Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to make Word 2007 always save in 2003 format?

Not everyone has updated to the 2007 edition of Microsoft Office. So a problem arises as we send them a Word 2007 document without converting it into 2003 format. However, it is possible to make Word 2007 always save in 2003 format. By changing a few settings, we can make Word 2007 always save in 2003 format automatically. This can save our time as we won’t have to convert a document each time we have to send one. Follow these steps to make Word 2007 always save in 2003 format:

1.     Open Word 2007.

2.     Click on the Office button.

3.     Click on the Word Options button at the bottom.


4.     The Word Options dialog box will appear.

5.     Select the Save tab.

6.     Select “Word 97-2003 Document” from the menu of “Save files in this format”. 

7.     Click on the OK button.

After this you will never have to worry about mistakenly sending the incorrect format of Microsoft Word 2007 to anyone. The same procedure can be used to change the settings of Microsoft Excel 2007.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Assign Shortcut Keys in Windows Vista

Windows Vista has a screen capture/screenshot tool that is actually pretty decent. You can take region captures or full screenshots and easily save them using this tool. Note: The snipping tool doesn’t exist on every version of Vista. To turn it on, you’ll have to go to “Turn Windows features on or off” in Control Panel, and check the box for the Tablet PC utilities. The only problem with this tool is that there’s no hotkey to bring up the window. But here’s how to change that. Visit the Start Menu, and then click on All Programs. Click the Accessories folder, and you’ll see the Snipping Tool.
     Right click it and go to the Properties screen. You’ll see a Shortcut key text box. The only annoying thing with this trick is that you can’t use the PrintScreen key… but no big deal. Let’s assigned Ctrl + F12 because it’s easy to remember that many users don’t use for something else.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How To Remove Page Info From Printed Pages

By default browsers will add the date, page number and URL to any page printed from the Internet. For most (if not all) of the printables on this site, you probably don’t want text at the top and bottom of the page. Luckily it’s pretty easy to fix, just pick your browser and follow the instructions below.

Internet Explorer 7 Printing Tips

By default there’s a small image of a printer, click that and go to “Page Setup…”. Below is a screenshot showing the button you’re looking for. Go to “File”, “Page Setup…”, then erase the text in the “Headers and Footers text boxes. (The default for header is &w&bPage &p of &P and for footer &u&b&d if you need to put it back later. IE’s default margins are 0.75 inches.)
Click the “OK” button and you’re done.

Firefox Printing Tips

From the menu in the top left corner of your browser, choose “File”, then “Page setup..”. Go to the second tab called “Margins & Header / Footer”, in the drop down lists choose “Blank” for all the items you don’t want printed. The screenshot below gives a better view of what I mean. If you want, you can also adjust the print margins here as well, Firefox’s default margins are set at 0.5 inches. Once you have your setting chosen, click “OK”, and you’re done! If you’d like a faster way to get to the print preview feature from within Firefox, the Print / Print Preview extensions is very handy. It adds a submenu to your context menu (the menu that pops up when you right click on a webpage) with “Print”, “Print Preview” and “Page Setup”. Much faster if you change margins, headers etc. often.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Assign Shortcut Keys in Windows Vista

Windows Vista has a screen capture/screenshot tool that is actually pretty decent. You can take region captures or full screenshots and easily save them using this tool. Note: The snipping tool doesn’t exist on every version of Vista. To turn it on, you’ll have to go to “Turn Windows features on or off” in Control Panel, and check the box for the Tablet PC utilities. The only problem with this tool is that there’s no hotkey to bring up the window. But here’s how to change that. Visit the Start Menu, and then click on All Programs. Click the Accessories folder, and you’ll see the Snipping Tool. Right click it and go to the Properties screen. You’ll see a Shortcut key text box.

The only annoying thing with this trick is that you can’t use the PrintScreen key… but no big deal. Let’s assigned Ctrl + F12 because it’s easy to remember that many users don’t use for something else.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Disabling Windows Vista and 7 Login at Startup

    When you start your Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, by default the system makes you enter your password to log in. Here’s a way to get around it. When you first install Vista or 7 and start using it, you are required to enter in a password for your account. But after that, you’re not really given a choice to remove the password if you don’t want it. You’re just sort of stuck typing it in every time and that can get old rather quickly!

