Helpful Ways To Speed Up Your PC

Let me ask you a very simple question; is your PC running quick enough for you? If not allow me to show you how to speed up your PC.

Or are you spending too many extra seconds or even minutes staring into cyber space waiting for the page to load? It can be very frustrating and time consuming.

So why is this happening to your system?

imagesWell there are of course lots and lots of reasons why this could be happening, and although you might think that it is normal behaviour of which you have become so accustom to and have accepted for what it is. Be very aware that it is not normal to have a slow PC and a slow internet connection; you need to rectify it as soon as possible. Without meaning to scaremonger people, you could have been the victim of a malicious system hack and be riddled with computer viruses.

Always be very cautious when downloading anything from the internet, even updating your system with familiar named resources can compromise your computers capacity to run smoothly.

So what must you do?

Firstly, and probably the most important thing to do is to have regular system backups in place. Ideally this should be done on a weekly basis or if you use your PC a lot then even daily. There are automation programs out there which will do this for you, should you ever forget. Personally I use Drop box for all my data files and HD Clone for backing up my hard drive, and these are free.

So with the backup in place it is time to see exactly why your computer is slow to start up. It is a good idea to check through your msconfig file and take a look at the start up tab to see what is running in the background when you start your PC. Basically here you can tick and untick exactly what you want running, but always keep things like your antivirus software ticked. Remember that the less you have ticked the quicker the computer will start. If within this index you do not recognise anything then untick it, this could be a key logging program. If in any doubt at all simply Google the name to see what it is and if it is necessary, this is the best and easiest way to find out if the program is suspect or not. Then still within msconfig check out the services tab and in the same way uncheck what you feel do not need or recognise, but again keep the antivirus ticked. Also here be careful not to untick any licences you have with things like Apple for instance, as this may stop them working properly. To save these settings click the apply button.

Another good idea is to check out how much memory is being used on your computer, we do this by checking through the task manager program built into your machine. In order to get the task manager up simple pres these three keys at the same time, ctrl, alt & delete and then choose the task manager key. Go to the performance page and check the memory on your system, you will see some green bars and four black and green graphs in the display. The amount of memory being used must obviously be less than the physical amount of memory on your PC. If this is not the case the system will grind to a halt because you are using too much ram. This causes the hard drive to supplement the physical ram, which will slow everything down. The CPU usage should be fluctuating in small amounts between 10% and 30% anything higher than this could mean you have something like an anti virus or defrag program running in the background, this is quite normal if the computer has just been switched on. If the CPU usage is still high after the machine has been on for a while then you will need to check out the processes tab. This tab will show what is using up your ram. You can end any process that is using too much ram by right clicking on it and selecting end process. Tread carefully here because you are looking for once again programs that look suspect and need to be removed from the computer. If after investigation you find an incriminating file then unfortunately the best and safest way to clean it up is to reinstall your operating system and choose the re format hard disk option. This is the reason for always backing your system up regularly, and running a good antivirus software program such as Kaspersky.

With regard to antivirus software, it is always a good idea to avoid the free online security packages; these will almost certainly slow your system down. Besides they are free for a reason, paid versions will do a whole lot more and not eat into the memory as much.

There are a few more ways to speed up your computer on a regular basis, for the less technical amongst us these are highlighted below.

It amazes me how few people regularly defragment there drives. Regardless of which Windows desktop operating system you use, make sure you either manually defragment or set the machine up to automatically defragment. The performance of your computer will drop considerably if this is not done. Usually, the built-in Windows defrag tool works fine.

Have you ever filled up a disk to 100%? If that disk contains both your operating system and your data files, your machine is going to come to a screeching halt. One of the first things people check on a machine that is running slowly is how much of the hard disk has been used. One of the tools I like is CCleaner. It quickly clears out all temporary files for you and anything else you ask it to such as cookies, stored internet passwords. So I suggest that before you run the program check exactly what it will be cleaning up on your system. CCleaner will also clean out your registry issues for you as an optional choice.

