Tag Archives: software

Work Like It’s Supposed To: AntiVirus Software

We all know we need anti-virus software, but are you sure that your program is actually working correctly? Most of us download the program and assume it is working. It’s a safe assumption when you consider how many messages you get from your security suite about scans, safety checks and safe internet surfing. In fact, all of that protection can get a bit overwhelming at times. You don’t have to let your antivirus software dominate your computer – and it will.

The standard antivirus suite is usually a huge program that ties up a lot of your computer’s valuable resources and can even slow your computer down. While it’s essential to have protection, you don’t have to always play by the rules set by the software companies. After all, it’s your computer so it’s your choices.

There are many settings that you can control with your security software, and even if you choose to let it work exactly the way it wants to, you should at least know how to control it should it ever complicate routine tasks for you. For example, sometimes your security software can make it challenging to download new programs and you will need to disable it briefly to let your computer do its job.

Changing Start-Up Permissions

There are components of your antivirus software that startup immediately when you flip the computer on. This is good in the sense that you have protection right away from the malware that also likes to try and get going right when you turn on your machine. But sometimes you are bogged down in security and want to have the option to boot your computer faster without starting every security feature right away.

You can control what starts immediately by controlling your startup permissions. If you’re working in Windows 7, search for MSCONFIG in the Start menu. Open the program associated with “msconfig.exe” that appears and you’ll see a tab labeled “Startup”. In Windows 8 do this through the Task Manager.  Open it by clicking Ctrl+Shift+Esc.  Then click on the “Startup” tab.

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msconfig or system configuration menu in Windows 7

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Roll Call: Essential Security Software

Okay, you know you have to have it: security software. The Web is crawling with baddies: viruses, Trojans and worms; and even though you never visit “high-risk” websites, you’re still at risk from those unscrupulous vendors that put out deceptive software or peddle aggressive adware. Sometimes all it takes is a seemingly reputable download from a d fraud, and sometimes all it takes is a stray link or email attachment from a friend whose computer has been hijacked.

The point it, you need security, but some of the terms are confusing. What’s the difference between anti-spyware software and anti-virus? Why do you need both? And importantly, where do you get it?

When making a competent security net for your home computer or home network, there are three essential security components you need: a firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software.

Firewall

A firewall is a piece of software that runs continually in the background when your computer’s on. It acts as a filter or “checkpoint” for the data coming into your computer from the Web. Firewalls maintain a list of known bad-guys, including individual pieces of software and websites that are known to be harmful. If either of these targets tries to get into a computer, the firewall will block it. Continue reading

Windows 8.1: What’s New and Why

When Windows 8 was first introduced it took a lot of people by surprise – this was a modern operating system for the future of computing! Now Microsoft has added even more bells and whistles to the operating system, and introduced a new version of the software – Microsoft Windows 8.1.  So what’s new? Plenty!

New Organization and Customization to the Tiled Start Screen

The tiled Start screen was the biggest innovation on Windows 8, and version 8.1 continues to improve the software to make it even more user-friendly.

In Windows 8, the Start screen contained tiles for programs and apps, and served as a way to quickly launch some of your most popular programs and features.

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