     If you’re not the only one who uses your computer, consider leaving it this way. It is a good security feature and it helps to keep all of the different accounts, files and preferences separate from each other. But if you’re the only one who ever uses your computer, you should be able to get rid of the password prompt if you want.
If you’d like to bypass the Windows Vista and 7 log on process and remove your password, just follow these steps:
  • Go to Start, Control Panel.
  • Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link.
  • Next, click on the User Accounts link.
  • Under the “Make changes to your user account” section, click on the Remove Your Password link for your account.
  • On the next screen that comes up, enter in your current password.
  • Click on the Remove Password button to confirm everything.
  • Close out of all the open windows and restart your computer. That will allow you to test the system to make sure your password really was removed.
From now on, when you start up your Vista computer, you will be taken to your desktop automatically and you will no longer have to worry about a password.

How To Remove Page Info From Printed Pages

By default the browser will add the date, page number and URL to a page printed from the Internet. For most (if not all) of the printables on this site, you may not want the text at the top and bottom of the page. Fortunately it's fairly easy to fix, just choose your browser and follow the instructions below. Internet Explorer 7 Printing Tips
By default there is a small picture of a printer, click it and go to "Page Setup ...". Below is a screenshot showing the button you are looking for.
Go to "File", "Page Setup ...", then delete the text in the" Headers and Footers text box. (The default for the header & w & bPage & p of & P and to footer & u & b & d if you need to put back into IE then the default margin is 0.75 inches ..)
Click the "OK" and you're done. Firefox Printing Tips
From the menu at the top left corner of your browser, select "File", then "page setup ..". Go to the second tab called "Margins & Header / Footer", in the drop-down menu select "Blank" for all items you do not want printed. Screenshot below gives a better view of what I mean.
If you wish, you can also set the print margins here as well, Firefox standard margin is set at 0.5 inches. Once you have the settings you selected, click "OK", and you're done!
If you want a faster way to get to the print preview feature in Firefox, extensions Print Print / Preview is very useful. It adds a submenu to your context menu (menu that appears when you right click on a web page) with the "Print", "Print Preview" and "Page Setup". Much faster if you change the margins, headers, etc. frequently.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Printing Tips

Tips for Choosing a Printer

Learn how to choose a printer with the right capabilities for your needs

Printing Tips 


All consumers do their homework when it comes to choosing a new laptop PCs, but in many cases, purchasing a printer is outdated. If you are a business professional or a student who relies on producing top quality research papers or proposals, your choice of printer is critical to your success. You must specify the equipment that is able to handle this type of work you need, convenient and trouble-free, and merge seamlessly into your workspace.
The Choice

Depending on your expectations, one of several types of printers can fill your bill. If you need a full service machine that includes a scanner, fax, copier, and printer, you're in the market for units of all-in-one. This type of printer is a great workhorse for busy office where you are producing print materials, sign documents and scan them to send emails, plus send and receive information via fax. If you need a special printer dedicated for the purpose of normal, such as printing photos, you should select equipment that suits your desired needs

Another consideration in choosing Cartrid printer is the price of replacement ink for inkjet printer model or toner cartridges for laser printers. Sometimes a low-priced unit is not like a great buy if you have to devote big money to buy refills. Also check if the printer comes with a full-sized Cartrid or "starter" Cartrid that will require you to purchase refills quickly.
Check Specification

When you have narrowed your choices, check the specs on the box for compatibility with your PC operating system, especially if you are using Windows XP or earlier Windows systems. Printer manufacturers of equipment their latest products to the latest version of Windows, so that today most of them are designed for Windows 7 and Vista compatibility. If the wireless printer is a must for your work environment, choose one that will serve all the PCs in your home or small business network through a wireless modem. If you plan to use your printer at home when connected to your work PC via remote desktop applications, make sure that the printer you buy work compatibly with the operating system on your work and home PCs.

Other Functional Options

You should look for other specifications that may be important for specific applications the printer to ensure that this device will answer all your needs. One useful way to compare the various functions of your top three models is to compare them side by side in an office supply website that sells some sort. Some of the printing functions that might make a difference in the use of printers including automatic two-sided duplex printing; enlargement or reduction of the original document, and the resolution measured in dpi or dots-per-inch of both black and color printer to produce documents and faxes.

