Corner: Help With Computers
You can count on having slowdowns and other issues with your
computer ... it's just the nature of the
beast. On this page you'll find help to speed up your computer, get rid
of problem areas and how to avoid malware (short for 'malicious
software', same as virus).
Computer performance can be affected by several things. If
your computer has slowed down, it's usually an easy fix. Try these
suggestions first. If this doesn't help, then you may have a malware
infection. More later about that.
1) The biggest mistake is leaving your computer on overnight. To avoid memory clutter, turn off your computer
at night or
restart it in the morning. This refreshes
and your computer will run smoother and faster.
2) The second biggest problem is insufficient memory. Your
computer accesses memory every time you perform a function. Listening to
music or watching videos requires more memory than just typing a
document or sending an email. Upgrading to at least 4GB (8GB is even
better) should significantly improve performance.
3) If your internet browsing has slowed, resetting your
modem/router should fix the problem.
a) Unplug your
modem for a minute, then replug. Within a few minutes, it will reset
with a fresh signal.
If you have a separate router, do the same. The router will reset.
c) Once the reset is done, run a
speed test and make a note of your upload and download
d) Periodically run a speed test. If speeds have
slowed, repeat the above procedure.
this website for more ways to speed
up your computer.
Malware & How To Fix It
Malware is software code written by hackers,
designed to reside hidden in your computer. When you connect to the
internet, the desired information is transferred to the hacker's
computer. You can get malware in several ways (see Prevention section
critical to get rid of malware quickly before it causes further damage
or steals your private information.
Here are some things you can do.
1) Open your Antivirus (AV) software and
run a full system scan to find and
remove malware (see below if you don't have AV
2) If the above doesn't work, use System Restore
(see below) to roll
your computer back to
an earlier date.
3) Some malware can resist virtually all
attempts at removal, even by disabling your AV
Windows System Restore.
happens and you're not computer savvy,
take your computer to a repair shop to fix it for
all have an important feature called System Restore. From time to time, Windows
automatically creates snapshots (restore points) of the Windows
registry. This means that you will have multiple restore points to choose from when
attempting a system restore. Here's how:
Learn how to use
for your version of Windows.
2) Choose a restore point dated earlier than
when your problem started.
System Restore can take from 5 to 30 minutes,
depending upon your system, so be
patient. Do not turn off your computer or try to use it during the restore
operation. After the restore, if the problem
isn't fixed, restore again to an even earlier date.
System Restore will solve problems 95% of the time (as mentioned earlier, sophisticated malware can
3) System Restore does
your personal files such as documents, emails or
photos, but any software installed after the restore date will need
to be reinstalled as
the restore process will have removed them.
Prevention is the Key
critical that you have antivirus software to protect your computer. If
you're running Windows
10 or 8, you already have Windows Defender installed. If
you have Windows 7, Vista or XP,
download the free
Microsoft Security Essentials. Both Defender and
adequate protection when browsing the internet and if
use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmal, etc. as emails are already scanned for
viruses. But Defender and Essentials do not scan emails downloaded to
Microsoft Outlook or similar computer-installed software. For this, use
one of the alternatives mentioned below.
2) For even better
virus protection, opt for the free Avast or paid subscription-based Norton Security, WebRoot, McAfee, etc. They do a much better job of removing malware if
your computer becomes infected.
It is best not to use Russia-based Kaspersky, as the U.S. government has
banned Kaspersky from all government computers for suspected spying on
U.S. government computers.
3) Always update to the latest version of your web browser (Firefox, Edge,
Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc). The latest versions always have improved
4) While surfing the internet, don't click on popups, even
says you have a virus
and asks if you want to remove it
(it may even say Microsoft Security in the
Don't click on
the popup box (not
yes, not no, not
even the red X
to close the
popup box). Any of these
actions can download malware
to your computer. Instead,
click on the red X in
the far upper right hand corner of your browser
to close it. Then restart your browser
to continue surfing.
5) Don't visit unsafe web sites. They can infect your computer
with "drive-by" malware, even if
you don't click on anything at the site. Stay with better known mainstream sites
that tend to be more trustworthy.
6) Don't open or click on risky
email attachments or links. This is the #1 way that computers become
It is safe to open
emails from friends with
documents or photos that they
created. It is
NOT safe to open
emails forwarded around the
internet, even if
from friends. No matter how
tempting, just delete them.
6) Malware can also
affect smart phones and tablets. Search the internet to learn how to keep your
specific device secure.
Is it Time to Upgrade Windows?
Windows 10 is much more secure than previous versions. And it is the only version that
protects you from ransomware, which
reason enough to upgrade. Most computers running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 can be
Visit this page to upgrade. Windows 98,
XP and Vista cannot be upgraded. If you're running one of these
dinosaurs, then it's time for new computer with Windows 10
Practice Safe Computing
you need do to maintain a happy relationship with your
just be careful where you surf and what you click on. It's as simple as that.