Tools to Keep Your Computer Clean

The other day I discussed how to be “smart” out there online.  Now I’m going to talk about some things you can do regularly to make sure your system stays clean… and sometimes when it gets a little dirty…

MBAM – HANDS DOWN the best malware (software that is bad for your computer) removal tool that I know of… best part?  It’s FREE! I would run this scan about once a month, and every time you suspect something is wrong with your pc.  Don’t forget to update the program from the update tab before you run your scan each time!

Antivirus – I already let you know that my favorite Antivirus is ESET’s NOD32.  It is important for you to have Antivirus so it can catch things before they get into your system.  This is especially helpful with viruses that come through your email, and viruses that try to download themselves from a website.  Antivirus should scan at least once a week.  For less frequent computer users once a month might suffice.

Defrag – If you have Windows XP it is a good idea to regularly defragment your hard drive… What exactly does this mean?  See the vocabulary lesson on Defragmentation.  I recommend running a defrag about once every 2 months or so.  More often if you have been cleaning up your programs and deleting files.  Vista and 7 run defrags themselves in the background according to it’s own schedule.

Safe mode – Booting into safe mode is a great way to get your computer cleaned up from any issues that can affect it.  In order to boot into safe mode restart your computer.  As soon as you see the black screen (before you even get to the windows loading bar) start tapping f8 on your keyboard.  If you see the Windows loading screen you’re already too late.  Reboot and try again.  If you’ve done it right you should see a black screen asking which mode you want to boot into.  Tomorrow’s post is going to break down the different boot options, but the one I use most often is “Safe Mode with Networking”.  Once in safe mode scanning your computer can find more things.  So I usually like to boot into safe mode to run MBAM and Antivirus. 

Sfc /scannow – This is a little utility that comes standard in Windows.  What it does is scan your Windows system files to make sure nothing has been changed (which could cause boot and other general problems)  Just click on Start Run and then type sfc /scannow if you have Vista or 7 you may not see a “run” option.  Just type it right into the search in the start menu.  You really only need to try this if you have been having problems booting or been getting a lot of errors.

As always if you have any problems or questions just go ahead and tweet me @tech4mommies

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website


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