Pay it forward: Receive and share your simple computer tips!

Pay it forward: Receive and share your simple computer tips here!

I've been lurking and reading the forums for quite sometime and love all information it provides, and I would love to try something to see if it resonates with your readers. What I'd like to do is share a few simple computer tips that I find very helpful in my everyday computing life in hopes that your readers would benefit from them. In return, I'm hoping they will post a tip or two of their own in the same discussion. The tips should be short and simple (low learning curve) and hopefully can be applied to everyday use. If everyone did the same, granted that there are little or no duplicated tips, I think it would be wealth of information for everyone to learn from. Can you start something like this? It would be interesting to see where it goes and I'm hoping to learn from everyone. Thanks.

Here are a couple of my short tips:

Google search within a specific site:
When using Google search, you can search within a specific site by entering the keyword followed by "site:site link goes here" (exclude quotation marks) Example: iphone 6 site:bestbuy.com This will return results with those keyword from that specific website only.

Windows PC Keyboard shortcuts:
Alt + Tab -- Cycle through between open programs/windows
Ctrl + F -- Opens find window for current document/window
Ctrl + C -- Copy selected links, text, or images
Ctrl + V -- Paste copied items
Ctrl + Z -- Undo last typed item

I know these are simple, but I use them frequently. I hope you find them helpful.

--Submitted by: Tracy M.
Discussion is locked
Reply to: Pay it forward: Receive and share your simple computer tips!
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Pay it forward: Receive and share your simple computer tips!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Always plan ahead!

If you are a typical C|net user, you probably have at least one computer, a couple of mobile devices, and a smart TV or streaming device ... minimum. All of this is on a home network with some, but not all devices, wirelessly connected.

With every new or replacement device, plan for the future. Go one step higher in computer power and RAM than you think you need, because you will need it sooner than you realize; and go two or more steps up in storage, because drives fill up fast. Use Ethernet where possible to take some of the strain off your overworked Wi-Fi, and because Ethernet is usually faster anyway. Buy (or make your own) Cat6 Ethernet cable instead of Cat5 even if your current router and networked devices can't take full advantage of it; and get cables (all types, not just Ethernet) that are just a little longer than you need now, because someday you'll rearrange things. Label your cables (at both ends) and "wall wart" power supplies, so you can easily identify the devices they go to; or buy cables in different colors -- Monoprice is a good source for these, and usually less expensive than other places. If you produce a lot of printed pages, consider either switching to a color laser printer or (a better value IMHO) adding an inexpensive monochrome laser to your existing inkjet -- but plan where to put the bigger or additional printer before you buy it. For your next TV, decide on the screen size that's best for the room, then go one size larger; and seriously consider a 4K or higher TV even though the content isn't there yet, because the image is sharper even on ordinary HD programming. I could continue for several pages, but you get the idea.

If you can, carry the plan-ahead concept to your work environment too.

- Collapse -
Dear Daddtwalter:

Thank you for your tip.

- Collapse -
Buy your PC for price, build your own for quality

It has been a long time since anyone saved money by building their own desktop computers. Major manufacturers buy parts in bulk, so they can get far better prices than an individual can.

But when you build your own desktop machine from parts you personally select, you will know exactly what went into it. A manufacturer's generic power supply might last until the computer is hopelessly outdated -- but it might also die the week after the warranty runs out. The same is true for most mechanical parts such as keyboards and spinning drives, and to a lesser extent for the other strictly electronic components.

By building your own computer, you automatically learn how to remove and replace parts; you become your own tech support for fixing things, but also for upgrading later. (Read all the manuals. And save them for future reference!)

Yes, you can build laptops too, but it gets harder to improve on what's available pre-assembled; there are only a handful of case designs in each size, and of course only certain parts will fit into a given case. It's far easier when you can select from a wide variety of everything including the case itself. (And you have a lot more elbow room in a spacious tower or mid-tower case. Probably extra drive bays for future expansion, too.)

There are companies that will custom-build to your specifications, as well as "boutique" builders that specialize in high-end gaming computers. Some of these companies build their computers the way you would if you did it yourself -- roomy cases, neat cable routing, quality components. If you are leery of building from scratch, consider custom-ordering from one of these places; go a little light on the things you feel comfortable upgrading yourself (when the warranty is up, of course) such as RAM and storage, and put the extra money into a better processor or video card. It isn't quite the same as building your one-of-a-kind dream PC, but at least it's a start.

- Collapse -
An agreement

Yes. Build it for quality but build it as strong and big as you can afford for the future.

- Collapse -
I choose the case first!

