Responsible Internet Browsing & Routine PC Maintenance

May 25, 2016

The internet can be a powerful tool for both entertainment and business. Although there are plenty of sites out there that are legitimate, many sites intend to harm your computer by accessing your personal information or installing some type of virus or spyware to your computer. These viruses can rob your computer of performance and put your information at risk. There are a couple of tips you can follow to protect yourself online, and to recognize early if you have been infected with a virus. If you any reason to suspect virus related activity, make sure to contact Computer Repair of Greensboro today at 336-358-6011

  1. Toolbars
    Toolbars are additions to your browser that lie right below the address bar (where you type in url’s such as http://www.google.com) . Although there are plenty of useful toolbars that aid you in navigating the internet, many of them also contain some sort of spyware. This spyware will monitor your internet usage and constantly send information to their servers, slowing down your internet connection, and your computer.
  2. Direct Download Sites 
    Direct download sites are sites that host files that other people can download. The easiest way to identify these sites is by the download button on the site. Many times direct download sites will have two options a ‘High Speed Download’ and a ‘Slower Download’ link. Clicking on the High Speed Download link will take you to a subscription page to subscribe to the site, costing you money. Additionally, many times, the files hosted by these sites are actually malicious. The ads on these sites are everywhere and disguise themselves as buttons.
  3. Deceptive Links 
    Websites sometimes can disguise links to malicious sites as links to sites you go to everyday. For example, a link that says http://www.facebook.com can end up taking you to http://www.maliciousurl.com instead. The easiest way to tell if the links you are clicking on are actually taking you where you want to go is to take a look at the bottom left (depending on your browser) of your screen while placing your mouse over the link. The text on the bottom left will show you exactly where that link will take you to, so if you put your mouse over a link that says http://www.facebook.com, yet on the bottom of your screen, you see http://www.maliciousurl.com, you know not to click!
  4. Phishing Sites
    Phishing sites are sites that mimic legitimate sites, but are actually malicious and intend on stealing your logon credentials or infecting your computer with some type of virus. These sites look identical to the login sites that you are trying to reach (i.e. facebook, twitter, msn, google, even your banking site etc…). The only way to tell is by looking at the address bar. There are a couple of ways to tell if the site you are going to may be a phishing site. The first thing is the url. If you look in the address bar and the url is not what you expect to see (i.e. facebook.s4if.com or fac3book.com), do not enter your login information.
  5. Email Attachments 
    Over 70% of all emails sent in the world are spam emails. That means that more than half of all emails have some ulterior motive to get you to do something with the email. Some of these want to extract your personal information, some of these spam emails want to infect your computer with a virus by getting you to download an email attachment with a virus in it. If you receive an email, that seems legitimate, make sure you trust the sender before opening any attachments.

In the same way that you weatherproof the couch or change the oil in your car, your computer needs some routine maintenance to keep it healthy and up to date. These small steps can keep you safe online, and your computer virus free.

  1. AntiVirus and Virus Scans
    AntiVirus software is the most important thing that will keep you safe from viruses. Norton and McAfee are the two main AV softwares however there are plenty of other options that will work just as well. All of these programs have a feature that will scan your computer for viruses. It is a good idea to set up regular virus scans to run on your computer. As these scans can take up a lot of the resources on your computer while they are running, it is a good idea to schedule these for when you will not be using the computer. AntiVirus cannot cure a virus after you have been infected, in many cases it can even make it worse. Make sure to contact Computer Repair of Greensboro at 336-358-6011 for virus removal as soon as possible to prevent data loss!
  2. Defragmentation of your computer
    Defragmentation (defrag) of your computer rearranges the files on the hard drive to allow for faster retrieval of the information on it. It is a good idea to run a defragmentation utility such as the one that comes with windows at least once a month to speed up your system.
  3. Physical Cleans of your computer
    There are a lot of moving parts inside of a computer. It is a good idea to use compressed air to blow out the vents of the computer freeing it of dust. Too much dust accumulated in a computer can cause the computer to overheat and fail needing costly repairs.
  4. Backups 
    Having a regularly scheduled backup of the data that is important to you can help in the case of an unwanted hardware failure. There are plenty of backup programs available online that allow you to create scheduled backups that you can run and specify which files and folders you want backed up. Utilites are even available that will back up your entire operating system. Remember to back up your system to an external media such as a flash drive, tape backup, or external hard drive. If your hard drive dies, you do not want your backups to go with it! Computer Repair of Greensboro can configure various backup services for business and individuals. Call us today at 336-358-6011!

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