews.

About the author:
Tom Brown is the webmaster at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Trick to Make Your Downloads Faster

By James Henry Johnson

With the popularity of the Internet exploding, it's no wonder that more and more people are using their broadband connections to download more and more files. However, many of those people are not being able to download the files they want at an acceptable speed thanks to a sneaky problem which could be affecting your computer too.

The problem of slow Internet & download speeds is nothing new. In fact, it's a trademark of the digital revolution - having to wait extended periods of time to download your favorite files or YouTube videos. And although many people have just learned to put up with this problem, there's actually an easy way to fix it. It all boils down to a part of your computer called the 'registry'. The registry is a big database which stores all sort of settings for the software and hardware of your computer, including your Internet downloads.

Whenever you download a file from the Internet, it's details are kept in this database. Where it's located, how much it has to go and how much the file is are all constantly being kept up to date inside the registry. This is okay, but the problem is that often, Windows has so many junk files in this registry database that it takes longer and longer to find and store the files it needs. So when you are downloading files, it's constantly having to search through a pile of unwanted registry files to be able to find it.

This is a big problem because it means your downloads are constantly being hampered by a part of your computer which shouldn't make them run slow. The registry is a very important part of Windows, but it's also the cause of many different problems, such as a slow PC and constant errors. To fix this, and to speed up your downloads, you just need to be able to clear out all the junk files from the registry... and the best way to that, is to use a program called a 'registry cleaner'. These are software tools specifically designed to clean out the registry database by scanning each file that's in there and then removing any of the ones that are not needed. Depending on how many files your cleaner removes, performing a scan with this type of software can instantly make your downloads fast again.

We've found the best registry cleaner to make your downloads faster is a tool called RegAce.

Access Your PC From The Road

by: Jim Edwards

Have you ever sat in front of your computer and wished you could show someone else what appeared on your screen?

Maybe you were experiencing a problem, or couldn't figure out how to make something work, but you knew if someone else could see what was happening on your screen, they could help you fix the problem immediately.

Ever had a phone conversation with someone about a particular business topic, but you just couldn't "connect" with your ideas because it was too hard to explain over the phone?

Now, visualize jumping on the phone with that same person and literally sharing your computer's desktop to collaborate, discuss, and create virtually anything together, even if you are separated by thousands of miles.

Though this may sound like an episode of Star Trek, remote computer sharing is actually a daily business reality.

Imagine you need to take a trip and you either don't want to or can't take your computer.

The thought of emails piling up for days makes you crazy and you also need to monitor some things on your pc.

Instead of trying to lug your laptop (or fit your desktop into your suitcase), you can use "remote desktop" software that allows you to access your computer through the Internet from any other computer in the world.

One of the most common remote desktop services is, which provides a safe and secure way for you to go down to the local internet café, log on, and access your office or home computer just like sitting at your own desk.

Now, before you panic and think anyone can access your computer, let me explain security.

First, you log in to the website with a username and password.

Once logged in, you then click a link to log onto your PC, which will then ask you for another password. has even thought of a solution for those of you worried about people looking over your shoulder as you enter your passwords on a public computer or if the computer you use might carry a keystroke logger.

Before leaving home, you can program in a series of up to 99 passwords that only work one time.

This means even if someone watches you log into your computer or records your keystrokes, the password you used won't work again.

If a would-be thief tries to access your computer too many times, will shut down all access attempts to your PC.

The benefits of remotely accessing your PC from the road are numerous, but the bottom line is that it enables you to use your computer from the road like you never left home.

For example: while traveling to a conference this weekend, my wife (and business partner) accessed our office computer from my laptop and, instead of the usual pile of 4,000 emails that would normally await after 5 days away, we just picked up this morning like we'd never been gone.

The same company that offers also offers a service called which allows you to remotely host a meeting where multiple users can share and collaborate on a single computer desktop.

This service makes it super simple to provide online training, do software demos, and even make complete sales presentations.

I personally use both of these services and find them easy, reliable and well worth the price.

