While we are discussing protecting computers, don't forget adware and
This month's PC World lists Sunbelt Software's CounterSpy and Webroot Spy
Sweeper as the best bets. If you want to go free, Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and
Spybot Search and Destroy aren't bad. I use Webroot and it's much better.
Spyware and adware can be reponsible for slowing down your computer,
because they often are responsible for sending messages back and forth to
whatever company put it there - without your knowledge. If you take a look
at the tasks that are running (CTRL-ALT-DEL) you can see what is running in
the background. You can check out what the tasks are through The Task List
at Answers That Work: http://www.answersthatwork.com/
Changing your browser from IE to Firefox Mozilla can prevent many problems.
Google's toolbar has a pop-up blocker (you can turn on pop-ups as needed)
that works well.
The latest target for viruses is IM (instant messaging) like AOL or
Hotmail. Esp. if you have kids with access to the computers, warn them NOT
to open attachments unless they know specifically what they are getting.