For both of my current desktops, I actually began by picking out a rugged case with lots of room inside and plenty of drive bays. My old Lian-Li (from the early 2000s if memory serves) is unpainted thick/sturdy aluminum, a midtower chassis with slide-out backplane/motherboard drawer; I've done four or five complete builds and countless upgrades in it over the years, and it's a joy to work inside.. My much newer Thermaltake New Soprano (a steel midtower) has only seen one complete build, updated with a new motherboard and CPU; it's a lot prettier, and whisper-quiet -- it originally resided in my living room as an HTPC, and still has its dual-tuner TV card. Both chassis accept full-size ATX motherboards, have nine or more drive bays, and offer plenty of space for working inside them. Either can accommodate more drives and longer video cards than some full-tower cases I've seen.

The power supplies are both high-quality and capable of delivering considerably higher output than I expect to need anytime soon, but that means they never have to work hard and should last a loooong time as a result. A 650-watt PSU serving just 300 watts to the computer doesn't necessarily pull more from the outlet than a 300-watt PSU would. But it can if it needs to, and every hardware upgrade I do seems to add,to the workload.

I may retire the Lian-Li case one of these days; it's still capable of anything I ask of it, but it just isn't pretty enough to keep company alongside the Thermaltake in my home office. I've never done a case-transplant, but it's just another upgrade -- right?

- Collapse -
to daddywalter

Find a local powder coat painter and customize that Lian-Li case to the prettiest case you ever saw! Gold sparkle metal flake over red there are hundred of colors available. Should be a small shop somewhere close that would take on this project!

- Collapse -
Well, maybe not red and gold ...

@tcawife, I'm a huge Iron Man fan going back to his early days in the comics, but I don't think the red-and-gold color scheme you suggest is quite right for a home office. But thanks for the suggestion to have it painted, it's a good one.

Since its sister Sophie (the Thermaltake New Soprano) is a conservative home-theater black, perhaps Loyd (the Lian-Li) would look good with a tuxedo-look too; maybe matte black with white pinstriping. Or dark gray with black accents might be nice. I might go retro and have it painted beige, like nearly every computer in the '90s. Or, even more retro, match the light gray and off-white of the original IBM PC. Loyd is a "conservative" computer, one that doesn't show off with leading-edge technology, windows or flashing lights. Inside, it's a (mostly) very stable collection of older components that simply work well; I still have a couple of ATA drives inside, although they will go (along with nearly everything else) at rebuild time.

But despite the older tech and conservative appearance, Loyd is my test-bed machine where I try anything new including operating systems. Every new Linux distro goes there first, before I consider installing (in dual-boot) on Sophie or the laptop Pavel; same with new peripherals that need to be tested for Linux compatibility -- I take it for granted that any hardware I buy will run on Windows.. At one time I considered making it into a NAS, but instead I just bought a Synology and kept Loyd as a tester and backup to Sophie..

- Collapse -
Totally Agree

I have built my own desktop PC's since 386 CPU days. I always put the most money into the motherboard & cpu thus it serves me for many more years than a store purchased PC. My present build has had updated ram, video card, cooling etc and runs comfortable at 1000 Mhz over normal cpu speed (all 4 core). Recently my video card died a natural death after 4 years allowing me to upgrade to near top of the range and it still blows away most store built computers in everyway. Laptops I buy via Auction Houses, mainly Dell Latitude or HP Pro Book. Easy to service and get parts for. I paid $356.00 (AU) for a Dell Latitude e6520, it came with an i7 CPU and full HD 15.6 screen. I cleaned it up and replaced the 4 Gig of ram with 8 Gig and the 250 Gig HD with a 500 Gig SSD. It rocks at less than the cost of a domestic laptop, will last longer and I can replace part easily due to quality build.

- Collapse -
Yes - future proofing is good!

I'm still using my old 2007 desktop, because it was the most advanced at the time, and had one of the newest quadcore CPUs. So I am still able to use it to this day - even though I doubt I'll upgrade to Win10 anytime soon!

I'm still using an even older laptop built in 2005 because it was advanced enough to last even till now. I don't go on the internet with it, because I'd be slowing it down too much with all the security you'd need now. I may dual boot to a Linux flavor eventually. Probably Puppy Linux; then I could use it for years as a web cruising machine again!

- Collapse -
There's a price-performance balance, here

Future-proofing is good, up to a point.

I haven't researched it, but I suspect a quad-core CPU was very expensive in 2007. The price difference between a quad-core vs dual-core might have been enough to buy an entire second computer. You wouldn't have to buy it right then. But, you could have bought the second computer, say, in 2011. Each machine would probably still be a decent computer. And you then have an Emergency Backup Computer, or a secondary computer for other tasks.

