Is Your Computer Slow? A Few Tips

When your computer starts running slow, you might be surprised at the possible causes.

Your computer appears to have slowed down and you don’t know computers well enough to find out what to do. Before you begin to experiment with possible solutions yourself, check if you’re doing any of the following. Chances are, one of these is responsible for your slow down.

Downloading Or Installing On Your Computer What You Shouldn’t

Falling for persuasively presented malware or free downloads is not uncommon. Some people have a touching faith in their antivirus or security software. They feel that their computer is a fortress once they install it. In truth, security software can only offer some protection. There are simply too many pieces of no-name malware, Trojan and spyware out there for the security software to keep up. To be safe, people need to practice safe computing and understand what they’re doing.

Some threats come from scareware, for instance. Disreputable websites for poker or porn often contain these programs. They put a pop-up on your screen and claim to have found a number of security issues with your computer. The pop-up promises to fix them for $20. It would be okay if it only took your $20 and did nothing. In reality, though, they will often put a piece of malware on your computer in addition.

Many people fall for these because the scareware comes with a name that’s familiar to them – they’ve seen it advertised on television. They feel that criminals would surely not advertise. Sadly, they do. They advertise software to boost your computer’s speed, fix viruses and other mysterious errors and so on. It is never a good idea to install software that is sold on the pop-up.

Falling For the Toolbar or Similar Scams

As capable as modern browsers are, they can still be slowed down by ill-advised choices in toolbars and extensions. A toolbar is to a browser what an app is to a smartphone – it is software that helps you get specific often-used tasks done more quickly than if you used a general-purpose tool like a browser. While well-designed toolbars are useful, they tend to slow your computer down if you use too many of them.

There are many badly programmed ones, too. Many of these are even malware. Computer security software will often do nothing about these.

These toolbars and plug-ins usually get on your computer by piggybacking on other software that you try to install. When you install any software, you should be alert to whether the installer seeks your permission somewhere along the installation process to install the toolbar. Most people don’t notice what they are being asked and simply press Next. At other times, you get these malicious toolbars when the very software you install is malicious in nature.

If your computer appears to be slower than its normal self, you should look for new toolbars or buttons on your browsers. Your security software won’t uninstall them for you – you have to go to Programs and Features in the Control Panel, usually, to get rid of them.

What can makes many free downloads that are malware or contain malware even more difficult to detect or deal with is that they often offer a ‘terms or conditions of use’ statement that is long and complicated. You are suppose to ‘accept’ these terms and conditions to use the ‘free’ software or downloaded item. However, the ‘terms and conditions’ are so voluminous and complicated that many Web surfers just click ‘I accept’ and leave it at that. Unfortunately, within these terms and conditions you gave permission for the downloaded software to modify your computer … and unethical websites or marketers will take unfair advantage of that permission you agreed too. This is not to say that all ‘free’ downloads or software off the Web is a problem. But, there are some who prey on inexperienced Internet surfers.

Not Keeping Up With The Times – Old Computers and/or Software Not Updated

You can get a good basic laptop for $300 now (if not less). A computer like this is at least 10 times more capable than a $1500 computer from 2003. A surprising number of people hang on to expensive computers from the past running Windows XP.

Using these ancient computers, they wonder if their computer has a virus, because it doesn’t do even the things that it used to do well – like access the Internet smoothly.

Modern websites require considerably more computing resources than websites from 10 years ago did. A single modern web page could need as much as 125 MB of your computer’s memory to display properly, for instance. Modern browsers need more of your processor’s power to get going, as well. It’s no wonder then that older computers will often not even do the things they used to do well. Those things have changed.

Some people (such as the people at a repair shop who benefit from such advice) might suggest that you upgraded your old computer – get more RAM, and so on. If your computer is many years old, upgrading it would, in fact, be a waste of money – even if you could find the parts. An inexpensive new computer is often the best idea.

Also, many Internet users fail to keep their software updated. This includes important downloads for you operating system (your Windows program or whatever), your browser updates for IE or FireFox or whatever and even your updates for your firewall and/or virus protection program. Most of these update downloads are quick, easy and can even be set up to automatically occur. Often, when you buy a new computer, the sales people or their techs can set up these important updates to occur automatically at times that work for you (or set them up to occur when you first start the computer which can cause a delay on startup, but is nothing like the delays you can experience if your computer gets infected with malware and/or viruses.

Hopefully, some of this information helps you out. For more PC speed help, check out Fast PC Secrets.

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