Media Options

If you run a large print job that you can not always keep an eye on, you should check the printer paper tray capacity and speed the process, expressed in pages per minute. Make sure the printer is tough enough for your usage by checking the number of images per month that is designed to process.

Also, if you plan to print more than just paper and envelopes, check to see if the printer is receiving media such as banners, greeting cards, magnetic sheets, or iron-on transfer sheets. Can use legal-sized copier paper and a letter-size?

Further consideration

Do not overlook some of the issues that make sense in making your printer choice. If you have limited space and requires a machine with certain dimensions, make sure your machine is appropriately sized. Check the type of need-USB printer connection, high-speed USB, Ethernet, etc., to prevent surprises when you try to install it.
If you are still dithering between models, consider the manufacturer's warranty and the price of the printer. All other factors being equal, select the unit with the best warranty and lowest price. 


Networking Tips How to Set Up and Troubleshoot a Home Computer Network

Setting up a home computer network may sound daunting, but it’s relatively simple, provided you break everything down into specific steps. Home computer networks are ideal for sharing a wireless connection among multiple computers, especially for those who have a home office, teenagers, or another computer configuration.

Purchasing a Router

Before you begin to worry about software, worry about hardware. A excellent router, like a Cisco router or a Linksys router, will save you from having to endlessly reboot and reprogram while still allowing you to quickly set up a home network. Make sure you buy from a company that has years of experience designing high quality routers that are capable of handling high amounts of traffic (such as data heavy media files). Virtually any home network will run smoothly without irritating slowness or delays.

Wireless Bandwidth

After you’ve purchased a router, the next step is to determine how much bandwidth you are receiving from your wireless connection. This becomes particularly important if you have a household where the network users are habitually downloading movies or other large data files. While a router can rapidly transfer this information, it is constrained by the amount of bandwidth available to the household. A connection that transmits data at 2.4 GHz with a 54 megabit speed is usually adequate to the task.
If your network feels exceptionally sluggish, check to make sure that you are receiving the wireless by ‘pinging’ the network. Alternatively, if you are receiving the full wireless bandwidth but are still experiencing slow results because of the types of media you are transferring, you may consider paying for a faster service.

Software Drivers

While software drivers for networking are fairly easy to find and download from the Internet, purchasing software directly from a computer retailer is recommended as a way to keep your network free of faulty software. A higher incidence of spyware and viruses makes downloading free software inadvisable, especially for something as sensitive as a computer network.
Purchasing software from one of the major companies, such as McAfee or Symantec, will also provide you with another vital component of wireless home networking: a firewall. Because wireless networks are difficult to secure, the best option is to buy software that not only allows you to network, but is built specifically to keep out uninvited users. Firewalls are designed to protect your valuable information behind a tightly secured ‘wall’ which can’t be accessed unless a very specific encrypted code is used.

Basic Set-Up

Now that you have all the components, you’ll want to set up the router first. Install the software driver onto each computer that will use the network. Set up a passkey that is fairly hard to break. Avoid simple or obvious terms that an outside user could easily guess. Set up each computer with this information. The company that is providing your wireless connection will usually assign you a name and a passkey. However, in some configurations, you will be able to reprogram this information.


No matter how expertly a system is set up, on occasion a technical problem manifests, resulting in a lack of connectivity for computers. There are a few ways to quickly check what’s working and what’s not. Usually, problems are caused by one of two things: the software on the computer itself is malfunctioning, and not allowing the computer to connect. You can test this by seeing if any other computers can connect to the network. If they can, the problem is local to that computer. A simple reboot of the software should solve this problem. However, if the software continues to be unable to connect to the internet, you will need to uninstall the software, and then reinstall it. Sometimes, a version can become corrupted. By wiping it clean and starting anew, the problem should resolve itself. The second most common problem is that the router needs a quick reboot. If you purchase a quality router, you will not have this problem very often, although every now and again even the best routers need a quick reboot. Turn the router off for at least thirty seconds. Switch it back on, and check your connectivity in about ten minutes. This gives the system plenty of time to reset itself. If this doesn’t work, the wireless provider may temporarily be out. Call your wireless provider to determine if they are experiencing an outage, and when you can expect the resumption of service. If all of these methods don’t resolve your problem, there is a basic flaw in your initial setup. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blogging Tips Tips For Launching Your Own Blog

Blogging has developed from a specialized hobby to a full-time occupation. Many writers live off of their blogs, and anyone with something unique to say can gain an audience and a steady paycheck with the right techniques.

