Start Clean in 2013: Tips for increasing performance on your computer

Speed. That’s the name of the game. We want things to work and we want them to work now. We tend to overlook how complicated our computers are when we’re used to seeing everything work flawlessly. We want that fast car on the open highway. We never want to wait in line. We even rush our shipping. So, why should our PCs be any different? Don’t be discouraged if your system has gradually begun to slow down. User these guidelines to improve performance and get your computer out of a rut:

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1. Make sure your system is running clean– infections, besides causing actual physical damage, can cripple your computer by running numerous unnecessary processes and enabling proxies to redirect your internet connection. Having a form of security software will greatly reduce your chances of infections. Keep in mind, however, that  an increasing number of cyber attacks implement the creative use of phishes– using jargon to entice you to click a link, open an attachment, or otherwise grant permission to an outside user voluntarily.

2. Update, update, update! Microsoft has updates for most known issues as they arise and are brought to their attention. Whether patching holes or resolving security vulnerabilities, Microsoft updates generally improve PC performance.

3. Most users have no idea that when their system first boots into Windows, a myriad of programs are set to load the minute you see your desktop. Adobe updaters, Google Desktop, AIM, Skype, Weatherbug, etc etc. While some users are aware and enabled these programs at startup, the majority of users are either unaware or do not use some of these items that delay processing speed. Disabling startup items can help alleviate long loading times.

4. Never underestimate a good scrubbing! You accumulate junk on your system like a car gathers sediments through it’s air filter. Be sure to clean out your cookies and empty your Recycle Bin, for starters. If you no longer use a game or program on your system, do yourself a favor and uninstall them properly. This will keep your registry clean and minimize any hangups or errors as a result of fragmented files from faulty uninstalls.

5. You want to make sure that you are protected at all times. But… having Norton Antivirus, McAfee, Spyware Doctor, Super-Antispyware & ACME Virus Defense active on your computer at one time is the equivalent of  putting a 350 engine inside of  a Volkswagen Beetle– You may just get away with it, but everybody can tell you’re overcompensating. As a result of said overcompensation, your computer will barely have enough processing power left to run iTunes. While we do understand the want to run second-opinion software to verify results, keep in mind that Antimalware/Antivirus software can be quite demanding on resources when scanning.

6. An often criminally overlooked disk utility tool  is the Disk Defragmenter.   The purpose of this program is to reallocate system files scattered across your computer as a result of the creation and deletion of multiple programs and temporary files. Running this scan monthly will provide a noticeable boost in performance.

7. Your system’s registry can be described as a database of every system setting and configuration available. If there are leftover settings from programs that were uninstalled, it can affect your system’s response time and can even cause your computer to crash. Attempting to manually edit and clean up your registry is a bad idea– As an aspiring young tech and Antimalware sleuth, the author of this article mistakenly deleted the “Volatile Environment” folder in the registry because it just didn’t sound favorable, and that computer never turned on again. A registry cleaner, which is oftentimes included in system optimizer software, should suit you well enough.

8. Both Windows and Mac OS come with performance options that enables navigation through their desktops to include an increase in graphical flair(Aerodesktop and Expose’, respectively). While entertaining and flashy, they are not necessary and, depending on what you do with your system, it may be lowering overall performance at the expense of being grandiose.  You’ll thank yourself later for disabling some of those performance options soon.

9. We’ve addressed the software side of your computer, but what about the physical computer? The fan inside of your desjtop or laptop constantly draws in air to cool off the CPU and components the minute you press the power button.  Should this fan become clogged with dust, pet dander or particles as a result of being placed near or on a carpet, your computer may run more sluggishly. Eventually, without addressing the blockage, you can burn out your power supply, fan, or components. A can of compressed air will free some of the sediment around your computer and keyboard and keep your system running better.

10. If you still can’t crack the case of the frozen computer, feel free to drop a comment on this post detailing your issue. We’ll provide some direction and a recommendation for enhancing performance!

Happy New Year from Secure The World! Let us help you clean the slate for your system so you can start the new year strong. Stay safe!

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