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How to Remove Spyware and Viruses; Jumpstart Your Computer for Free.

Updated on July 27, 2013
Don't let this happen to you.
Don't let this happen to you. | Source

Introduction

Viruses and malware find their way onto your computer no matter how tech savvy or careful you are. There are many ways to help protect yourself with safer web browsing habits and active shielding programs, but what happens when something gets through?

In this hub we will learn about these infections, tips on how to avoid them, how to remove them, and cleaning up your computer properly to increase performance; all without spending a dime.

What is Malware?

Malware simply put is software designed to harm. It comes in a plethora of forms.

Spyware monitors the actions you take, the websites you visit, and gathers your information via keylogging, system monitoring, or cookies.

Adware revolves around serving you ads, cluttering your desktop with pop-ups, and annoying you at every turn.

Trojans can be installed along with legitimate software which could add a backdoor to your system allowing future connections to be established with a hacker group.

Practice Safe Browsing Habits

You should only download programs from reputable websites. Avoid download managers such as iLivid and extra toolbars for your browser that sometimes solicit installs.

Before clicking on a link it's always a good idea to mouse over it and see what the actual destination is before you click it. This is a good way of revealing the correct download link on a page for example.

What antivirus software do you use?

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Protecting Yourself

Several popular anti-virus programs have struck deals with the major ISPs.

Comcast customers are provided with Norton Antivirus for free. Time Warner and AOL customers get free access to McAfee.

If your ISP doesn't provide you with virus protection there are solid free alternatives. I recommend AVG as it offers real time protection with an easy-to-use modern interface.

If you want to buy the Norton 360 Suite at 75% off retail you can cover up to three pcs for $24.35 (or one for $19.27). It is the #1 best seller in Amazon's internet security category.

Another popular program is Kasperskpy. If a virus clings on for life, Kasperskpy offers powerful virus removal solutions.

What malware removal tool do you use?

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Removing an Infection

With virus protection running in real time you will have over 95% of viruses hidden in downloads blocked as they come in. Anti-virus libraries update frequently and a scanner runs in the background that will notify you if anything was missed and offer a removal/quarantine choices.

Even still, malware can seep through the cracks of your anti-virus programs. It is strongly advised to run a malware scan once every month or immediately if you notice any strange activity. Malwarebytes offers fast, reliable scans and easy removals. The free version works great and cleans up millions of infections popular anti-virus programs miss.


Speeding up your Computer

When you unboxed your computer you might have fond memories of snappy responsiveness and shorter boot times.

Piriform's Ccleaner is the ultimate tool to speed up your computer and clean up your hard disk. Best of all it's free.

Ccleaner will scan your registry for keys that were left behind when you uninstalled old programs; it will clean your temporary files, cookies, and cache from each of your browsers, and more. Run Ccleaner once a month and restore the speed your computer was meant to have.

Conclusion

Hackers have infected millions of computers creating powerful botnets. They have been used to siphon over $500 million from bank accounts, steal identities, and rob people of their freedoms. If you don't take the time to protect your computer, you could be their next victim.

Protect yourself.

If you enjoyed this hub, you may enjoy reading more "How to" articles such as

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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I hate it when I have friends that say, how did I get a virus I have a anti-virus program. It's hard to explain how viruses can still get past the protection. They just don't understand.

      Thanks for all the information. Voted up.

    • toptendeals profile image
      Author

      Jason Benedict 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

      I know right? Thanks for swinging by Moonlake.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is really great information to know. We use the paid version of Avast (we used the free version for a year) and it is great. Will have to check out some of these other features. Good advice! Bookmarking it by sending it to Pinterest in my Useful Tips and Ideas board. Also sharing it with my followers. Needless to say, up and useful votes. Thanks!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you for publishing this helpful hub, Jason. Although I use Webroot to protect my computer, viruses/malware/spyware can still get past it sometimes. I also use Adaware, CCleaner, Malwarebytes, Spybot S&D, and SUPERAntispyware. Often, one of these tools will catch something that another tool misses.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Very useful information. I used to have Norton but when I switched to another brand I had a tough time untinstalling it. I now use Webroot and Malware Bytes. You are absolutely right about never downloading a toolbar. Those things hang on like the devil.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Thank you so much for posting such valuable information. I am blessed by your works. I so appreciate the definitions. God Bless you. Skye

    • toptendeals profile image
      Author

      Jason Benedict 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

      Thanks for the share Peggy and all great programs to use Annette.

    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 2 years ago from United States

      We use the cleaner all the time - fantastic product. Now I just wish I could get that program to dust my home for me too!

    • profile image

      Brynell 2 years ago

      Kick the tires and light the fires, problem oflaiiclfy solved!

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