Starting A New Blog

Launching a blog requires some planning. This starts with the name and address of the blog. It’s important to pick a good domain name, as the URL of a website is one of the most powerful tools that a blogger has at his disposal for repeat traffic. Think of a domain name as a 21st century toll free number: It has to be memorable or it won’t be effective.
  • blog’s domain name should be descriptive of its subject and preferably a bit unusual. For example, a blog about arrowheads could simply be titled, “Arrowheads And How To Identify Them,” but something like “As The Arrowhead Flies” would be more memorable.
Bloggers should also try to pick a unique subject or to bring a unique perspective to the entries. Writing about hundreds of subjects will rarely lead to a successful blog. Content should be focused and direct. Visitors should know exactly what type of information that they can find on the blog, and using direct and simple approach improves the chances of regular traffic.

# Blog Hosting Providers


Most bloggers use a hosting provider like or Blogger. There are several major advantages to these services. They’re inexpensive and may even be free until a blog develops large amounts of regular traffic. Also, the online blogging software provided by these hosting services offers instant, easy organization for a blog of any size. Many bloggers know only basic HTML and don’t really want to invest a lot of time into things like page design. For these individuals, integration with a hosting provider can keep costs down while streamlining the blogging process. They’re also ideal for first time bloggers because they simplify the process. By using a hosting provider you’ll spend more time writing and less time worrying about page design and web programming languages. Professional and amateur bloggers will need to consider the price and uptime of various hosting providers before making a selection. The service packages of websites like and Blogger change quite often in both price and offerings. It’s usually a good idea to start out with a package that offers at least 50% more capability for incoming traffic than you plan on using each month. This way, your blog won’t suddenly crash if you write a successful post. Blogging services can quickly become expensive. They’re worth the money in the long run, as they’ll allow you to keep all of the earnings from ads on your new blog–which is something that free alternatives with “unlimited bandwidth” won’t offer you. Speaking of money, you’ll have to be on the lookout for ways to make a profit from a blog. Most blogs use ads from Google and Amazon Marketplace. Many bloggers also offer other services and products directly from their sites.

# Promoting Your Blog


Blogs need to be promoted in order to flourish. It’s very rare for a blog to receive large amounts of traffic from search engines like Google alone, especially when the blog’s just getting started. A good promotion strategy is absolutely essential, and a strong promotion strategy begins with social media websites. Promote each blog post from a new blog on websites like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t spam your friends and followers; only post a single link to each blog post, and try to reach out to other bloggers through social websites. Developing a relationship with other writers will allow you to learn about the good habits that lead to regular traffic. You can even ask another writer to post a guest entry on your blog from time to time. This is a good way to build an audience of regular readers. Always check the comments for each entry and respond to your readers. Cultivate a sense of community by interacting with each commenter and even addressing some of their questions or comments directly in new blog posts. This encourages the return traffic that is important for a new blog.

Finally, blog regularly. Any blog will fail if it doesn’t have regular posts. Posting once a day or more will keep visitors coming back and will quickly lead to better opportunities for money and better traffic. Every blogger should consider consistency to be extremely important–keep a consistent stream of quality entries for the best possible success. 


Computer Buying Tips Should You Buy a Mac or a PC?

Deciding whether to buy a Mac or a PC should be based on two main points: your budget and whether the computer is primarily for business or pleasure. Both types of computers are excellent for specific tasks, although if you are planning to go to work and bring your computer with you, you may need to consider what types of computers your coworkers will have to make it easier to swap files or compare notes. Here a few basic tips on how to choose the right computer for you.


There’s no debate—Macs are far more expensive than PCs. If money is a big issue for you, you’ll want to buy a PC. However, Macs aren’t overpriced. Unlike PCs, each computer is designed for maximum efficiency in both processing speed and ease of use. While PCs frequently crash and are vulnerable to spyware and viruses, Macs resist most viral attacks and operate at a consistently high standard with virtually no technical issues. If you can afford it, a Mac is an excellent investment which will work for you for years.


