Lately, one of my friend asked me to cure his ill computer. He has Lenovo laptop with Microsoft Windows.
It's bad habit of computer vendors, supplying their products with a lot of bloatware, which starts after logon, is useless mostly and cause just poor performance, privacy leaks and other security risks. When such device use inexperience user, the problem gets even bigger, for he is not aware of so called special offers which is bloatware packed with many popular apps.
Thus becomes, that our Joe quite unnoticeably runs three different antiviruses, including McAfee bloatware and also some anti spyware tools, but even though he catches a really nasty virus, which encrypts all his personal files and leaves just image where it kindly asks for ransom money.
Luckily, our Joe does not had any important files on his machine, so it wasn't a big deal. But it was first case after a long time period, when I dealt with virus. More often, the problems are caused by antiviruses.
You see, the antivirus is like police. It runs on your computer above your priviledges and controls all you do. Sometimes disallow you to do something and other time just slows you down. But it sometimes acts more like gangsters. You can get it for free, but in that case, it'll scare you that you are unprotected, until you gave some money, so you pay for protection, but it's more like pay for not being scared of, because eventually, you'll get some virus anyway.
I stoped using antivirus on my Windows machine several years ago, after serious troubles, which were caused by antivirus, like it wiped out rundl.dll etc. I wasn't infected by computer virus since I remember. Last time probably on Windows XP, maybe even Windows 98. I really don't know.
I simply ignore suspicious emails, use safe internet browser, don't click on banners like "be rich in 5 seconds" or "10 tips to increase your ... satisfaction" or "Brad Pitt has one gray hair ... in his nose", because I don't care. I even disabled autorun function, because I've never liked it, and thanks to this, I wasn't infected by autorun viruses, which were big trouble back in Windows XP.
The computer is similar to your body. If you don't know it, don't care of it properly, you will get troubles. And antiviruses and various performance boosters are just painkillers.
Ironically, most of the geeks who know how to care for computer, does not know the same about their body and vice versa. But I don't think it's so much difficult.
You just need to follow simple rules:
- if you receive email from someone and it is writen in unusuall language, which seems like computer translated, and it is not typical for that person, you better ignore it, even if it promise free donuts,
- if some application or web page promise too much for too little, it's beeter to make some research, if it isn't a scam,
- you shall not use any computer boosters, registry cleaners, magic potions or daemon exorcists, except Piriform's CCleaner,
- you will not believe in all messages which warns you that your computer is at risk or runs slow. The bad guys realized that we have a weakness, which force us automatically click on such messages and accept all it's OK buttons to get rid of it.
There might be more good advices, but these are the basic. It isn't too hard to distinguish between false and good, its similar to life. If someone has too much jewels and acts aggressively, he's probably a crook*.
*This sentence does not meant to address the teleshopping legend Horst Fuchs, whose kitchen knives are certainly able to cut through other knives.