About the author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use fr^e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...

Simple "Traffic Machine" brings Thousands of NEW visitors to your website for weeks, even months... without spending a dime on advertising! ==>

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top 10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Computer Viruses

by: Jim Faller

As more and more people are becoming comfortable using their computers at school, home or in the office it’s only a matter of time before they encounter a computer virus. Here are our top 10 steps to protect you from computer viruses.

Use a high quality anti-virus program. There are many different anti-virus computers programs on the market some of them are better than others. Look to reputable computer magazines or websites for ratings to help you find the one that matches your needs.

Always use your anti-virus software. Make sure your anti-virus software is always turned on and scanning, incoming and outgoing email messages, and any software programs you run.

Keep your antivirus programs up to date. Most programs come with a yearly subscription make sure you take advantage of the updates. More advanced programs allow you to schedule updates or full system scans for “off hours” like 2AM when you aren’t likely to be using your computer.

Keep your computer up to date. From time to time operating systems fall victim to security holes or issue updates. Make sure you check periodically to make sure you are running stable up to date versions of your software.

Backup your data regularly. Most windows computer users keep their documents in the “My documents” folder. This makes it easy to back up all of your important documents. Make weekly or monthly copies to CD or USB drives.

If you use floppy disks or USB drives on public computers like your school computer lab, Kinko’s, or even digital photo printing store make sure you scan them for viruses. Public computers are notorious for not being up to date and properly protected.

Be wary of email attachments. Treat any email attachment as potentially dangerous. Never open attachments from people you weren’t expecting. Also be careful of attachments from people you know but weren’t expecting. Many computer viruses replicate themselves by reading the contacts from an infected computer.

Use text email if possible. While HTML email is prettier and allows you more control over formatting it also can carry computer viruses. If you use text based email the only way to get a virus is by opening an attachment.

Use downloaded freeware and shareware files or software with caution. Try to download them from popular reputable sources that scan the programs before they are uploaded. To make sure you are safe scan the program before you install it on your computer.

Be wary of links in IM or instant messaging software. Don’t accept invitations from people you don’t know and never click a link from someone you don’t trust, they can easily redirect you to another website that will try to install a virus on your computer system.

About the author:
This article was written by Jim Faller of http://computers.6ln.coma website with information about viruses, spyware, adware, backups, data recovery and computer security.

Network Security 101

by: Robert Flanglin

As more people are logging onto the Internet everyday, Network Security becomes a larger issue. In the United States, identity theft and computer fraud are among the fastest rising crimes. It is important to protect your network and ensure the safety of all computers and users in that network.

What is a Network?

In order to fully understand network security, one must first understand what exactly a network is. A network is a group of computers that are connected. Computers can be connected in a variety of ways. Some of these ways include a USB port, phone line connection, Ethernet connection, or a wireless connection. The Internet is basically a network of networks. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is also a network. When a computer connects to the internet, it joins the ISP’s network which is joined with a variety of other networks, which are joined with even more networks, and so on. These networks all encompass the Internet. The vast amount of computers on the Internet, and the number of ISPs and large networks makes network security a must.

Common Network Security Breeches

Hackers often try to hack into vulnerable networks. Hackers use a variety of different attacks to cripple a network. Whether you have a home network or a LAN, it is important to know how hackers will attack a network.

One common way for a hacker to wreak havoc is to achieve access to things that ordinary users shouldn’t have access to. In any network, administrators have the ability to make certain parts of the network “unauthorized access.” If a hacker is able to gain access to a protected area of the network, he or she can possibly affect all of the computers on the network. Some hackers attempt to break into certain networks and release viruses that affect all of the computers in the network. Some hackers can also view information that they are not supposed to see.

Destructive Attacks

There are two major categories for destructive attacks to a network. Data Diddling is the first attack. It usually is not immediately apparent that something is wrong with your computer when it has been subjected to a data diddler. Data diddlers will generally change numbers or files slightly, and the damage becomes apparent much later. Once a problem is discovered, it can be very difficult to trust any of your previous data because the culprit could have potentially fooled with many different documents.