When pricing components, there's usually a point where a very small bump in real-world performance has a very large difference in price. And, those price differences climb even faster as you get closer to the absolute top of the line.

I'm a gamer and when I buy my performance machines, I find that inflection point for each component. For me, that produces the best bang for the buck. I find that my main machine will last me four or five years before I really start to notice that it's struggling. For a game machine, that's a pretty good life span.

Whereas, if I were to max everything out, with no regard for price, I would likely only be able to buy myself another year or two of life for something around double the cost. By waiting, and spending that same second half of the money five years later, I get a far more powerful computer than even the maxed out one.

And when I get that new computer, the previous one makes a really nice chat/surf machine, on the other side of my desk. It has plenty of oomph left for those sorts of tasks, for years.

This four-to-five year cycle has been working for me through four generations. I suspect my per-year cost for my current two machines is pretty close to the per-year cost of one maxed-out machine bought at the time of my chat machine. And my current main machine will be noticeably more powerful than that hypothetical older maxed out machine could be.

Drake Christensen

- Collapse -
Todays dual cores match my old CPU..

Good advice Drake - other considerations came into my decision process, but because the end result was two good computers that are still very useful, I decided to comment.

My desktop was one of the first cable ready systems that the MPAA had finally allowed to provide content for HDTV cable systems. This was bleeding edge stuff, so I refused to use weaker low RAM systems based on XP when I knew that would get me into trouble. Fortunately I was right, and in fact, am able to author HD film content with the same machine. Having a 64 bit system with matching RAM up to 6 gigabytes, made this possible. Back then that was considered excessive - but RAM was already getting cheaper, and when I looked at what it cost to build the same or similar, the cost was WAY more than what I was paying for an OEM build. There was no choice anyway, because at the time the industry was only alloweing four companies to build cable ready HDTV systems. This had been the first time since TiVO, that enthusiasts could use their own system, and didn't have to rely on proprietary companies or equipment to enjoy premium content. All I had to do is rent the MCard and I was in business. Things are different now, as streaming is the king in HD content, but even that is rapidly evolving. Having future proof N routers, and hight speed network ports in your devices is the primary concern now.

As far as my laptop, it wasn't exceptionally expensive than other competitors, but I knew as an IT trainer, I'd need all the ports I could get, and at least a 17" screen for presentation done without available projectors. Having my first 64 bit system made it fun to play with the first 64 bit operating system from Microsoft, and all the applications that were coming on board at the time to do the heavy lifting that technology can offer. It all worked out in the end for me; and careful shopping did NOT mean I had to pay three times or even twice as much as the usual market prices for comparable devices - it is just being aware of the capabilites of the guts of anything you buy now, and making sure they have it on board before buying it, or signing a contract on a mobil device that you want, and can enjoy for at least as long as possible. Last time I bought a phone, I didn't want smart phone service, but I ended up with a post flip phone that could run a surprising gamut of services, and even had television capability, which streaming has replace now. But I still use that slider even now - it is still a very useful phone and I didn't have to pay $400 bucks for it! Happy

- Collapse -
I agree but disagree on laptops as

laptops are designed by the OEMs or ODM and motherboard are a standard size like with desktops so the cases are specifically designed with the motherboard. That makes the price of building a laptop way higher. Clevo is a boutique laptop manufacturer (ODM). They design the case and Mobo and sell to computer store like Xotic PC and to small laptop makers like Sager that take the Clevo and brand it as Sager. They then then allow you to configure with memory hard drives or SSDs and even somtimes graphics cards. Compal is a another ODM that makes Boutique laptops. Because the motherboards & cases are not standard is big reason why it's cheaper to buy a laptop.

- Collapse -
Simple computer tips

Here are a few of my simple hints and tips.

1. If you want to do some basic text editing on a computer download Notepad++, it's very similar to Notepad but as the name suggests has so many extra features, for example if your writing HTML for websites it has code highlighting, it can also have multiple text documents open in tabs, and if the computer shuts down it remembers all your unsaved work in the text documents, so can actually be used kind of like a "post-it note" system - for example your on the phone and someone gives you something important to write down - open notepad++ click "new" icon, start typing details into the new screen, even if the computer shuts down or goes into sleep mode when Notepad++ is re-opened it will have that information in one of the tabs (unless you close the tab specifically or chose "Close All" from the file menu). Plus you can do a lot of basic or complex searches within Notepad++ that aren't available in Notepad.