While Macs have always been the preferred computer of graphic designers and other creative individuals, for most corporate office work, PCs have long been favored over Macs. For this reason, PCs still dominate in most business settings.
Up until a few years ago, the major software designed for business suites, like the Microsoft Suite, was designed chiefly for PCs. However, the popularity of other Apple products such as the iPod and iPad has started to change the way Macs are perceived in the larger corporate world. Most business software now has versions available for both Macs and PCs. Because of their heftier price tag, Macs still have a long way to go in making a dent in the corporate world, although in terms of functionality they perform just as well as a PC.
Graphically, Macs have richer displays and a Linux based operating system that makes them ideal for manipulating complex information such as layered graphical displays. Photoshop was initially designed for the Mac. If you are buying a computer for use in a professionally creative setting, your coworkers will likely also be using Macs.


Computer programmers are evenly split on whether Macs or PCs make better programming tools. The truth is, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. Macs developed a comprehensive suite of developer tools with their OS 10 which, if used properly, can help you get to the moon. PCs have always been oriented toward programming; in fact, the DOS/Windows interface was developed mainly as a way to stay competitive with the user friendly Mac interface. However, many programmers have complained that Macs are slower than PCs when it comes down to executing large amounts of freshly programmed code.

Personal Use

If you enjoy playing video games in your spare time, buying a PC is probably the best choice. This is partly because PCs are easier to hook up to auxiliary equipment like television sets or other devices. Although USB ports are evenly distributed between Macs and PC, the higher data transfer portals of a Mac do not always adapt easily to most conventional televisions, making it difficult to quickly relay information between the two devices, whereas the higher data transfer portals of a PC are usually very adaptable to auxiliary devices.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to design or develop creative projects in your personal time, Macs are a much better choice. Because Apple has invested so much time in making the user interface incredibly easy to use, spending time creating music or drawing or editing movies becomes less about the computer and more about the activity; you forget you are using a computer, and can instead focus on the act of creation. PCs have a more rigid approach; it’s hard to forget that you’re on a computer.

Cloud Computing and the Future of Virtualization

Of course, with the tech community excited about the potential of cloud computing, computer memory is going to become less of an issue, with flexibility, mobility, and processing speed becoming increasingly important when making purchasing decisions. Mac’s suite of mobile devices are far better adapted to shifting between different geographical areas while also offering enough functionality to make them viable business tools. However, for now you should buy the computer that best suits your needs, and plan on the inevitable: no matter what you buy now, in a few years it will be completely outdated anyway!

PC Troubleshooting Tips

Why is My PC Crashing? 

Nothing can put a damper on productivity quite like a computer that crashes on a regular basis. Sometimes, a crash is preceded by the dreaded “blue screen of death” or another warning; other times, a computer simply shuts off without any warning at all. In either case, the end result is a whole lot of frustration, aggravation and lost work. If your computer has been crashing frequently, you’d probably like to put an end to it. Unfortunately, getting to the bottom of things if often easier said than done. The following tips about improving your computer’s performance, though, are excellent places to begin.

Possibility 1: Corrupted System Registry Files

Every Windows-based PC has something called a Windows registry. The registry contains several files that are integral to the performance and operation of your computer. Over time, some of those files can become corrupted, be misplaced or get lost altogether. When that happens, the system registry becomes compromised – and frequent crashes are all-too-common symptoms. The best way to rule this possibility in or out is by running a Windows registry cleaning program. Such programs scan your Windows registry for problems then automatically make repairs. If you run a registry cleaner and the crashes persist, they are probably being caused by a different issue.

Possibility 2: Disorganized Files

Windows operating systems handle file organization in a way that isn’t very intuitive. Basically, they break files up and fit them into gaps in the computer’s memory. As time goes by, these disorganized files can prompt frequent crashes. Luckily, a great optimization solution is built right into Windows-based PCs: the disk defragmentation utility. Although its location on a computer varies, you can generally locate it within the System and Security section inside the Control Panel. By running a defrag once every few months, you may be able to keep those pesky computer crashes at bay.

Possibility 3: Malicious Software

Malicious software can take many different forms. Sometimes, it’s a virus that is accidentally unleashed after opening a strange email; other times, its adware that tags along with other information that is automatically downloaded from a website. Whatever type it is, there’s no question that malicious software can wreak havoc on a computer’s performance. Happily, there are many topnotch programs out there that regularly scan your computer for the presence of such problems – and that help guard against them, too. Buy one, install it and use it regularly; your crash issues may come to an end.