The second type of data destruction is outright deletion. Some hackers will simply hack into a computer and delete essential files. This inevitably causes major problems for any business and can even lead to a computer being deemed useless. Hackers can rip operating systems apart and cause terrible problems to a network or a computer.

The Importance of Network Security

Knowing how destructive hackers can be shows you the importance of Network Security. Most networks have firewalls enabled that block hackers and viruses. Having anti-virus software on all computers in a network is a must. In a network, all of the computers are connected, so that if one computer gets a virus, all of the other computers can be adversely affected by this same virus. Any network administrator should have all of the essential files on back up disks. If a file is deleted by a hacker, but you have it on back up, then there is no issue. When files are lost forever, major problems ensue. Network security is an important thing for a business, or a home. Hackers try to make people’s lives difficult, but if you are ready for them, your network will be safe.

About the author:
Robert Flanglin is very interested in security and enjoys writing about network security. Robert Flanglin also writes for the Network Security Journal (

Monday, August 24, 2009

Computer Accessories We All Want For Our New Computer!

by: Bonnie Archer

A computer accessory we all need. From inexpensive ink jets to monochrome and color lasers, different printers are designed to do different jobs with your computer. You will have a few choices to make when getting your new printer: price, speed, and print quality are the main ones. Ink jet printers and digital cameras are changing how we print photographs. Load your printer up with special photo inks and paper and ink jet/bubble jet printers have become one of the best options for transforming a digital image into a photograph! For speed and razor sharp text the monochrome laser printers are fantastic.

This computer accessory is for input into your computer. Graphic designers will use a scanner often to input pictures etc. If you don't have a digital camera a scanner is the only other way to get pictures into your computer to email, manipulate, add to cards, etc.

These are computer accessories that most computers come equipped with. But some people like 'game players' want to upgrade for surround sound. You will find many different versions and brands.

Keyboard and Mouse
These are also computer accessories that usually come with a computer system. Although most people will have to purchase new ones during the life of their computer. This is because they do not last as long as the computer system itself. Of course, it is dependent on how much you use them, how rough you are on them, and how clean you keep them.

About the author:
Word count 258

Bonnie Archer is a successful author and webmaster of A1-Computers

Computer Rental: Worth Your Money?

by: Sandy Baker
Is computer rental worth the money? Depending on the type of computer that you have a need for as well as the expenses that you plan to save, computer rental may or may not be the right road for you to go down. One thing is quite certain. That is, there are a number of companies out there right now wanting to provide you with the computer rental that you are after. They offer a wide range of products and services. But, is it worth spending your money on these computer rentals? Or, maybe you should just outright make the purchase?

The value of the computer rental is dependent on the need that you have as well as the overall need you expect to have down the road. It makes sense that if you only plan to use the computers for a few days or weeks that you should consider the computer rental industry. Often times it is important to have a large group of computers ready to go but you really have no need for them after a certain point. This happens and it just makes complete sense to use computer rental services.

If you plan to rent a computer for a continuous time period, then it may just be well worth it to actually make the purchase. For example, many individuals find that computer rental is a low cost option to purchasing and owning a computer. For personal use, though, it makes very little sense as you will likely be able to find a PC at a much lower cost in the long run.

Regardless of your need of computer rentals, it makes good sense to shop around for the right deal. And, it also makes sense to get the exact computer that you need as well as a back up service should you need that as well. Computer rental is something that many corporations need and therefore it is important for services out there to satisfy their customer’s demands. Computer rental services can be found throughout the web as well as in most local areas.

About the author:
For more information please see

Computers Are Not Scary

by: Lucas Gentry
Do you remember when you were a kid, and saw your first automobile? To the older crowd, the answer might be yes. To them, the first automobile was most-likely an object of wonder. It wasn't necessarily a thing to be feared, just an unknown. It was something that you had heard of, but hadn't had any experience with it. It wasn't scary.