2. I know some of these shortcut keys have been covered already, but lets look into them further. There is a reason why shortcut keys have been chosen the way they have and it actually makes them easy to remember, also there are some alternative shortcut keys that do similar things...

Ctrl+ X, C, V all do various types of cutting, copying and pasting - X is for cutting because your deleting it "CROSSing it out", C is for COPYing, and V is for inserting - V looks like a wedge that's moving the text either side. Also X, C and V are all in the same line on a British keyboard (along with Z which Z is to undo - so along the bottom you have 4 very important shortcuts Z,X,C and V (German keyboards have A and Z the opposite way round so that doesn't always work with some keyboard layouts)

The only slight problem with these keys is that in some environments Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+C are seen as "special keys" - in DOS or Linux Ctrl+C is the same as Ctrl+Break, and it abruptly terminates the program - Ctrl+Z also denotes the end of a file in these operating systems so Ctrl+C and Ctrl+Z don't always work as expected.

However there are three more shortcuts that do the same, they're mainly known by programmers, but do work in mostly all programs, even in some programs that don't allow the use of ctrl+x/c/v for copying and pasting - The shortcuts are

Ctrl+Insert - Copy
Shift+Insert - Paste
Shift+Delete - Cut

again these also do have some easy way to remember - Ctrl+Insert - "Copy to Insert", Shift+Insert - Inserting text, Shift+Delete - "Store + Delete text"

Also some programs or websites don't always allow you to right click to gain access to the copy and paste menus - quite often the keyboard shortcuts still work regardless of the right click menu being disabled.

- Collapse -

Before asking a tech friend for help, have a little heart and see if you can figure out your problem first and learn something along the way. Youtube will show you how to do many things. Read forums and use Google. That's how I got to where I am. Also, checking if you're plugged into the outlet or simply restarting your computer solves many problems. Your tech friends will appreciate it when you say "here's what I tried".

- Collapse -
Yes, do the reseach FIRST

I have had folks try to fix it themselves without researching and just make matters worse than if they would have let me deal with the problem(s) to begin with.

- Collapse -
You can do it with care

I started computing 16 years ago at the age of 60. My first PC was a second hand one and it was not long before I had problems. After two local computer firms did a very poor job for a very high cost I decided to have a go at solving the problems myself. Using the same help that Copoderra lists I succeeded and I have learned so much. I now have 2 laptops and an All-in-one and I do my own recovery, reinstall my windows and even upgrade the hardware. You can do it, there is so much help on the web, you just have to take care. Make sure that the advice that you are using is for your exact PC model and double check what you are about to do.

- Collapse -

Google and CNET is your friend! Love

- Collapse -

Like btljooz says, sometimes people make it worse. Also, I've found that non-techie people tend to get very frustrated when their attempts don't appear to work. Also, because they're not techies, the explanations that appear quite clear to you and me are difficult for them to decipher, because they don't have the background you and I do. The aggravation can turn a small problem into a seemingly very large one.

- Collapse -
simple #2

i don't know why i even remember this, but in addition to Ctrl+ Z, X, C, & V; i find Ctrl+Y handy - not nearly as much of course. Ctrl+Y is "redo" - after an errant Ctrl+Z "undo".

- Collapse -

I haven't seen Ctrl-A mentioned, yet. I use this one fairly often. It selects All text within a text area. This comes in handy in a couple of different places.

When you're filling in a one-line text box, and it already has text in it. Most of the time, when you click on it, the entire line of text is selected for you automagically. But, sometimes not. Ctrl-A will select the entire text so that you can just type over it, or delete it.

Another time it comes up is when you need to copy the text of a web page. Click on the page and Ctrl-A will grab all the text.

- Collapse -
Add to the List

Ctrl plus + = enlarge screen
Ctrl plus - = reduce screen

In Microsoft products
Ctrl + B = Bold
Shift + f7 function key = Thesaurus
f7 function key = spell check

- Collapse -
Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Size

If you are writing anything, most programs allow you to use Ctrl-{ or Ctrl-] to change text size from the cursor point onward, one standard text point at a time. For instance, if I press Ctrl and hit the left bracket ( [ ) twice, a 12-point piece of text becomes 14-point.

- Collapse -
Ctrl+ f7 function key = Thesaurus

On my Windows 7 the shortcut in Open Office is: Ctrl+ f7 function key = Thesaurus

- Collapse -
Pay it forward: Save, Clean, Type

Save often.
Use folders to create a filing system.
Discard files you don't need.
Clean & Defrag regularly.
Use your typing skills - or learn how to type.

