- What programs are available?
- How often should these programs be run?
- Other options for keeping your computer safe
This document is for Windows users who want to ensure their computer is protected. Windows computers can get bogged down with spyware and viruses which can make them slow and unreliable. Preventative maintenance through the use of anti-virus and anti-spyware programs is a good way to mitigate that from happening. Please note: Cruzio does not support computers or devices or any type of computer care.
What programs are available?
Below is a list of various software that can be installed on your computer to handle different aspects of that preventative maintenance. Each protects your computer against different threats, so it can be a good idea to install all of them.
- AVG looks for spyware and viruses. The default setting for this program automatically checks for updates and scans the computer everyday at noon. It cleans what it finds. You can download it and find more information at the AVG website.
- Spybot Search and Destroy is very good at getting nasty spyware, malware and hijackers off your computer. It does not update itself automatically nor does it scan the computer automatically, so you will have to manage it manually. You can download it and find more information at the Spybot Search and Destroy homepage.
- Malwarebytes uses different methodology and definition files to root out spyware, malware, and hijackers from your computer. The free version does not automatically update itself and scan your computer, so you will have to manage it manually. There is a paid for option that will do this if you buy it. You can download it and find more information at the Malwarebytes website.
- Ad-Aware looks for similar threats that the Spybot and Malwarebytes programs find. The free version of this program does not update itself automatically nor does it scan the computer automatically, so you will have to manage it manually. There is a paid for option that will do this if you buy it. You can download it and find more information at the Ad-Aware homepage.
How often should these programs be run?
AVG will update and scan your computer automatically. It is recommended to update and scan the computer with Spybot, Malwarebytes, and Ad-Aware twice a month. There is no harm involved with scanning the computer more frequently than that. However, depending on the computer, it may be slowed down while the scan is running.
Other options for keeping your computer safe
- It is recommended that at least once a month, you check that your Windows computer is getting all the high priority updates it needs. To do this, follow the instructions provided at this link: http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate
- Running the Disk Defragmenter and Check Disk for errors every couple of months is good for hard disk maintenance. How you do each of these depends on your version of Windows. Follow the instructions accordingly at the below links:Windows XP – Disk Defragmenter
Windows XP – Check Disk for Errors
Windows Vista – Disk Defragmenter
Windows Vista – Check Disk for Errors
Windows 7 – Check Drive for Errors
- When running scans on your computer with an anti-virus or anti-spyware program, it is suggested System Restore be turned off prior to the scan. This is because if System Restore is enabled during the scan and the computer is infected, it is possible that the program running the scan may not be able to clean the infection. After you are done with the scan it is a good idea to re-enable system restore and create a new restore point. For instructions on how to enable/disable System Restore and other information, please visit the following links:Windows XP – Turn On or Turn Off System Restore
Windows XP – Working With System Restore
Windows Vista – Turn On or Turn Off System Restore