To most everyone else, you don't remember your first time you saw an automobile, because they've just always been around. You aren't scared of them because you are familiar with them. The youngest generation of youth feel the same way about computers.

Many of you may remember the first time you saw a computer. It was a strange thing that you weren't familiar with. To some of you, it was exciting. To others, it wasn't. But somewhere along the line, you decided that using a computer was something that only younger (or more "gifted") people should do.

We're past the age when cars are for only the most wealthy. Now, everyone has a car. In previous days, it was perfectly fine to walk everywhere. Some still do that, but most have learned to drive. In these days, there are still some who can "get around" just fine without the use of a computer, but most people use them multiple times in a week.

In the same way, however, that most people see cars, the younger generations see computers. Computers are not something to fear. They're only something that you're not familiar with. That doesn't make them bad. And it doesn't make YOU bad.

So in the same way you have gotten used to cars, go ahead and have some fun with computers. Play around. You won't break it, just like you didn't break your car the first time you got in it. Go for it! Have Fun!

About the author:

For more articles like these and a Free
Online Encyclopedia of Computer Stuff (geared
to those who don't know computers), check out

Notebook or Desktop Computer -- Which Should You Choose?

by: Reid Neubert

On TV and in the movies, we see a lot of portable computers being used in homes and offices. Does that mean that's the trend? Is that what you should get?

Portable computers cost more, so unless you really have the need for one, you get a lot more computer for your money with a regular desktop PC. The main thing is portability. If you need a portable computer, get a laptop. ("Laptop," "portable," and "notebook" all refer to the same thing, by the way). Otherwise, a desktop computer is a better buy, and better ergonomically.

The Price Difference

You might wonder why laptops cost more than desktop computers with comparable features and power. That is largely because it is more expensive to manufacture laptops and their parts. For portable computer components, factors such as compactness, the amount of heat they generate, their weight, and power consumption are more important than they are for desktops. Those factors add to their manufacturing costs.

Space Requirements

While laptops are certainly compact, a desktop computer with a flat panel monitor can take up almost as little space. While called a "desktop" computer, the computer itself is most often kept on the floor. That leaves just the monitor, keyboard and mouse on the desk, which is really very similar in footprint to a notebook computer.

A great way to further reduce the space taken up on the desktop computer is get a keyboard drawer to hold the keyboard and mouse. That way, they slide out of the way under the top of the desk when they aren't needed.

Be Mindful of Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of designing and arranging things so that people can interact with them more comfortably and safely. The basic ergonomic principals for computer use tell us that, 1) the keyboard should be as close to your lap level as possible (assuming you touch-type), 2) the monitor should be about arm's length in front of you, and 3) the top of the monitor should be at about your eye level. Try achieving that with a laptop computer! Two words: im-possible.

It is obvious then, that a desktop computer is much better ergonomically than a laptop is. For prolonged use, especially, you're much better off with a desktop computer.

And Don't Forget Usability

Another aspect of ergonomics is usability. Because of size constraints, laptops also are lower on the usability scale than desktop PCs are. For one thing, laptop keyboards lack the separate groupings of the different sets of keys with space between them. For another, there are fewer keys on a laptop's keyboard, so some of them have to perform double duty. On a standard keyboard, you don't have to deal with that.

Screen Resolution

Computer monitors -- the bulky ones, anyway -- can be set at different resolutions. In other words, you can change the fineness of the image on the screen. The range is typically 640x480 -- that is 640 pixel across and 480 pixels up and down -- to 800x600, 1024x768, or even higher. At 640x480, the icons and such appear quite large; at 1024x768, they are substantially smaller. The most common resolutions today for desktop computers are 800x600 and 1024x768.

Something They Don't Tell You

Laptop displays, on the other hand, have a fixed, or native, resolution. You can change the setting, but then the images and text don't look good. While people tend to think that bigger numbers are better, a higher screen resolution may not work as well for you. It may make everything too small to see comfortably.

