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Jerika Ann Elevera and Ralph Manaay[1]

Jerika Ann Elevera and Ralph Manaay[1]

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Published by darkmagician27

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Published by: darkmagician27 on Aug 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Jerika Ann Elevera and Ralph Manaay
Security and Performance Issues
The dangers of computer viruses are often discussed, but you may not be aware of other hazards that can jeopardize your  privacy, damage your files, and cause frustrating downtime. Fortunately, implementing some simple strategies can not only secure your computer and help keep your data safe, butcan make your computer work faster and more efficiently.This topic:
Suggests repairs and preventative measures that can both protect your computer and help improve its speed,stability, and efficiency.
Where appropriate, provides links to descriptions of the System Mechanic tool that can help solve or prevent theissue.
Clutter Issues
. Risks posed by unneeded files
Reduction in processing
. Unneeded files consume memory and take up drive space. Instead of focusing on processing the services you really need, your computer is using resources to process useless items.
Recurrent crashes and lock-ups
. A glut of unnecessary files increases drive fragmentation, which burdens thehard drive. With an excessive amount of debris, Windows can start to behave in unusual ways, includinglocking up or crashing.
Endangered privacy
. Anyone who has access to your computer can see the Web sites you have visited andeasily open files you have deleted.
Erase temporary files
. Simply deleting files from your Web browser cache or temporary directories does notcompletely erase these tracks. Most security advisers recommend using software that can thoroughly clean outcookies, temporary Internet files, and cache files.
Empty the Recycle Bin
. Windows stores deleted items in the Recycle Bin for easy recovery and as you work on your computer, these deleted files quickly accumulate. Periodically empty the Recycle Bin to reclaimvaluable hard drive space.
 Note: Items left in the Recycle Bin also pose a privacy risk because these files can be easily retrieved. Whereconfidentiality is critical, not only empty the Recycle Bin, but also use a data wiping program to thoroughlyobliterate data.
Remove unneeded files and programs
. Occasionally review the data you have saved and installed. Delete thedocuments and files you no longer want and uninstall programs you are no longer using. Consider archivingrarely used files to a CD or other removable media.
Speed Issues
Risks posed by speed and performance drains
Slow boot times
. Various programs and services are set to load when Windows loads. Some of these programs,such as antivirus protection, are desired, but many are useless and needlessly slowing the time it takes to startyour computer.
Reduction in processing
. When hard drives and system memory become fragmented, computer performanceis significantly slowed. Files take longer to open and programs take longer to start.
System and file damage
. Highly fragmented files are more prone to becoming corrupt. A highly fragmentedhard drive places more strain on the heads, which in severe cases can lead to a head crash and a loss of data.
Exposure to infections
. Trojans (malicious software) might also be loading at startup. Trojans are usuallydesigned to load when you restart your computer.
Defragment your hard drive and system memory
. Defragmenting your hard drives reorganizes scattereddata, which helps boost file access speed and extends the life of the drive. Defragmenting system memoryreclaims valuable memory and helps improve PC efficiency and speed.
Defragment and compact the registry
. Defragmenting and compacting the registry restructures registryentries and removes blocks of unused space, which helps improve the efficiency and speed of registry processing.
Remove unneeded services from startup
. Eliminate startup items that are unnecessary. Removing theseunneeded performance drains will help boost your PC's speed, particularly the time it takes to boot, and willeliminate potentially dangerous programs.
Periodically restart your computer
. If you tend to always leave your computer on, restart it occasionally toclear out stagnant programs that may be unnecessarily using system memory.
Security Issues
. Risks posed by malicious software
Reduction in processing
. Infections can cripple a system and bring processing to a halt. Viruses can makechanges to the vital registry, causing system slowdowns and crashes.
Lost files
. Your files - treasured photos, valuable music, important financial records - can all be destroyed if your computer becomes infected.
System and file damage
. Viruses are designed to alter the operation of a computer. In addition to damagingfiles, viruses can harm your registry, your operating system, and even your hardware.
Data and identity theft
. Trojans can enable the theft of any data saved on your computer, including bankingand credit card information, passwords, address books, and other private information.
Financial risk 
. The monetary cost of recovering from data loss or identity theft can be devastating.
Spreading of infections to others
. You can unknowingly spread viral infections to your friends, family, and business associates just by sending an email or leaving your computer unattended. Hackers can secretly takecontrol of your PC and use it to attack and infect other computers.
Use a firewall
. A firewall is vital to secure Internet activity. A firewall puts up a barrier against hackers andother intruders, but allows the Internet access that you do want. Configure the firewall so that only the programs and Web sites you trust are allowed to pass through.
Use antivirus software
. Antivirus software is a must-have for anyone who uses the Internet. This software blocks computer infections and detects and removes any existing infections. Make sure you keep the virussignatures up to date for continual protection.
Patch known security flaws
. Many malicious programs exploit known security vulnerabilities in operatingsystems and browsers. Install the latest security patches, or use a specialized program that can automaticallyrepair these flaws.
Only download trusted programs
. Only download programs from trusted Web sites or refer to a trustedsource for information. Do not install software if you are not sure about it.
Back up important files, including the registry
. Establish and follow a schedule for regular backups of your data. Ideally, use a backup program that backs up all files, including programs and hidden operating systemfiles. Regular backups of the registry are also recommended to protect its critical settings.
Permanently erase deleted confidential data
. A file deleted through Windows is not completely erased; eventhough you can't see the file, someone using easily available tools can recover it and view its contents. For highly confidential data you have deleted, use data wiping software that completely erases all data remnants.

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