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Computer "Must Do's"  Part One

Chances are, your new computer came loaded with software. And, chances are you don't need most of it. You might have a free six-month subscription to AOL (poor you) or NetZero. You might have image editors, MP3 players/organizers, and a bunch of other software you may never use or never need. Now is the time to clean it out while the cleaning's good. After a few months, you'll probably download and install many programs and your computer's Control Panel - Add or Remove Software list will look like the menu from Chez Francois. You won't remember what you've downloaded and what you've installed and what actually came pre-installed with your computer.

Click Start/Control Panel/Add or Remove Software and do some weeding. Clean out programs you don't think you'll ever use. And if the program seems offended you want to remove it, that gives you even more incentive to get rid of it.

And, it's quite likely your brand new computer came with Norton or McAfee installed. Remember that these programs are installed by the computer manufacturer for a reason; and the reason, unfortunately, is not your security or your computer's safety. The reason is ye olde kickbacks. In other words: Mula, cash, money, dinero, and that sort of thing. And, eventually, after your six-month trial runs out, you're going to have to cough up some money to keep McAfee or Norton working to protect your computer. No pay, no play. So be prepared. One of the worst things that happen on the Internet is this: Someone gets a new computer. Norton or McAfee is installed. For six months they're protected. Six months comes and goes and they're not protected. They have to cough up some cash. They don't want to, don't have a credit card, don't have the money, so they ignore the pleas to pay or else. Months go by and they continue to surf the Web unprotected. McAfee or Norton has totally given up trying to extract money from them, they don't even remind them anymore. Eventually, most of these people will become infected and they'll spread the virus, Trojan, or worm to other unprotected people and it snowballs. Next thing you'll know, CNN will have a hot story about how Windows is being affected by yet another worm. See? It works just like that. Really. So, if you don't feel like paying ransom to McAfee or Norton for the rest of your natural life, see next tip "The Best Things In Life Are Free".

And don't forget a great free online resource gives you a "second opinion" and keeps your anti-virus honest. Give your computer a weekly checkup (regardless of your anti-virus program) by visiting Housecall Online Anti-Virus Scanner. You can double-check your anti-virus program and be doubly certain your computer is not infected by making this site a weekly habit.



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