3 Essential Tips To Make Your Computer Run Faster

Speed Up Your Computer With These Quick And Easy Tips

You’ve probably had your computer a while now, and during the time you’ve owned it, you’ve noticed its performance has taken a dip. This can be down to numerous factors, but realistically, from my experience, most performance issues come from simply having too many things running.

Every-time you install a new program, be it a new tool bar or a fully fledged piece of software, it installs files all over your computer, and as part of that, comes background processes and services. This essentially means these programs are running in the background, even when they aren’t visibly open on your PC.

First and foremost:

1.) Remove / Uninstall Old Programs

Any programs you no longer use, get rid of, uninstall them and get rid totally. This will remove the background processes and services. I advise you do this at least once or twice per year to help keep your computer in tip top shape.


2.)  Run A System Cleanup

Microsoft systems come with a Disk Cleaner utility as standard, this sweeps out any temporary data and unnecessary files that are consuming room on your hard drive. Its very straight forward and easy to navigate. To open this navigate to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

My third and final tip

3.) Run AntiVirus / AntiMalware Scans Regularly

If your computer becomes infected, which it can, even with your protection software in place, it will undoubtedly be consuming resources on your computer. By running regular scans and clean-ups, you can better protect yourself against malicious programs but also help keep your computer running sweet.


Microsoft Changes Priority Of Windows 10

Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 upgrade from optional to recommended

This might not seem a big difference but it is to your computer.

If you have Windows set to automatically install updates then it will do this for security, critical and recommended updates but leave the optional ones out for you to manually go in and do yourself.  So by Microsoft changing this priority, there is a good chance your computer could now install Windows 10 without asking you.

For most users this will be either something they were thinking about, an inconvenience or more worryingly it will prevent some of their programs running and cause their business to grind to a halt.

The good news is that if it did install automatically on your computer and you didn’t want it to – this can be undone.

If you require help with this then please get in touch here.

Cloud Versus On-Premise, My Two Penneth

The Cloud Versus On Premise Solutions

There are many arguments for and against both solutions. However, today I want to talk about keeping data private and the benefits that come with that. First of all, I think it’s best we gain an understanding of the cloud vs on-premise debate to see why some of the leading tech gurus advocate a hybrid model where both solutions coexist.

Whilst the likes of Microsoft and Oracle have recently pressed on with aggressive tacks to market the benefits of storing data and running applications via their cloud solutions, there are many IT leaders that remain caught up in the debate over maintaining on premise solutions versus moving to the cloud.

Before I begin explaining what my views are, I would like to clarify at this point that every situation does need to be addressed individually, and based around your specific requirements.

In general there are at least 4 reasons that I can think of where it would be appropriate to avoid the use of a public cloud service, and instead only store data in privately controlled data centres. Many of the concerns related to this are to do with regulatory requirements, connectivity and speed, all of which are outside the control of your organisation. Obviously, this is again, subjective to the type of data that you need to store.

So, I’m going to kick my geek debate reasons off now, starting with:

1. Security

It is my belief that cloud security has surpassed the security measures generally found in most data centres. There are however, companies out there that require greater security measures than what cloud providers can currently offer, or perhaps even you or your IT team feel more comfortable accepting the risk that comes with controlling your own data security. Either way security is typically one of the most important determining factors when choosing to store data and apps on premises.

2. Visibility And Trust

Do you really know where your data is? A haunting thought that continues to send chills down the spines of any new cloud clients. Unfortunately, the cold hard truth is that once that sensitive and precious data is moved (or created) on a public cloud, it becomes almost impossible to see exactly where the data resides. Until technology overcomes these visibility issues then this is a very real concern for many people.

3. Regulations

Subject to your industry sector, market, and location, you will most likely have to abide by an array of government regulations determining how you can use and store sensitive data. The NHS and many financial service industries are common examples in which IT has to take extra steps to prove that sensitive data is secure. More often than not, this means keeping sensitive data in private data centres.

4.  Accessibility 

In an ideal world, everyone would have super-fast internet and easy access to any of the public cloud service providers. Unfortunately, we’re still some way off on that front. This can prove quite an issue when your company is based over numerous sites. Accessing your data can prove problematic due to bandwidth constraints or restrictions.

To conclude…

I don’t actually think that there is a right or wrong answer to this debate. Some data and applications are low impact and pretty easy to transition to the cloud. Other, critical, sensitive data and applications may be best kept on site. It is all entirely subjective to you and your requirements. So it is entirely down to you to determine which is the most appropriate place for your specific data and application needs. If you’re unsure, and need some help, then get in touch – it’s what we’re here for.

4 Ways To Avoid Viruses, Malware & Spyware

Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and as it does, so does the threat of viruses, adware, trojans, spyware and other malware infections. Unfortunately, this is currently a situation that is only getting worse.

Learn How To Protect Your Computer

A Computer Economics report showed that annual worldwide malware expenses increased by £10 billion (to £13 billion) over a recent 10-year span. Google Research suggests that one in 10 websites is infected with some form of malware. In June 2009, the Windows Secrets e-newsletter reported that such seemingly safe websites such as “coldwellbanker.com”, “variety.com”, and even “tennis.com” were exposing Internet Explorer (although, you really shouldn’t be using Internet Explorer anyway!) visitors to the Gumblar exploit, which threatens to compromise visitors’ systems in order to propagate – scary right?

That isn’t why I’m writing this article though, knowledge is power, and I’m going to share some of the best practises followed by IT professionals, in the hope you can better protect yourself from the aforementioned threats.

1. Install Quality Anti-Virus Software

Now you may think that free alternatives, such as that provided with your internet service providers bundle, may be sufficient, and whilst this is better than no protection at all, they are often inadequate. For the casual personal user you may find this solution to work without a hitch, however I would recommend a professional grade anti-virus where possible. As for business users, it is paramount that you invest in a business grade antivirus. This is an absolute essential.

If you aren’t currently running any sort of anti-virus, then please contact us immediately!

2. Perform Daily Scans

With a premium Anti-Virus solution, background/live scanning is often performed automatically, however, if you’re on a free version, or you’re not sure if your anti-virus has automatic features, then ideally, you need to run a scan every day. This will provide another layer of protection, which can be invaluable in detecting, isolating, and removing infections that may initially escape your security software’s attention.

3. Don’t Click On E-Mail Links Or Attachments

Spam is increasing in volume, its becoming harder and harder to protect against, and it becoming increasingly clever. If you don’t know who the email is from and you’re not expecting it, then as a rule, treat it with extreme caution. If it is asking for money, or to open anything you’re not expecting, then I would suggest you do not open it and send it straight to the bin. You must also watch out for emails that appear to be sent from your bank or Paypal. Again, if they’re asking for you to login via email, or asking for payment details, delete it immediately. It is now common practise that no banking or financial institutions ask for personal account information via emails or email links. Attachments that are .zip, .doc, .docx, .txt (to name a few) are all potentially risky and may conceal malicious code. If you are unsure about the contents of an email, then pick up the phone and give the person in question a call to verify the contents.

4. Install real-time Anti-Spyware / Anti-Malware Software

Many computer users think that a single anti-virus program will provide sufficient protection from the increasing amount of threats in today’s world. Sadly, in most cases, it’s just not true. More often than not, installing anti-spyware provides another strong layer of protection.

Most free anti-spyware programs do not provide real-time or active protection from adware, trojan and other spyware infections. Whilst many free programs can detect spyware threats after they’ve installed themselves, typically the full paid version is required to prevent infections and fully remove those that are already present.

These tips are designed to give you a basic insight into how to better protect yourself online, if you have any questions about anything mentioned above, then please feel free to get in touch.