Thursday, September 30, 2010

Computer Maintenance: Part Three

Welcome to the final installment of the Computer Maintenance series. Part three will discuss a small battery of defenses that can be installed to help round out the protection to your computer. These are merely suggestions. Many IT professionals have patterns and techniques that work. This article lays out a plan that has proven successful in 99.4% of computers serviced by the author’s consultation firm, Delaware Valley Tech Rescue.

The computer has been physically cleaned and firewall and anti-virus are installed and running. Now it’s time to place the finishing touches on the computer utilizing the following FREE utilities.

SpywareBlaster – SpywareBlaster is an invaluable tool and is available through Java Cool Software ( After installing the program, be sure and run the updater so that the definitions can be updated. Then be sure to enable protection for all items. SpywareBlaster does not need to be opened to run and it will work completely unnoticed by the user. It protects the computer from a database of malicious websites that contain content that could be harmful to the computer.

Spybot Search & Destroy – Created by Safer-Networking (, Spybot S&D also maintains a database of big bad websites. Besides updating the database regularly, you also must run the immunization module to place the new databases into effect. This program also comes with a scanner so if you feel that you might be infected then you can scan the computer. The added bonus is that this program builds a HOSTS file automatically to be sure that the websites in the database cannot push their wares through to your environment.

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware – MalwareBytes is a great addition to your protection scheme and like Spybot S&D, it needs to be updated regularly and then scanned if you feel there is a problem. It can be downloaded by the vendor ( MalwareBytes has actually been known for finding issues that other scanners do not pick up and therefore has become an industry favorite. Keep in mind that MalwareBytes and Spybot S&D should be updated and scanned about once per week just to be sure that there are no issues brewing. There are many malicious packages out there that will not load immediately and can lay dormant.

There are no guarantees that any program will win over all the malicious objects floating around the Internet and sometimes, it takes different combinations of resources to rid the computer of the infestation. If used properly, these three programs can aid the anti-virus and firewall in keeping the operating environment safe and efficient. If a more severe problem is discovered then consult with a professional computer technician as most cases, severe as they can be, are able to be cleaned without drastic measures.

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