Tips on how to keep your Computer Safe and Clean
Many, one way or the other, want to intrude to your computer and to your privacy, or damage your files or system. It has become very difficult to make it through on the Internet. These tips will show you how to keep your computer safe and clean, as much as possible, and how to fix your system.
You should start with new clean Windows installation before accessing the Internet, otherwise start from this point on. Installing anti-virus, anti-adware, anti-spyware, firewall and security, system repair, registry fixer, and other utilities Software, is helpful, but it will limit, and will not totally solve Internet intrusions and System malfunction. Latest windows versions come with better security, but even the System and Anti-Virus and Security Software collect some information.1A- The simplest way, is to use System Restore to make restore points continuously (before accessing the internet), After few days restore your computer to the last restore point, and make a new restore point. This way you will stay with a clean up to date Windows Installation as much as possible, removing most Internet intrusions and interferences and System malfunction. If you suspect any Virus or Intrusion, restore right away. Also system restore will confuse some trackers and spyware and viruses if present.
1B- Along with System Restore, create a new Limited User Account or best a Guest Account. This should be the Account you use to access the Internet. Login to the Account, do all the settings needed, and Logout and Login to Administrator Account. Copy the User Account Folder to another place or an external Disk. Periodically, if your system allows you, Delete that User Account Folder and Copy Back the Backup Folder in its place, or just Delete periodically that Account and make new one for internet access, or delete all Accounts and make new ones.
After you access the internet, always delete Temp files and Temporary Internet Files and Cookies, and any suspicious files, before you shut down the computer. You can do it from your Web Browser, but to be able to best delete them, especially temp files which your browser won't delete, you will have to long on to other account and delete them. Deleting these files before shutting down is a great precaution, for intruders will alter the registry to be able to access these files on next startup.
2 - The 2nd recommended way is to Make Backups, of System Sate, Users Folders, Program Files, entire Hard Disk, or best a System Image, depending on how much space you have - to other Folders, or to External Flash or Hard Disk. Restore as needed in case of intrusions or System malfunction, or periodically. An external USB Hard Drive is a must to make a System Image or Backup Hard Drive, which can restore everything back. Many Laptops and Desktops come with a Utility to make Recovery Disks which will restore System and Files to their original shipped state, and may be purchased separately, but Windows System Image restore is enough. When Restoring, plug in the external USB Hard Drive before turning the computer on, then Restore on Startup before Windows Starts, by pressing F8 or F7 or ESC depending on the computer, otherwise the USB Hard Drive may pick up viruses if present. This option may not be available on Windows XP, but you can get a 3rd party software, or just do it from Windows but by plugging the USB Hard Disk before turning the computer on.
3 - The 3rd way (advanced), is to Install Windows twice, or 2 different Versions of Windows, on 2 separate Disks partitions. Work on one and make Copy and Backup and fixes and restore from the other, or vice versa (at boot, you get option which Windows to Launch).
The best way is to work on one Windows Installation, and access the Internet from the other one.
4- Make also a Recovery Boot Disk to fix and restore system in case you cannot start your system.
Making a System image, or Backups, or Installing Windows Twice, will keep you from reinstalling Windows again whether from Internet intrusion or System Crash. You must also have a separate backup just for your files.
Always Logon to the Internet with a Limited User Account, and best with a Guest Account, not with an Administrator Account. Use a Password on all accounts.
If you install new programs and wants to keep it, or if you make System Changes, make a new restore point or backup before accessing the Internet. Many Software from not known Download Sites, may include Viruses or Spyware or Adware. If suspected from a software after installation, or decided not to keep it, uninstall it first, then restore the System using the methods above; uninstalling the Software is not enough for it may keep Spyware or Adware behind. Before installing a software, always check if the Software is listed and tested on major download sites, using search; even some listed Software track their data and other data. Many viruses come through Chat Sessions, it its essential to restore the computer after chat sessions.
Run msconfig.exe periodically. Make screen shot of the Startup List and Services List, excluding Windows Services, and check against them periodically to see if there is any new added startup processes or services.
Many Software and Web Sites also wants to get some information from your Computer. Therefore these Tips are essential to keep them away from your privacy, and protect your files and system. Some spyware are smart and can reside permanently on your system, therefore the ultimate way is to keep your old computer to access the Internet, or access it from a phone or tablet.
Last Updated December 4, 2015