Is your computer most of the time broken?stuck , or really slow and you blame it on virus ? and probably you take it to a shop to repair and they agree with you and charge a hefty sum to fix it?
well the good news is its not always a virus, and you dont have to pay much to be protected and be up and running, and the bad news is viruses isn't the only thing thats out there that can harm your computer.
So what steps can you take?
Step I : Get a good antivirus program
normally an antivirus program would be sufficient, but if you are surfing the internet frequently ,an internet security program is a must.
You could buy a good antivirus or internet security suite from any where in Sri Lanka nowadays,but being who we are, almost all of us would like to settle for something that is free.But if you take a moment, just think why some are to be sold while the the others are given free through the internet? YES, because they are not that good. I personally recommend buying one, they come with a license key which will enable you full protection and regular updates for the agreed period of time.
Having a good antivirus in place, 50% of the job is done.A good antivirus software would have a lot of options, but most of the time default settings will work fine and keep your computer clean.
Step II : Have a good idea about what you install
Antivirus and internet security can protect you only up to a limit.
Apart from the regular programs we install (like office, media players) , be careful about the little program s we get on the internet for free, chances are that most of them are add-ware,spyware, malware or some other kind of malicious programs , these programs if installed will open a door to other malicious software and will flood you computer with all sorts of unwanted stuff and this will result your computer to work really slow, or maybe sometimes crash.
most of these programs are installed without any proper idea , they may come hidden with some other package, like games and media players, or some times you have to install them to get some offer on the internet. and most common is they come to your machine when you click that "you have just won a prize" banners. just understand people, nowadays no ones giving away anything for free, unless they have something to gain.so be very careful of what you click , when you surf the web , try to stick with the trusted sites.(hint : most of the famous sites are trusted)
Also refrain from clicking on links or downloading attachments that are sent you in the mail by people you don't know.
Step III : Using your flash drive
Nowadays almost all of us have a pen drive, which we love to plug in any where possible and try to fill it.Try to refrain plugging in to machines that does not have a proper virus guard , or ones that does not have one at all.
But if you have to plug it in and you think that your pen drive is infected, try to clean it before you open the pen drive, and if you don't have a properly updated virus guard, get some one who has one to clean it for you. But if you don't have anyway to clean it and you have to open it, then always right-click on the pen drive and click on "explore", never double click on it, because that action may trigger malicious programs to start.
Step IV: Using you computer
After you switch on the computer it may take some time to come to a state where you are able to start your work, the time may depend on the Power of your computer and the number of startup programs (Processor, RAM , and the OS, antivirus etc). so don't rush in, opening several programs at once, specially if your RAM is low, my result in your computer crashing.
While using try to have only the programs you are using open, and close the other, this may improve the performance of the programs that you are currently using.
and when shutting down , always try to properly close all programs. and before you pull the plug, make sure your computer is completely shut down.
Step V : Maintenance of your computer
As would any other machines, computers need to be occasionally "taken care of".
You don't necessarily have to format your computer each time. But make sure you clean out any unwanted softwares, make sure that theres sufficient free space in your systems partition (in most cases your C: drive, or the partition where your Operating System is installed).
Remember to De-fragment your computer ,the de-fragment utility in windows can be accesed by "All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Defragmenter" .
As well as the Software maintenance , Hardware care is essential too. (Try this if you are familiar with the inside components of the computer only ) . Remove the cover of the casing, if your machine is not in an Air conditioned environment, don't be surprised to see a thick layer of dust resting on the compartments, you can remove them using an air blower, don't touch the parts, as the static electricity in your body may harm the sensitive parts of the computer.