I am fairly apt at computers having been a Quality Assurance Software Engineer for several years. I invite people to post any and all computer questions they might have here on ThriftyFun, and I will do my best to provide basic non technical advise, suggestions and instruction. And as long as no one complains I think I will start posting computer advise once a week here on Thrifty Fun for people who might need the info.
Let me start with something everyone can benefit from.
Virus Software: There are many virus programs available for your computer and I highly recommend you have a virus program. The one I use and highly recommend is called Avast! and unlike many of the other programs available this one is free. At least it is for personal home use. If you want it for a business you have to dish out some cash. It is still worth it.
You can get it here: http://www.avast.com
Once you register on the Avast! website you get emailed a registration key good for one year. Then you are required to re-register and again it is free for another year, and so on.
Avast! runs on start up of windows and quickly updates itself once you connect to the internet. And it isn't a resource hog. I have dial-up internet and I hardly notice it.
You can also activate the user interface and do virus stuff manually if you so desire.
It is a fully functional and very easy to use virus protection program. They also have a beefier version you have to pay for. If you feel you need the extra bells and whistles I trust Avast!, so I would go for the bigger package.
Recommendations, if you feel you have to buy something that is a "name brand" for it to be good: McAfee software has a proven track record. Symantec is okay, better than nothing. There are others but I am not as familiar with them and I don't recommend software I am not familiar with. Like Microsoft's virus protection, I don't know it, never used it, don't know anyone who has.
I will say that if your virus software came with your PC and it works, like I said before, something is better than nothing.
Let me just add I run other programs to protect my PC as well. You can never do too much to protect your PC and your information.
By suntydt from Tazewell, TN
I just wanted to say thank you for this information and for all future info. I feel I can never learn enough about the computer and how it all works.
Thank you for the information. Can you run Avast if you have another anti-virus program or would that have to be eliminated? (01/28/2010)
By Nancy R
I've been using AVG on the advice of CNET. It works well but I think it does slow down my computer. However, I really do not know how to tell how much resources it is using or what 'too much' is. How can you tell if a freeware program is a resource hog? It would be great if you would post a reply as a tip for everyone. Thanks for the tip and those to come. (01/28/2010)
I'm all for a weekly post about computers, especially from someone as knowledgeable as yourself and also if it's in layman's terms. Now, my question to you is so often I go to a website and want to click on something within that site and I get knocked off line. I've done all the things I should on a weekly basis to clean up the cookies, etc. but yet it still happens. Very frustrating. For my virus protection, I use trend micro. Thanks for you help. Looking forward to future posts from you. (01/28/2010)
First; weekly computer advice would be welcome, second; I have the same question as Nancy R, can you run Avast if you have another anti-virus program or would that have to be eliminated?
I currently run Microsoft Security Essentials, anybody out there with any feedback on that one?
I need a program that will scan downloads before they are downloaded etc. Something that will keep the viruses from getting in. I really need a good free program because like most people these days the last thing I need is another bill to pay. (01/28/2010)
AVG works okay, but does take forever to scan. We're using Microsoft Essentials, it's free and seems to do well. Another good free virus protection program is Panda Cloud, it's been recommended by several IT people, it doesn't need updating since it runs everything through its website. Great malware programs are Malware Bytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. (01/28/2010)
Is anyone familiar with Kim Komando? She has a website and a radio show and knows computers inside and out. Kim recommends AVG. She has other good downloads on her website that are free. I have learned so much from her but am not a member of her club. You can learn additional things if you join.
Dear Suntdt - I have a virus problem I hope you can help me with: OS = XP svcpack2, Browser = IE8, Firefox. I have the 'cornflxr' virus, i.e. it will not let me log into any antivirus web site. All of the antivirus programs, including Avast, try and log into their home site to get the latest updates, thus precluding them from doing a scan. I am at the point where I feel the only alternative I have is to reformat the disk and reinstall XP and all my apps. Do you have any suggestions? Peteg8 (01/28/2010)
I am looking forward to receiving a weekly "lesson" and meanstwhile I am with those others who are curious as to if you are able to run avast at the same time as another? (01/29/2010)
Will there be a certain day that the Q and A will be posted, or do we need to be set to receive Feedback?
Thanks, Squirrelena (01/30/2010)
If you've been attacked by a malware, they really mess up your system. Here is a FREE (100% safe) malware program that you can download and run when your computer begins to act 'strange'.
As previously mentioned by others, my experience with Norton was horrific. After a year of dealing with blue-screens, I took my computer to a repair shop [for another issue] and mentioned my 'blue-screen's' and he asked me if I had Norton installed. I replied and he said to get rid of all Norton software and recommended some freebies. I'll never have Norton on my machine [or McAfee; they don't [didn't] provide Customer support, so 'Adios' McAfee.(04/07/2010)
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