Remember, the laptop's screen is smaller that a desktop's. While a typical desktop computer screen is 17" or so a laptop's is usually in the range of 12" to 15." That is a big difference. Make sure you can see everything clearly before choosing a high-resolution laptop.

About the author:
Reid Neubert is the creator of, the site that provides simple, useful information about consumer electronics for shoppers, plus money-saving links to online bargains from leading retailers. For more information or to contact Reid, visit

Sunday, August 23, 2009

7 Easy Steps to Create an Excel Macro

What is a Macro?

Simply put, a Macro is a series of steps to accomplish a task which can be recorded and then reused in the future.
For example: Let's say you have many steps that you use to create a report each month for your boss. Each month you may have the same spreadsheet, but with the current month's figures. Each month you setup the same Sums, Formulas, Text Formatting, Pivot Table, and maybe more. This could be very time consuming if you completed these steps individually each month.
However, with a Macro, you can record the steps you complete each month. Once recorded, you setup a Shortcut Key to repeat these steps whenever you wish. This, simply put, is a Macro.
Macros are not unique to Excel, but for this instruction, we will use Excel as the example.
Recording a Macro involves following these steps:
1) Plan the keystrokes needed to complete the tasks (in our example above, it is the monthly formulas, text formatting, etc needed to create our report)
2) Click Tools Macros Record New Macro
3) Assign a Name for the Macro
4) Assign a Shortcut Key for the Macro
5) Click OK
6) Perform the steps needed to create your report (the steps you complete each month, which includes formulas, text formatting, etc)
7) Click on the Stop button on the Macro Toolbar to stop recording and Save the Macro
Now that the Macro has been created, you may want to test the Macro to confirm it completes all of the necessary steps that you wanted recorded.
Once you have tested, you are now ready to use the Macro each month when you are ready to create your report. Macros can help you accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently through this automated recording process.
To run the Macro, open the Excel spreadsheet you wish, and simply type the Shortcut Key you setup when you created the Macro. Depending on the number of steps in the Macro, you may see Excel performing these steps, but quicker than you would have been able to on your own. Once the Macro has run, you will see the completed steps that were performed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Keeping it Clean: Virus Removal Basics

by: John Lenaghan
The day you learn your computer is infected with a virus or spyware is a lonely yet aggravating day. You’ll be angry that you fell victim, and may feel helpless because of your lack of knowledge about virus removal or pc repair. But don’t worry - you’re not alone! Unfortunately, you’re actually part of a club of tens of thousands of people who feel the same way every day!

According to AVG, virus protection usually doesn’t detect adware or spyware both of which can wreak havoc on a computer. Thousands of people each day are infected with malicious programs! Worry no longer and stop feeling helpless because this guide is a basic computer virus repair guide that will help you identify and remove viruses and malware.

Are You Running Antivirus Software?

If you already have virus software perform an update for the latest version and then run a system scan. If you do not have such software, download a free copy of AVG virus protection at This will give you free real time virus protection, email scanning and virus removal tools.

Next, download and run Ad-Aware to remove spyware, adware, and other troublesome programs Then download SpyBot Search & Destroy By using Ad-Aware and SpyBot you will have excellent protection against files that are often missed by virus protection.

To check for and eliminate browser hijackers, download and run CWShredder at

With the above programs simply run a scan and follow the prompts to remove any infected files or unwanted programs. Once that is done, upgrade your operating system, or download any needed patches, then reboot your computer.

These steps won’t solve every problem, but they will fix a large percentage of the things that cause your computer to act up.

About the author:
John Lenaghan writes about solving computer problems for the Computer Help Squad website, where he provides valuable tips and advice about internet security, computer upgrades and other computer related topics.

Do You Know How To Remove Spyware From Your Computer?

by: Philippa Smith
Spyware is rapidly becoming a major problem for Internet
users. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 computers are
infected with spyware or ad ware or both. Spyware may be
responsible for 50 % of all computer crashes. Spyware runs
silently and you may not be aware that your every move on
the Internet is being observed and recorded.

