As a computer technician who’s been using computers since the age of 12, I’ve picked up on a few things over the years.  One thing I’ve noticed is, that a large number of computer users prefer to just “plug it up, turn it on, and go.”  While that sounds nice in theory, there are similarities to an automobile to consider.  If someone doesn’t keep certain things maintained on a car, like gas, oil, air in the tires, brake fluid, etc., then one day, it’s reasonable to expect the car to go slowly, or not to go at all.

 

With computers, this type of situation can take various forms.  Some of the things have already been covered in the protips section, but I’m going to cover something that has become a growing, major problem for over two years now.  Adware, spyware, malware, whatever name they go by, they can be very annoying.  I have some simple ways (at least to me) that helps to keep my computer running efficiently.  Some things that I DON’T do.

 

I DO NOT download any type of software application that claims to speed up my computer, help with memory usage, or my internet connection speed.  I prefer to build my own, so it’s already got what I need without any extra little thing taking up more memory.  Windows does that well enough on it’s own.

 

I prefer to IMMEDIATELY close any and every type of ad that might jump up on my screen.  And to be safe, I tend to just go to task bar, right click on the offending ad, and click close, so that my mouse pointer doesn’t have to get near the inside of that box, where it could cause some mouse-over script to be run.  Like this picture below, when you put your mouse over it, a browser runs a bit of code telling it to switch to the next image in the series. 

That method can easily be used by an ad fiend to load something on your computer to try and pop up ads on you when you’re out viewing other pages, not wanting to be bothered.

 

I DO NOT accept/experiment with/install any type of software as a result of a window popping up suddenly that tells me that there are errors on my computer.  First of all, I don’t want someone in a remote location scanning my computer without my permission.   Secondly, I’m using a computer full of software that was written by people.  I’m fully aware that people make errors sometimes when they’re writing lines of code, especially when there may be a team of programmers involved, so I don’t need to pay $30 or $40 for a little window to pop up and tell me that.  Thirdly, if I don’t want pop-up ads on my computer, I certainly don’t want to pay someone for a product that uses that very method to advertise itself, even if it says that it gets rid of ads.  Kind of defeats the purpose.  Would you knowingly buy a burglar alarm from a burglar?

 

I DO NOT use any type of rebate/discount/shopper helper type of software.  I don’t want something running on my computer that’s taking up bandwidth searching for things.  This is especially true when some of those things hijack your browser and take you to sites that you weren’t trying to go to.

 

I DO NOT use any type of extra toolbar/searchbar, any kind of extra bar that’s not already included with Internet Explorer.  It’s fully capable of providing its own errors from time to time without any help from add-ons.   I want to go to the site that I typed in, and if I want to search for something, I use a search engine, such as www.google.com

 

As a general rule, I’m not saying that all these things are bad.  But I’m the type that goes to search for a specific type of application to put on my computer.  I don’t let someone push something toward me that I didn’t request.  And because I’ve come across so many of these types of things that cause problems, I take the easy route and avoid them all.  Individual results may vary.  But if you don’t spend time to see which things are bad to install on your computer, you’ll probably spend money later to have the problems repaired.  Often the problems cause by these types of things are severe enough that it becomes necessary to re-install Windows again.  What joy.

 

2005 Zalmegra Studios

 

Hit Counter