Possibility 4: Too Little Available Memory

When you buy a new computer, it feels like there’s no end to the amount of memory that it has. Of course, this isn’t true at all. As never-ending as the available memory on your PC may initially seem, the fact is that it can be depleted with incredible speed. You can find out for sure by checking the information within “My Computer.” If it appears that your available memory is low, you can use a PC cleanup program to remove unnecessary files; such programs remove things like temporary Internet files and other file debris that can suck away much-needed memory.

Possibility 5: Overheating

If you’ve run through all of the preceding possibilities and continue experiencing frequent crashes, a hardware issue could be to blame. An easy one to rule out is overheating. A computer’s CPU, or central processing unit, includes a fan that is designed to keep it running cool. Sometimes, the fan wears down and doesn’t work as efficiently; other times, it’s just not able to handle the work that your computer has to do. In either case, buying a bigger, better fan isn’t very expensive. If it puts an end to your PC crashing problem, it will have been more than worth it.

Don’t Put Up with Frequent Crashes!

As discussed, frequent computer crashes can be triggered by a wide variety of issues. Luckily, many of these issues are relatively easy to remedy. Work your way through the preceding list; chances are, you’ll be able to pinpoint the problem and put an effective cure to work. Nine times out of ten, a computer simply needs a little bit of routine maintenance to get it back on track again. In the future, keep these points in mind. Any time you buy a new computer, keep up with its basic maintenance right from the get-go. By doing that, you could avoid “blue screen of death” and crashing problems altogether – and that’s something that you’re bound to appreciate!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Security Tips

How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses

With millions of computer users browsing the web at any given time, there are plenty of targets for malicious coders. While computer experts don’t always know why coders choose to build harmful computer programs, the fact is that it happens all the time. Computer viruses can steal personal information, interfere with normal operations, attract spam and even shut down your computer’s hard drive. Protecting your computer is critical for browsing success.


Start With the Basics

Most computer systems come with security features already in place. For example, the Windows operating system is packaged with Microsoft Windows Security Center. When you first open, boot up and register a new computer, you should make sure that this program is functioning. It will give basic protection against spyware, viruses and malware. In addition, a basic firewall is built into this program, providing additional protection and stops for potentially harmful programs. Upon activation, don’t be surprised if your security system needs immediate updating. Software that protects your computer needs regular and consistent updating to stay useful. Viruses are constantly being generated and the several-month lag between when your computer was made and when you first started using it can mean that the database the security system is loaded with is severely out-of-date.

Upgrade to Meet Your Needs

Many people operate computers for a long time with only basic protection in place. However, heavy computer users or those who have risky browsing habits can sometimes benefit from upgrading their virus, spyware and malware protection, as well as using a fuller-featured firewall; this is especially important if you use a networked computer system. Basic or free virus protection will still scan and update for viruses. Paid programs, however, offer more features, including ease-of-use and convenience features. The most important thing is to verify the publisher and make sure you are getting what is promised. Most well-known virus protection programs, such as AVG and Norton Security, have reviews available to help you make your choice.

Learn About Spyware Risks

Spyware creates risks that many computer users are not aware of. If you are only protecting against viruses, you could be leaving your computer open to damage. Most people are familiar with spyware that initiates and attracts annoying ad programs. Spyware, however, can be much more malicious as well. Your shopping habits can be tracked by spyware. While not exactly harmful, some people consider this a breach of privacy. The worst spyware programs interfere with normal operations and can even track what you type, sending personal information to people who want to steal your identity. Some spyware redirects your browser to different web addresses, increasing your risks of virus infection and fraud.

How Viruses Work

The main difference between spyware and viruses is how they are spread. A virus reproduces itself and attaches to any document that the computer sends, while spyware can be stored as a cookie or tracking code. A virus is most often found traveling with a piece of computer software, such as a document, picture or piece of music. When dealing with email, it is necessary to open an attachment to become infected, indicating that, in most cases, the computer user must somehow invite the malicious software to replicate on their system. Of course, most people have no idea it is there or what is happening. Some of the sneakiest and most harmful viruses actually masquerade as virus protection software, making them extremely hard to detect. Because of this, it’s crucial to be familiar with your particular virus protection program and know what it looks like and what the normal scripts and prompts are during operation. Viruses do some of the same things that spyware does; they just accomplish it differently. An active virus can steal personal information, generate ads or shut down your system, including the very virus protection programs that can fix the issue.