If a user does not detect and remove spy ware from his
computer, all his files may get infected and it may stop
working. All his passwords, credit card numbers and other
personal information may be stolen before he can realize
what is going on. Once spyware has been removed, the
computer will run much faster. It is worth while you to
find and use the best spyware removal software available.

Features Of Good Spyware Removal Software
A few features to consider, while searching for spyware
removal software products, are:

* It should offer complete protection from spyware, key
loggers, remote acess Trojans (RATS), browser hijackers and
ad ware.
* A good spyware program will offer automatic updates, to
provide protection from the latest spy ware threats.
* The spyware product should offer technical support, so
you can call or e-mail someone, if you have a technical
* A good customer service back up also shows that the
manufacturer can be trusted to look after the needs of the
customer in the long run.

How Does It Work?

It is very difficult to find and remove spyware software
from a computer manually. Spyware protection software
detects and removes spyware and ad ware from your computer
automatically. It can also protect your computer from data
thieves, hackers, malicious e-mail and other threats.

There are many free spyware protection software products
available. These programs can be used to detect and remove
spyware and adware that is already present in your
computer. Many types of spyware, install themselves on your
computer again, after you have deleted them.

Free spyware removal programs can help you to assess the
problem. A permanent solution may be to get the best
spyware solution product available.

Click to find a daily updated blog of articles and news
about spyware ! Get advice and information about how to
protect your computer from attack, and disinfect it.. Click

About the author:
Philippa Smith runs a home business in los angeles. The
constant attacks on here computer caused her to learn all
about spyware & viruses, and how to deal with them.

The Difference Between Spyware and Viruses

by: Kara Glover

Feel free to reprint this article in newsletters and on
websites, with resource box included. If you use this
article, please send a brief message to let me know where
it appeared:

Word Count = 420
Word Wrapped to 60 characters per line

The Difference Between Spyware and Viruses
by Kara Glover

Shin, a fictional character whose name means "faith" or "trust," sits by his laptop in the living room of his home in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. He is busy at work for his boss, dictator Kim Jong-il. His job, to make sure some spyware gets into specific computers at the Pentagon so he can gain vital top secret information. He's particularly interested now that the United States government suspects his country might soon conduct its first nuclear test.

With spyware surreptitiously installed on the computers, he could, for instance, engage in the practice of keylogging. In other words, our "trustworthy" Shin could tract the actual keys on the computer hit by the Pentagon officials. This would help him learn their passwords, the content of email messages, encryption keys, or other means to bypass security measures at our nation's defense fortress. Shin's not interested in crashing computers at the Pentagon or making them otherwise operable. That would be too overt and might reveal him. He's simply after information.

There are other types of spyware, sometimes called "malware" because they don't actually spy on your computer habits. They might instead just barrage you with annoying popups, for instance. Or they might give you a different home page that isn't of your choosing, like one of an advertiser's. But for the moment those types of malware, or adware as it's sometimes called, aren't very useful for Shin. He wants to use spyware that actually spies.

Over on another part of the globe in Turkey, a fictional terrorist sits with his own laptop in a suspected al Qaeda terrist cell. But he's not out to infect computers with spyware. That's child's play. He's out to bring the house down. This story is strictly hypothetical. But let's say the terrorist wanted to disrupt the daily hubub at a major American corporation. He'd infect the computers with a virus!

The terrorist might try to attack the company's vast network by inserting a worm into it. Worms reside in RAM, and travel from machine to machine and, unlike the classic viruses, they attack the computers themselves rather than individual files. Very disruptive. This type of virus could potentially make the computers inoperable.

Bring down the goings-on at a major corporation by spreading a worm through the computer network, and the terrorist could have a field day. But let's hope not.

So to summarize, spyware often keeps track of your computer habits, and viruses are often out to disable computers in some way. Hence the difference.

