Forget those services on TV trying to sell you software – that’s step one. Almost all of the software you need should be available for free. The tricky part is doing the work. If you are not comfortable performing these steps yourself, contact a professional (Like us!) to do it for you. We are not responsible for anything that happens to your computer by following or not following these directions. This information is for educational purposes only. Your mileage may vary.
Now that that is out of the way – where to start? The first step is knowing what to look for. A lot of software updates install what I call “JunkWare” with their standard updates, because they get some sort of financial incentive for doing so. Java Updates are a classic example, shown here circled in red:
When you click on it, and go to install the update, it generally tries to sneak a toolbar in to the installation, usually the Ask! toolbar. In my case, it’s trying to install McAfee Security Scan:
Just uncheck it and choose next. What happens though, is that the average home user has 2 or 3 years worth of these “free” applications on their computer. Typically what we see are lots of extra toolbars, animated cursors, free coupon printers, and free computer tuneup and virus scanning applications. What YOU see are lots of popups, ads for things, and clutter all over your web browser, and extreme slowness.
But there’s good news! We’re …