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How to scan your computer for internet viruses

There are some basic responsibilities associated with owning a computer, not the least of which is conducting regular virus scans.  As you are probably already aware, the internet (while brilliant in a number of obvious ways) can be sort of hazardous as far as the health of your computer and safety of your data is concerned.  Luckily, there are plenty of free programs and apps out there which can help you keep your machine in tip-top shape through prevention, maintenance or removal of viruses and malware.  As far as actually scanning your computer is concerned, all you really need to do is download one of these programs, install it and perhaps follow the registration sequence and you’ll be prompted to carry out a scan as well as schedule program updates and future tests. If you do find a virus and are using a Windows system you can always get online windows technical support. Here are several free programs to look for:

AVG Antivirus Free 2013

http://free.avg.com/us-en/free-antivirus-download

AVG has long been considered one of the best free programs available on the net.  The free edition includes a fully-featured security suite that incorporates all the stuff you need to make sure that your PC keeps on running smoothly.  The virus definitions database is updated frequently as well; meaning, you are getting access to a free and powerful service.  Likewise, you can upgrade at any time, assuming you need a little bit of extra protection.

Avast! Free Antivirus

http://www.avast.com/index

Arguably, Avast’s free antivirus software is the best antivirus solution available outside of those which you actually pay money for.  The truth is, their 2013 offering is so powerful and useful that it rivals any other solution on the market, regardless of cost.  Moreover, there are definitions and updates pouring in on a near daily basis too, and it’s fully compatible with a host of other applications; meaning, you won’t be plagued by severe issues related to incompatibilities either.  …Also, great for PC or Mac.

If you find yourself in a situation where your machine is bogged down by “god only knows what”, you’re going to want to take a look at some alternative tools which tend to be directed toward more specific threats, like malware / spyware, for instance.

HijackThis

http://sourceforge.net/projects/hjt/

If your registry has been compromised, HijackThis might be able to help you remove items which are causing problems.  Keep in mind that this program isn’t necessarily a virus detector, so much as a means of creating logs and altering the registry of your machine.  So use this at your own risk and only if you either know what you’re doing or have the patience to Google everything and figure out what’s legitimate and what’s not.

Spybot Search & Destroy

http://www.safer-networking.org/

Simply put, the purpose of Spybot Search & Destroy is to find malware and disable / get rid of it.  If you often find yourself straying “of the beaten path” of the internet quite frequently, chances are you might have picked up something that’s not easily removable and/or potentially dangerous.  In short, when your antivirus software isn’t able to fix some issues, download something like Search & Destroy to help “pick up the slack”.

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