About the author:

Kara Glover is a Computer Tutor and Troubleshooter. You
can find her online articles, tips, and tutorials on topics such as
Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® at her website:

Monday, August 10, 2009

PC Maintenance and Improving Performance

by: Shawn Shellenbarger

Once you bring your personal computer home from the store or receive it in the mail there is no one around to offer basic personal computer maintenance tips for cleaning up and improving performance of your computer. Maintenance and cleaning up of your PC should be part of a regular routine to ensure that you don't have any long-term problems with the computer. Unfortunately most basic computer users may not understand the mechanics of a computer or may feel intimidated with the maintenance. There are really simple steps anyone can take to ensure that your computer will continue working at the level it did when you first pulled it out of the box.

One of the first files to become acquainted with on your computer is the System Tools, located under the Start Menu, then Programs, and Accessories. The System Tools houses basic maintenance tools like Disk Defragmenter, Disk Cleanup, Backup, Scheduled Tasks, and System Information and ScanDisk on some Microsoft Windows computers. Strange that these files are located in Accessories because they really are the key to keeping your system running correctly and helping to improve performance as the computer ages.

On a regular basis you want to go to My Computer and then right click on the Local Disk (C Drive) and open up the Properties. This allows you to see how much space you are using and how much you have left to use on your computer. Under Tools in this area you can usually perform a scan of the disk. If you cannot run a disk scan from here, your Microsoft should have a disk scan available under the System Tools. It is important to run this disk scan to determine if there are any errors or problems running on your computer and the disk scan will repair those potential problems. Some experts recommend doing a thorough disk scan the first time and then a basic disk scan up to once a week to keep your computer performing at top conditions.

After this it is important to regularly perform a disk cleanup, which is located either under Properties under the C Drive, or under System Tools. Be aware that both the disk scan and the disk cleanup can take quite a bit of time and it is best to before these maintenance tools when you will not be using the computer. Set a routine with yourself like performing the disk clean up and disk scan on Saturday night while you are watching movies with your family. After a disk cleanup, it also helps to regularly perform a disk defragmentation. A computer hard drive will begin to fragment over time, which means that programs that once worked in conjunction have become separated over time and may not be in the proper place to work well on your computer. This can slow down processes or make using certain programs difficult. Using the disk defragmenter can pull together those pieces again and return things to working order.

Basic maintenance routines that will ensure your computer runs at peak performance start with simply getting rid of files you do not use. If you have old word documents, software programs you have not used in a long time, or pictures and music you are not using, delete them from your computer. Remember that once you delete them, they do not automatically disappear, but instead go to the recycle bin and it is just as important to empty the recycle bin as it is to delete old files.

Old internet files can also cause your computer to slow down. Often with a Disk Cleanup there will be an opportunity for you to get rid of temporary internet files, but you can also get rid of them on your own by going to your Temporary Internet files in Microsoft Explorer. Click on Tools then Internet Options, General Tab, Temporary Internet Files, and Delete Files. As well, take time to clean out any other temporary files you may have acquired, like downloads from the internet. Depending on the model of your computer, the temporary files could be in different locations, but most often when you go to Disk Cleanup and scan there will be an option to get rid of temporary files as well.

One of the other helpful and easy ways to maintain your computer's performance is to always run your protection programs, use a personal firewall when accessing the computer, and always install software updates available for Microsoft and protection programs. Keeping up on regular maintenance and setting a routine for updates on the computer will ensure that your computer performs the way it was intended to when you first brought it home.

About the author:
Shawn Shellenbarger
Maximum Software

Why You Need To Clean Your Windows Registry?

by: Matt Garrett

Registry is the database where data of programs and windows is stored. Registry cleaner is software, used to run your computer faster and smoother. Registry cleaning is very important for a smooth running of your computer system. Whenever you delete a file form your system, the registry does not remove this data. Thus, a reference to the deleted file remains in the registry. Gradually as the registry gets filled up with these databases, the computer gets slower and slower in its functioning. If the registry is not cleaned up regularly, severe damage can be caused to your computer.

