Useful Info

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Many computers that now run slowly, but "used to be faster",  are the result of startup programs and malware. The startup programs start, of course, when the computer starts (or boots) up. That little tidbit of information comes from the old saying, "pull yourself up by the bootstraps", for those of us that like to know such things. Most software, when installed, puts itself in the Windows startup folder. So you can see how, over the course of time, the more downloaded screensavers, pointers and cool lookin' themes you have can really start to add up. Just using those particular programs as examples though, it could be many other programs as well.

Malware is a broad name for just about everything else that isn't a computer virus but still affects your computer negatively. Anything from screen saver downloads to smiley faces can be the cause of malware. All that cool free stuff comes with a price sometimes. If downloading and installing these types of programs make sure to check all the boxes that are "pre-checked" and see if maybe it doesn't have to be installed as well. A good malware defense program is Malwarebytes (get it? malware bites :) that should be run weekly or even a couple times a week if you happen to download more. Malwarebytes is a great program which can be downloaded here. 

There are many good anti-virus programs available as well. Of course there is Norton and McAfee, the big boys, but there is also AVG, Avira and Avast which have free versions and work quite well. The large corporations feel it is in their best interest to have as much anti-virus protection, in as many computers, as possible. The thinking is that the more virus protection used out in the World, the better off THEY will be in the long run. Works for me :) Avast anti-virus can be downloaded here.