Take Steps For Protection

Like anything, the best way to protect against viruses is to be educated. Become familiar with what malicious software may look like. If you get an email or are asked to download a file that you don’t recognize or looks suspicious, do your homework. Research virus protection, spyware, malware and firewall programs and use them to their fullest capacity. Set the software to update and scan automatically to make sure that the system is constantly monitored. In addition, regularly check on the databases published by various virus protection services; many will provide lists of symptoms and risks, as well as the standard way the file gains access for no cost to the public.

Computer Tips & Tricks

How to Improve Your Computer’s Performance

Tips for Speeding Up Your PC


    Few things are as frustrating as dealing with a slow, sluggish computer. When a computer is brand new, it works wonderfully well. Over time, though, its performance can slowly begin to worsen. This happens for a number of reasons, but the biggest culprits are things like spyware, adware and other computer threats that are unwittingly downloaded along with other content while online. You don’t have to download thousands of MP3s, movies or other items to experience these problems, either – nobody is immune to them. Instead of accepting the situation, there are plenty of techniques and strategies that you can use to make it better – a few of the best ones are outlined below.

Strategy #1: Clean Your Computer’s Windows Registry

The biggest cause of slow, sluggish PC performance is errors and problems within its Windows registry. Adware, spyware and other threats usually target the registry, damaging or misplacing important files within it. When it comes to PC cleaning, a daily Windows registry cleaning should be at the top of your list of priorities. However, this should never be done manually – there are too many opportunities for major errors that could seriously damage your PC’s operating system. Instead, invest in a high-quality Windows registry cleanup program and configure it to run once per day – you won’t believe the difference that it makes.

Strategy #2: Remove Unneeded Files

Every time you log on to the Internet or otherwise use your computer, temporary files are generated. They are usually only needed once; however, they don’t disappear on their own. Instead, they accumulate over time until they are cluttering up your computer’s file system and affecting its performance. While it’s possible to remove these files one-by-one, it’s much easier and quicker to use a PC cleaning tool that’s designed for the purpose. Try to do so about one time per week to keep your computer humming along with ease.

Strategy #3: Remove Unneeded Programs

Like many people, you probably download and try out many different programs each month. How many of them do you actually end up using on a regular basis? Chances are, not very many of them. By getting into the habit of uninstalling unused and unneeded programs, you can keep your computer’s file system a lot less cluttered. In turn, your PC’s performance will improve dramatically. You can optimize your computer in this way by using its Add/Remove Programs feature. Its location varies by operating system, but you should be able to find it somewhere in the Control Panel.

Strategy #4: Empty the Recycle Bin

When you click “delete” on a file or a program, it doesn’t go away for good – not immediately, anyway. Instead, it sits in a kind of purgatory in your computer’s Recycle Bin. As things pile up in the Recycle Bin, your computer can start exhibiting some very annoying problems. If sluggish startups and frequent crashes are occurring with increasing frequency – and your computer’s recycle bin is very full – go ahead and empty it. From then on, get into the habit of doing so about one time per week. This small but important strategy can make a huge difference.

Strategy #5: Perform a Disk Defragmentation

Windows isn’t very efficient when it comes to storing files. It actually splits them up, depositing them into whatever spaces are available. The more spaced apart the pieces of a file are, the harder your computer has to work to make them run. The Windows disk defragmentation system tune-up utility works to piece all of those files back together again. The process is a long one, though, and only needs to be done about four times per year. Set it up to run automatically once every three months. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your computer running in tiptop shape.
When it comes to keeping your computer running optimally, small but regular maintenance is the best way to go. Protecting your PC only does so much; even the most careful Internet users in the world unintentionally download malicious software from time to time. By using basic system tune-up tools, cleaning your computer’s Windows registry regularly, performing regular file-cleaning maintenance and otherwise optimizing your PC, you should be able to keep it in like-new condition for a lot longer. Even if your computer has been performing slowly for some time, beginning this regimen is sure to produce results. In the end, you’ll be able to enjoy a computer that flies along – instead of one that spins its wheels.