What’s in your toolbox? Well it has been said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Those are wise words from Benjamin Franklin. Today we need to think about ‘what if’ and not ‘what do I do now?’ The easiest and simplest thing you can do is have some tools on your computer to help in the event you are having issues. Trying to install software on a computer that has malware or spyware will usually result in problems.
All of our customers get a free “ToolBox!” We are going to show you how to make your own FastLane Technologies’ ToolBox! What’s in our “ToolBox!”? Well here is the list:
1. An anti-virus: We use Microsoft Security Essentials. Why? Because it is the highest rated FREE Anti-Virus and it is also made by the maker of your operating system (Windows), Microsoft. Our favorite reasons: it does it’s job quietly, very few false viruses, and doesn’t slow down your computer.
2. An anti-malware: We use MalwareByte’s. Why? The software is easy to use and does a great job for FREE to cleanup and remove malware. Most software does some basic cleaning, but even on the Quick Scan, most baddies are removed with a simple interface. Our favorite reasons: it does a great job and it reminds you to update the software when you start the program!
3. An anti-spyware: We actually use two; SuperAntiSpyware and SpyBot Search & Destroy. Well, to be clear, we actually use SuperAntiSpyware to scan and remove spyware (and it does a good job on malware too!). SpyBot Search & Destroy we like for the preventative side. It has a feature called “Immunization” where it tells your browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox) to avoid some sites that have malicious intent. Both are FREE and do a great job! Our favorite reasons: SpyBot is good at removing some older spyware that some of the newer programs forget about and SuperAntiSpyware paid version can almost replace your anti-virus software!
4. A registry cleaner: We use CCleaner. Now, it is debatable whether or not a registry cleaning actually does anything, especially in Windows Vista and 7. We use it because we have seen some performance issues resolved with this simple tool. Now, word of caution: MAKE THE BACKUP! In our experience we have seen some older programs get broken from a mistaken problem that was repaired. Simply double-clicking on the backup file will put everything right back like it was. Our favorite reasons: Piriform, the maker of the software, has some great utilities for free that have been tested thoroughly and are used in our business. Everything they make works great.
5. A clean up utility: We use Glary Utilities. It does have a registry cleaner, but it also cleans up system files, too. Our favorite reason: It is fast and pretty dang thorough for a little FREE utility.
6. A shortcut to your Windows Updater. The updates come pretty regularly from Microsoft, but sometimes you don’t get all of them. This is something that should be done to make sure hardware and other software from Microsoft is updated also. Keeping your system up to date will optimize your experience of Windows. To add this shortcut, use the instructions below.
Now, the systems we have been discussing here are running Windows Vista or Windows 7. If your system is Windows XP we add one more program:
- A file defragmenter: We use Defraggler. The Defrag that comes with Windows XP is ok, but this one is nice because you can schedule it to run automatically. This is also from the makers of CCleaner, Piriform. Windows 7 and Vista do not need a defragmenter because they already have one installed and it runs all the time in the background. Just a side note, deframenting does not “fix” your computer only helps with your system performance.
The next step to creating your very own FastLane Technologies ToolBox! is to create a folder on your desktop to keep all these goodies in. Simply right-click on your desktop anywhere there is a free space and then go to “New” and then click “Folder.” Next you name the folder “ToolBox!” and press enter. Drag and drop all of your new tools into the folder. Some tools do not create an icon shortcut so you will have to find them in the Start menu. Go to the program in the start menu and simply right-click on the program. You will go to “Send to” and click on “Desktop Shortcut.” Now you can complete your ToolBox! list. For a final flair, right click on the ToolBox! folder and click on “Properties” and then click on the “Customize” tab. From there click the “Change Icon” button and select a different look other than the boring folder icon. Click “Ok” and “Ok” and you are done! We choose the “Run” icon because we like it to look like it is fast at FastLane! You need to run these tools as much as you use your computer. Simply put: if you use it a lot, once a month. If you use it very little, every six months will be fine. The Windows Update is the only exception that should be checked at least once a month. That’s it! You are now in the FastLane Technologies ToolBox! Club.