- Destructive Malware Or Virus :
Malwarebytes Free is great for getting rid of it. If I have a problem, I usually try this first : https://www.malwarebytes.com
If you do get hit with a destructive malware, etc try this to fix the damage. It is built in to your Windows operating system. It has worked wonders for me in the past. You may even have some features that aren't working right anymore, that this would clean up. The second one says for Windows 7/8/10 :
For some, the command line is complicated. You can use Windows built-in tool named System Restore. (For me, this is the last resort before installing a fresh copy of windows) Type "system restore" in the Windows search box and select it. (See second url above. if you need instructions) I prefer the 1st part of the sfc tool, trying to fix it first.
There is one more step, if the sfc (system file checker) doesn't totally fix it, that I just found. It is built in to Windows. I would recommend this only for advanced users. https://www.ghacks.net/2018/
I had to do system restore on Win 10 again. Microphone jack wasn't working. Does now. And my USB mike still works. Don't assume it's a perfect download every time. Had to download Google Chrome 3 times once, before I got 1 that worked right, in the past.
I have an old HP laptop, 17" wide screen, that I can't upgrade to Win 10, but still works great with Win 7 Pro. I needed to reload it. I found several install / recovery disks I could buy on eBay, and paid $8.50 for all versions of 7. It works great ! If you need a product key, you can buy one on eBay. I have, and it was valid. Amazon and others may also have them. With a good anti-virus / malware, should be OK for awhile.
- Can I Still Get Windows 10 For Free ?
"Click" the links below to find out how you can: (support for Win 7 ends Jan. 2020)
You should link your Windows 10 product key with your Microsoft account. If you don't, you might not be able to re-activate Windows 10 if you need to reinstall it. https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/
- Personal Surfing Privacy
I got tired of going to websites, and then getting ads, pop ups, etc continually from these websites. You can join a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which costs money, or do what I did, and use "duckduckgo" (The search engine that doesn't track you) as your browser. I still use Google and Bing for searches, I just have them on my bookmarks bar, and click on them to search, with duckduckgo being my main browser. It works, and it's free !! It has additional security features.
- Email / Data Security Breaches
I joined Firefox Monitor, ( from Mozilla, the free "Firefox" browser company ), and it tells me when my various email addresses have been included in any security breaches or hacks. They have informed me, when one happens, for free. It's nice to know, that you need to change passwords. (or do more security fixes) May have used same password on other things, etc.
Another very good resource I just discovered, is this from Google, for password security. It'll check all of your stored on Google passwords, against a database of breaches. passwords.google.com
- Free Anti-Virus / Malware Protection
If you're only using Microsoft Security Essentials and Defender, for anti-virus & malware, you will want to consider these: ( Only run 1 anti-virus program, otherwise you'll probably get the "blue screen of death" computer lockup or crash. )
- Cell/Smartphone Tip:
Google Voice will give you a free phone number to use. You can call and receive calls at no charge, nationwide. (There are a lot of options) Nice to have when you run out of minutes, or your cell coverage is bad, but you can still get WiFi. I've had mine for several years.
- No Internet Tip:
If your internet goes down, and you need internet access, you can still get 10 hours a month of dial up internet access, free, at NetZero and Juno. I've had to use it in emergencies, from time to time. Nice to have handy.
- One Last Tip :
My computer guy who I trust, (and other computer professionals) do suggest reloading a fresh copy of Windows on your computer every year. He said even the best antivirus / malware can't catch it all, and for other reasons (damage that may have been caused, "leftovers" from old programs, etc). I just loaded Win 10, but did reload Win 7 a year ago, using Windows Easy Transfer for the files. (part of your windows package on your computer, if you have 7 or 8). I did notice a big difference. Some say do it every 6 months. Others, just when you notice the system slowing down, or have issues. For me, at about the 1 year point, I notice slowing, and other issues. But I use mine all day for work, and at night for entertainment and research. I did make a flash drive copy of Win 10, this last time, for the probable reload a year from now. Link your Windows 10 product key with your Microsoft account. If you don't, you may not be able to re-activate it. if you do a reinstall. https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/