If you are using a Windows operating system you should definitely have an anti-malware, spyware program on your machine. I recommend using a program called Malwarebytes. Simply run the free quick scan and see what, if any, errors come up. You may or may not want to get rid of whatever the program finds; again do a Google search if you are at all unsure of what has been found to be malware.

You will find this useful too http://helpfulimsolutions.com/blog-defender/

 

Don’t Get Hacked

So what would you do if your WordPress blog or website got hacked?

Well in this day and age it is  regular occurance, infact 75% of websites have been hacked and comprimised in some way shape or form. But the most amazing thing is, that a lot of blog owners do not even realise it has happend until it is too late!The first you know could be when you receive an email from your web host that your account has been suspended, or worse yet, closed down entirely! Or even worse your  site has been hacked for a while and you’ve not noticed, Google probably has, and they will have dropped it out of the SERPS (Search Engine Rankings).
Or even more scary, if you’re site has been used for a “phishing” attack to gather other people’s online banking or PayPal login information, one of the more common exploits, then you could be about to get a call from the real world authorities, the Police!

So, you need to lock down your site for sure right now, wordpress or otherwise.

Without sounding too salesy and pushy, because that certainly isn’t what Helpful IM Solutions is about, there is a brand new product just released my good friend matt garrett that will show and guide you through the process of securing your WordPress blog as well as your own computer itself.

It is a simple to follow step by step video tutorial guide that leaves no stone unturned. We highly recommend you at least take a look because it could and almost certainly will prevent you losing all of your hard work as a website owner and developer.

So go and check out Blog Defender for yourself.

 

Securing Your Computer System

Securing Your Computer System

Computer_security : 3d illustration of laptop computer locked with chains and padlock Stock Photo Today, more and more people are using their computers for everything from communication to online banking and investing to shopping.  As we do these things on a more regular basis, we open ourselves up to potential hackers, attackers and crackers.  While some may be looking to phish your personal information and identity for resale, others simply just want to use your computer as a platform from which to attack other unknowing targets.  Below are a few easy, cost-effective steps you can take to make your computer more secure.

  1. Always make backups of important information and store in a safe place separate from your computer.
  2. Update and patch your operating system, web browser and software frequently.  If you have a Windows operating system, start by going to www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and running the update wizard.  This program will help you find the latest patches for your Windows computer.  Also go to www.officeupdate.microsoft.com to locate possible patches for your Office programs.
  3. Install a firewall.  Without a good firewall, viruses, worms, Trojans, malware and adware can all easily access your computer from the Internet.  Consideration should be given to the benefits and differences between hardware and software based firewall programs.
  4. Review your browser and email settings for optimum security.  Why should you do this?  Active-X and JavaScript are often used by hackers to plant malicious programs into your computers.  While cookies are relatively harmless in terms of security concerns, they do still track your movements on the Internet to build a profile of you.  At a minimum set your security setting for the “internet zone” to High, and your “trusted sites zone” to Medium Low.
  5. Install antivirus software and set for automatic updates so that you receive the most current versions.
  6. Do not open unknown email attachments.  It is simply not enough that you may recognize the address from which it originates because many viruses can spread from a familiar address.
  7. Do not run programs from unknown origins.  Also, do not send these types of programs to friends and coworkers because they contain funny or amusing stories or jokes.  They may contain a Trojans horse waiting to infect a computer.
  8. Disable hidden filename extensions.  By default, the Windows operating system is set to “hide file extensions for known file types”.  Disable this option so that file extensions display in Windows.  Some file extensions will, by default, continue to remain hidden, but you are more likely to see any unusual file extensions that do not belong.
  9. Turn off your computer and disconnect from the network when not using the computer.  A hacker can not attack your computer when you are disconnected from the network or the computer is off.
  10. Consider making a boot disk on a floppy disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised by a malicious program.  Obviously, you need to take this step before you experience a hostile breach of your system.