A registry cleaner scans the windows and finds out the outdated and incorrect information stored in your computer’s registry. The software fixes this improper information enabling your system to be error free and run faster. The software is enabled with advanced features that make your computer run smoothly and efficiently. Registry cleaning makes your computer run very quickly and also safely.

There are many advantages for registry cleaning. Your computer will have a cleaned up registry and no information in the registry will be cluttered. You can regain the lost disk space and use this for installing new software. Registry cleaning will also block the installation of spyware and adware in your computer. If your computer was having any application errors, you can see that this has been fixed after you clean up your registry. Your system will be maintained as it was in its initial stages and you can also understand your computer much better.

If you do not clean up your computer’s registry timely, you can face different types of problem while using the computer. When you are in the midst of doing important work related activity, your computer can suddenly crash or the system can get stalled all of sudden. This can have damaging impact on your work. Timely cleaning up and fixing of the registry will prevent you from facing such crisis.

There are different kinds of registry cleaner available. You can use the best registry cleaner available in the market to maintain the registry of your computer. Keeping your PC clean is very important if you want it to run efficiently all the time. The registry cleaner software will help you in repairing some applications that are not working in your computer.

The software uses speed detection techniques to very quickly identify the missing and invalid reference from your windows registry. After identifying the problems, the software with the use of its advanced technology can easily clean your registry. After this your computer will start functioning, like a new PC. After installing the software you can customize its different options according to the requirements of your computer.

Many online sites provide registry cleaner software for its customers. Before you buy a registry cleaner, make sure that you are aware about its different features. This will help you in customizing the features of the software according to the needs of your computer.

Buy the best registry cleaner that is available for your computer.

About the author:
Matt Garrett,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Windows XP Blue Screen - How to Get Rid of This Error

By Jacob Turner

Most likely, the blue screen is the worst error in all the PC's. To tell the truth, the edition of the Windows that one is using has no influence on whether it can suffer from blue screen error or not, because all windows can experience this error. And so, this guide is not only intended for the Windows XP Blue Screen but for all the editions of the Windows.

Here are 3 Steps which can help you solve and avoid blue screen error from pestering your system. Just follow these tips and your computer will be error-free.

1. Inspect your computer's registry
All the vital data in your computer are saved in the Windows registry. The hardware, software programs installed are also registered here. But sadly, this registry entries can be corrupted and then make your system lose some important information required for the better performance of some programs or tasks.
When information went missing, the blue screen error develops and then freezes your computer. Most PC owners don't know how to repair some issues like this. On the other hand, the availability of the registry cleaner and repair software makes everything easy and manageable for the average users of computers because it is automated.

Plus, it is not hard to find, you can download it and some are even offered for free. That's a big savings for you since it's free and you'll no longer have to bring your computer to a technician as you can fix the problem yourself through the registry cleaner.

2. Spyware, adware, and virus scan
When you have already tried the first tip and it didn't solve the blue screen error, then this time, try running an adware, spyware, and virus scanner. You can also obtain this software for free in the internet. The scanning here can take a while longer compared to a scan by registry cleaner because it scan your hard drive thoroughly.

Blue screen errors are not typically caused by viruses, but it's possible. These sorts of scans are recommended to be done once a week for better results.

3. Deletion of a particular program and re-installation
Finally, if the first and second steps are not effective and haven't solved the Windows XP blue screen error, then a more drastic measures are needed.

Firstly, ensure that your windows restore function is active and you have an existing restore point set. After doing this, single out the running program/s where the blue screen usually appear. Delete and then re-install that program through your control panel.

Take note, prior to the deletion and re-installation procedure, make sure that you have the original CD or downloaded files of the program concerned. Otherwise, you will not be able to re-install the program that you have already deleted.

This simple method should repair Windows XP blue screen error permanently. Definitely, a trip to the computer repair shop is not an option if you can try and fix your computer by yourself. And this is what this article intends to do, to help you determine and find solution to some problems in your computer system.

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