IT Security Tip #10: REMOVE that unwanted free-ware, bloat-ware, and spy-ware!
Here’s the best advice you’ll get all week…on a computer, if its free, you’re the product! (how many times has Facebook sent you a bill for using their software? See, you’re their product!).
Like it or not, PC manufacturers LOVE to stuff your brand-new PC full of “free” applications (they get paid to do it, so you’ve got a slim chance of getting one without a side of bloat-ware). The best thing these applications can do for you is pester you into using them. Many of the “factory installed” games are actually a system of games, not just one. “Wild Tangent” has been a very common one that is continually working behind the scenes (as a “service”) and can actually be “spyware”, reporting back to marketing networks about your behavior on the computer even if games are not visibly running.
But factory-clutter is the enemy of a great computer, and if you’re not using a particular software on a regular basis, it’s best to REMOVE it completely. That way you don’t have it potentially running in the background sucking up processing speed AND leaving the door open to hackers and malware.
To remove these programs from your PC, you don’t need a computer degree or even any experience. Simply click the start button and type in the search box “programs”. You should see a link show up for “Programs & Features”…click it. Programs & Features will list all installed programs. If you see one that is a game or something you know you don’t want, click it and choose “uninstall” or remove. If it prompts you for a reason, you have no obligation to give anything…just agree to the prompts to remove it. If you’re removing many different programs, you don’t have to reboot after every one…simply remove the all the applications you want and reboot when you’re finished with them all. Its very difficult to break your computer using this process, so don’t worry about that.
You can do it!