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Friday, March 13, 2009

5 Things to Do as Soon as You Purchase a New Computer


Have you just purchased a new desktop or laptop computer? Congratulations, and hopefully you will get plenty of use out of your new machine, whether it is for business, finance, research, multimedia, or purely entertainment (or a little of all the above).

But wait - don't open the boxes, plug in the cords, and try to start surfing the Internet just yet! Take a few minutes and follow these 5 steps that can help increase your computer security and possibly remove some potential headaches down the road.

1. Emergency Disks

Some computers come packaged with CDs or DVDs you can use to reinstall the operating system and preinstalled software in case something goes wrong, such as a hard drive hiccup, malware infestation, or an itchy trigger finger that loves pressing the 'Del' key. If such discs are included, place them in a safe place and make copies once the computer is set up.

If these did not come with your computer, read its manual for instructions on how to create them, if possible. Do so ASAP - before you go online, install new software, uninstall software that came prepackaged but you do not need, etc. Better yet, make a second copy of these disks for safe keeping.

2. Install Security Software

Before connecting to the Internet, either via a wired or Wi-Fi connection, make sure you have a working firewall and antivirus software at a BARE minimum; surfing without such programs can open your computer up to all types of nasty malware. If your operating system has a built-in firewall, turn this on if nothing else is available, but do consider downloading a replacement.

If you have another computer, use it to download a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-malware applications. Either burn a CD/DVD or use a USB flash drive to copy them to the new machine. Install this software before you ever connect to the Internet to reduce the chances of problems. Once you are online, immediately download updates as needed.

Note that if your computer comes with security software, you may need to remove these packages first if you decide to install alternatives (see below).

3. Uninstall Software

Go through the list of installed software through the computer's "Add/Remove Programs", "Uninstall or change a program", or similar tool (check the Control Panel). Remove any preinstalled "bloatware", software you may not need such as trial games, photo applications you may never use, website toolbars, links to Internet Service Providers you will never access (especially if you already have one), etc. Do keep the installed security software unless you are offline and ready to install different applications.

4. Consider a New Web Browser

When you go online, you are not stuck with your operating system's default web browser if you want to surf the web. There are plenty of alternatives available such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome, and using another web browser may increase your overall security.

Even if you install a new web browser, be sure to keep the one that came with your operating system up-to-date to help prevent malware from attacking your system via an exploit.

5. Update All Software

Speaking of doing software updates, after going online but before browsing the web, immediately update your operating system (including the built-in web browser). Check for updates to document readers such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and any installed multimedia players. Plus, look for updates to installed browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, Java, QuickTime, and RealPlayer. Exploits can potentially be found in any software installed on your system; keeping everything up-to-date helps reduce the risk of your computer getting infected by malware.

While you may immediately be ready to unpack and use your new computer, following these five steps will help increase your security when going online. Create or find emergency recovery discs and store them in a safe place in case 'stuff' happens. Install security software such as firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware applications before you connect to the Internet. Remove unneeded "bloatware" and consider installing an alternate web browser. Finally, before general web surfing or other activities, ensure your operating system and all installed software are up-to-date. By performing these steps, you can start your computer off right, blocking malware and operating well for hopefully years to come.

Copyright 2009 Andrew Malek.
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Online Pc Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot Computer Error


Undoubtedly, computers have become an indispensable part of our everyday life; whether we are at home or work or anywhere else. Every computer user must have experienced technical problems at one instance or the other, whether it is the annoyance of a forgotten password or the disaster of erroneous software. A vast use of computers has given a push to the demand for computer specialists who offer pc troubleshooting, technical advice to users, as well as for the day-to-day administration, maintenance, and support of computer systems and networks.

These technicians offer technical assistance, support, and advice to customers and other users. This group of troubleshooters is categorized into technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. Both of them interpret errors and offer technical expertise to resolve issues for hardware, software, and PCs. They take up your query over telephone and then analyze it by running automated diagnostic programs via the remote support, and fix all difficulties. Support specialists work either within a company that uses computer systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor. These specialists work for help-desk or support companies for which they offer technical support to clients on a contract basis.

They take up very kind of computer repair service like PC installation, computer optimization, software troubleshooting, hard disk clean up, virus/spyware removal, and repair computer hardware and software. They may write training manuals and train computer users in how to use new computer hardware and software.

As opposed to technical support specialists, help desk technicians respond to telephone calls and e-mail messages from customers looking for help with computer issues. In addition to responding to these technical inquiries, help-desk technicians listen carefully to the customer, ask questions to diagnose the problem, and then take the customer through the step by step procedure of troubleshooting the problem.

Help-desk technicians deal directly with customer issues. They are consulted for what gives customers the most trouble, as well as other customer queries. Most computer support specialists start out at the help desk.

Online computer services are available for 24x7x365. Their round the clock availability is what makes them the most preferable among computer enthusiasts.
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Firewalls Can Help With Your Security Concerns


The worst things to over look each and every time in this competitive age is about your PC Computer Security and if you are not careful with that nasty piece of codes are not going to show any mercy at all and rather thrash you towards any short of crisis once they took a front seat on your computing system.

But taking some of these steps can minimize your risk from virus, malwares, spywares, ad wares, Trojans, worms and from each and every form of infection your computer system can have. They are just viral kind of things once you got them they can give you sleepless nights.

And as per the old saying goes prevention is better than cure so why not act before things get into hands of those malicious codes known as malware. Using a firewall can prevent you from that malicious software’s which are intended to harass your computer integrity. But if your computer system is already got infected somehow, so firewall is not going to work out what next, our answers are there with a good friend of you, your virus removal software’s or anti-spyware software’s.

Here is a brief about firewall that would help you with some of your further security concerns.

Firewall: A Firewall is a shield that acts as a first line of defense when you are there on the web and prevent you from all those unpleasant intrusion to stay safe on internet. A Firewall supervises the web traffic that tries to explore them with you system which may be any of your inbound or outbound traffics.

So on the first go confirm that whatever operating system you have, check that the firewall with your operating system is already switch on. Although with the latest once that is with Microsoft Windows XP Operating System and Microsoft Windows Vista support Operating System they are set by default but that is not same with the Mac Operating System. So, if you have a Mac OS now you know what you have to do right now on a priority level.

How to check the Firewall Setting
Step 1: Open the Control Panel
Step 2: Select Security Center and open Windows Security Center
Step3: Select Windows Firewall option from Manage Security Setting
Step4: Now, select from two of the available radio buttons on the Windows Firewall Form, and For Now On is the right choice. Select "On"
Step5: Click ‘Ok" Button and you are done with setting up your Windows Firewall. Close the Windows Security Center and The Control Panel.

This was one of the simplest thing to can do for your security concern but if you are truly concerned with your security and it really matters a lot and for that if you can put something financially there are third party commercial software available.

Note:- If you are trying to install your third party software don’t forget to switch off that Microsoft Firewall as they may conflict’s with your third part software. To do so use the steps stated above and just select off on the place of step 4
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