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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Adware & Spyware Protection:

Use Ad-Aware-2007 in conjunction with both Trend Micro HijackThis AND SpywareBlaster to provide protection that is BETTER than practically any anti-spyware software that you can purchase.

Ad-Aware 2007 is an easy-to-use program that cleans your system, thus providing increased privacy during online activities. It provides free updates and extremely quick scanning of your registry, memory, & internal/external hard drives to protect you from known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components.

I use HijackThis myself and am quite fond of it. Admittedly, it is not a simple program to use (consequently, I do not recommend this software for beginners), but it is the MOST THOROUGH free program of its kind nonetheless. Be sure you do your homework before making any significant changes to your system. I believe this statement from Trend Micro sums it up best.

From Trend Micro: HijackThis lists the contents of key areas of the Registry and hard drive--areas that are used by both legitimate programmers and hijackers. The program is continually updated to detect and remove new hijacks. It does not target specific programs and URLs, only the methods used by hijackers to force you onto their sites. As a result, false positives are imminent, and unless you're sure about what you're doing, you always should consult with knowledgeable folks before deleting anything. Version 2.0.2 includes unspecified updates.

As opposed to scanning for and removing spyware, Spyware Blaster prevents ActiveX-based spyware, adware, hijackers, dialers and other PUPs from being installed . This program can block tracking cookies and inhibit spyware tracking sites. Included is an integrated Check for Updates feature and a System Snapshot feature, which takes a snapshot of your computer in its clean state & will undo changes made by spyware.

System Optimization:

Advanced WindowsCare Personal is an easy-to-use comprehensive PC care utility that will repair and optimize your computer. It offers a handy solution for PC maintenance and is one of my favorite freeware programs available. Try it, you'll see why!

Junk & Privacy Cleaner:

I love CCleaner. Not only does it clean privacy and junk files, but it also allows you to manage your start menu in a user-friendly environment. This software will free up disk space and speed up Windows. A must have!

PC Auditing:

Belarc is AMAZING! Basically, it provides a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, and much more. The results are displayed in your Web browser and all of your PC profile information is kept private. I recommend you print the results off and store it somewhere safe in the case of a major PC disaster, such as data loss. Knowing what is on your computer is very important, and can make all the difference in data recovery or hardware replacement.

Registry Care:

Among the more common causes of a slow running system is failure to regularly defragment your hard drive . With the amazing Auslogics Disk Defrag & Auslogics Registry Defrag, you can quickly and easily defragment your registry, remove gaps, and make it contiguous, smaller and faster to access.

Virus Protection:

Avira performed the best when compared to other free Anti-Virus programs, namely AVG and Avast. It provides the most detections, the quickest scan times, and does not require the user to register. In fact, this program detected several threats including Trojans that were missed by Norton. This program provides real-time protection, automatic updates, support via phone and forums, and Rootkit detection and removal. I was quite impressed with Avira after testing it, and would strongly recommend you try it before purchasing a more expensive alternative, such as Norton