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Old 03-14-2006, 11:22 AM   #1
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Would a techie offer a bit of New computer help?

Hey people, I just got a new Dell desktop (3.2ghz, 2G ram, Dual 160G HDs, 20" widescreen monitor) , it is my first machine of my own after years of using university computers that I know nothing about.

I wanted to get off to a good start taking care of it and I wanted to know a couple of things:

1)Is there software (or anything) that comes preloaded on my computer (Windows XP) that would a good idea to uninstall?

2)What is the best (and cost effective) way to protect it online? Such as do I need anti virus and a firewall?

Are the freeware security programs effective or are Norton or McAfee the only ways to go?

Thanks for any help that you can offer. I'm on the long road of relearning all about the current technology.

P.S.

Why did I post this in here? Sorry about that.
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:37 PM   #2
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I uninstall all the lame programs that come with it that I know I will not use.

I use Norton anti-virus and it has never let me down. It's worth the $30 a year or whatever it is.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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I uninstall outlook express and MSN Messanger

XP has a build in firewall (with SP2), which works fine.

I use Eset's NOD32 for anti-virus. It is a small application that doesn't tie up the system.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:08 PM   #4
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go to update.microsoft.com to check for any updates you might need

microsoft.com also has a free windows defender program you could download

i would also recommend downloading spybot and lavasoft adaware

and finally id download firefox and use that as your default browser
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:20 PM   #5
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Re: Would a techie offer a bit of New computer help?

Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Swallow
Hey people, I just got a new Dell desktop (3.2ghz, 2G ram, Dual 160G HDs, 20" widescreen monitor) , it is my first machine of my own after years of using university computers that I know nothing about.

I wanted to get off to a good start taking care of it and I wanted to know a couple of things:

1)Is there software (or anything) that comes preloaded on my computer (Windows XP) that would a good idea to uninstall?

2)What is the best (and cost effective) way to protect it online? Such as do I need anti virus and a firewall?

Are the freeware security programs effective or are Norton or McAfee the only ways to go?

Thanks for any help that you can offer. I'm on the long road of relearning all about the current technology.

P.S.

Why did I post this in here? Sorry about that.
Hi there, I'm a computer technician and do this kind of stuff on a daily basis.

1) YES, Dell desktops come loaded with so much shit. I've even had ones come to me that were automatically banned from our network for virus/spyware activity the first time they were turned on! In the Control Panel > Add/Remove programs, remove everything that's a free trial. I know Dell puts on a lot of AOL stuff and image editing things like Paint Shop or something like that. Get it all off. All you need is Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a few other small things that the OS uses. If you could post or send me a print screen or list of what's installed, I can tell you exactly what to leave and what to remove.

2) First, if you don't have XP Service Pack 2, download SP2 from the Windows Update site. Then, you'll have the Windows Security Center installed (comes free w/ SP2). Turn ON the firewall and turn ON automatic updates. The security patches from SP2 alone will protect you from the majority of shit that's out there, but get that on FAST because ironically new computers are the MOST vulnerable since most have been boxed for months and don't have updates installed.

You need an antivirus program. Buy Norton. You don't need the whole Internet Security package, just the antivirus program if that's available. ONLY INSTALL ONE antivirus program or you will have big problems. So make sure to remove any free trial AV programs before you purchase and install Norton. I prefer Norton over McAfee, but I recommend either of those two and nothing else. They are large, well known companies and it's always best to go with a product like that rather than some cheaper thing that might disappear within a year, or a free thing that actually installs spyware on the machine. You can't get good AV protection for free, you'll have to buy it.

Aside from your questions, we also recommend that personal computer users use Mozilla FireFox rather than Internet Explorer. Get it free from www.getfirefox.com . If you're concerned about spyware, you can get effective versions of Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy for free. On campus we use Webroot Spysweeper, but I'm not sure if they have a free version.

Remember, any computer is only as secure as its latest definition files, so you have to be responsible about running Windows Updates and installing new def files for your antivirus and antispyware programs, if they're not setup to do this automatically.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:34 PM   #6
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:47 PM   #7
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I'm such a I really need a life! Here I am on my break giving more computer advice...

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Old 03-14-2006, 06:25 PM   #8
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Re: Re: Would a techie offer a bit of New computer help?

Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Hi there, I'm a computer technician and do this kind of stuff on a daily basis.

1) YES, Dell desktops come loaded with so much shit. I've even had ones come to me that were automatically banned from our network for virus/spyware activity the first time they were turned on! In the Control Panel > Add/Remove programs, remove everything that's a free trial. I know Dell puts on a lot of AOL stuff and image editing things like Paint Shop or something like that. Get it all off. All you need is Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and a few other small things that the OS uses. If you could post or send me a print screen or list of what's installed, I can tell you exactly what to leave and what to remove.

2) First, if you don't have XP Service Pack 2, download SP2 from the Windows Update site. Then, you'll have the Windows Security Center installed (comes free w/ SP2). Turn ON the firewall and turn ON automatic updates. The security patches from SP2 alone will protect you from the majority of shit that's out there, but get that on FAST because ironically new computers are the MOST vulnerable since most have been boxed for months and don't have updates installed.

You need an antivirus program. Buy Norton. You don't need the whole Internet Security package, just the antivirus program if that's available. ONLY INSTALL ONE antivirus program or you will have big problems. So make sure to remove any free trial AV programs before you purchase and install Norton. I prefer Norton over McAfee, but I recommend either of those two and nothing else. They are large, well known companies and it's always best to go with a product like that rather than some cheaper thing that might disappear within a year, or a free thing that actually installs spyware on the machine. You can't get good AV protection for free, you'll have to buy it.

Aside from your questions, we also recommend that personal computer users use Mozilla FireFox rather than Internet Explorer. Get it free from www.getfirefox.com . If you're concerned about spyware, you can get effective versions of Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy for free. On campus we use Webroot Spysweeper, but I'm not sure if they have a free version.

Remember, any computer is only as secure as its latest definition files, so you have to be responsible about running Windows Updates and installing new def files for your antivirus and antispyware programs, if they're not setup to do this automatically.
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Old 03-15-2006, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thanks so much everyone for the guidance. LivLuvAndBootlegMusic I may end up sending you a message next week if you don't mind, I should be getting my home internet hooked up next week and then I'll be able to send you a list or a screenshot. Then maybe I can avoid being one of those Dells that get banned from the get go!
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:03 PM   #10
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i agree with everyone who said get firefox
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Swallow
Thanks so much everyone for the guidance. LivLuvAndBootlegMusic I may end up sending you a message next week if you don't mind, I should be getting my home internet hooked up next week and then I'll be able to send you a list or a screenshot. Then maybe I can avoid being one of those Dells that get banned from the get go!
Sure, you can post here or e-mail me if you want.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by the rockin edge
i agree with everyone who said get firefox
You would
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sicy


You would
I am becoming predictable I see






Firefox rulz
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:27 AM   #14
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I totally agree .. I dont know what I ever did without it.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I totally agree .. I dont know what I ever did without it.
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