I've had the same PC for at least 15 years, and I use it daily. I have had to fix a couple things along the way, but I don't lose data. My computer teacher in high school (1986) would say, "Save often" about every five minutes. Save according to how much you are willing to lose. Just click the button or Ctrl-S. I've heard countless stories about lost data, especially at work. Server crashed, power failed, lightning struck... All excuses for losing anything more than five minutes of work. Saving often is like turning off the light when you leave a room, just a good and practical habit.

My computer is in large part a tool to help me store lots of information. If I can't find the information, then I'm using the tool incorrectly. Spend the minute when you save something to put it where you can find it. If you're really rushed and are a desktop dumper, save ten minutes at the end of the day to sort it out before you forget where it is. It's reasonable to wait while someone is opening folders to get to a known destination; it's frustrating to wait for someone to randomly open files until they happen on the one they're seeking; or worse, they look blindly for five minutes and can't find the file.

Keep it clean, and it just runs faster. Even with ample storage space, clutter just gets in the way. I treat old files like old clothes. I convert some things to a template version for use on future projects, even share them with colleagues who will use them. If something is of no use to me, I throw it in the trash.

Typers, please type. Non-typers, please learn how to type. This used to be a pre-requisite to taking a computer class. It's right up there with the 3 r's*. I worked for a great guy once, smart guy, practical guy, a guy with degrees on the wall. He never learned how to type. When we did any projects together, I did the typing. Early on, he asked why I was doing all the typing; I told him I would rather quit than wait for him to hunt & peck a sentence. Now that's a guy in my generation, and it was somewhat unusual for guys in my generation to take typing in school. Those after us were typers until texting and all the cool stuff leading up to iphones came about. Since then typing skills seem to have fallen off again. asdfghjkl;

Enjoy this wonderful age we're experiencing. It's crazy to think that in my lifetime, the computer and internet were developed into things usable for the everyday person. Look where we are now. Pony express, Telegraph, Telephone, Pocket Calculator, Computer, Internet. I wonder what's next.

*3 r's : readin, ritin, rithmatic. (that is: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.)

- Collapse -
I agree

I strongly agree with everything you posted because the generation now can type on there cellphones but not on a computer. My dad is a human computer but sadly he didn't keep his typing skills and depends on me for typing his stuff out for him. Man can do numbers in his head like no business, but sadly can't type anything out.

Of course since he was born 2 years after the second world war I can't even really blame him.

- Collapse -
Another vote to learn how to type

Spend $5 and get just about any typing program out of the bargain bin. Or, I'm sure there are websites that can teach typing. I haven't checked, lately.

Be disciplined about spending time at it. Most Hunt & Peck typers can do about 8 Words Per Minute. Spend 15 mins, twice a day, to start. After a week, up it to 20 mins. Another week and go to 30 mins.

For the first week or two, you'll prolly be even slower, with many errors. But, within a coupla weeks, you should be typing in the mid-teens. After a month, you should be well into the 20s. It's hard to describe what a difference it makes to be able to type "a word" without thinking, compared to pecking each letter out. Even for people who don't use the computer all that much, it'll pay for itself many times over the course of a person's life, in the modern world.

- Collapse -
Couldn't agree more.

Make a habit of creating folders with short names. Place subfolders within them with names that continue the line of thought. Do that down the tree and re-arrange/rename folders as you find the structure not working well anymore. Two benefits; you learn to plan your directory structure and most of all you do not lose time in searching anymore. This may seem to be a pain at first, but just losing the aggro in searching for things is well worth it already, never mind the time. Do this for your browser bookmarks and e-mail correspondents as well. Build filters, unsubscribe and Trash all mail that will not unsubscribe. They do go away after some time. If you suspect a mail to be spam, DELETE it outright! Set the automatic opening time for mail at something like 20-30 seconds hover over.

A clean PC is a pleasure!

- Collapse -
I don't recommend unsubscribing..

If they are a well known source with a good reputation, your initial advice is golden, but if not, you are just advertising to crooks everywhere that the email address you used to attempt unsubscribing is a legitimate one - chances are you will be bombed by thousands of SPAM emails very shortly after attempting to unsubscribe from them. This also just opens you up to phishing attacks that are so convincing, that even a well trained specialist cannot detect is not a legitimate email, from PayPal, or your bank; just for example.

It would be my advice to simply mark all of that category as junk, and your email provider will get the hint very soon. Putting their address on a block list would work even sooner. At least this is true for Microsoft's live Outlook web based email. I can't attest to the others, as I only use them sparingly. I rarely get spam, but when I do, I consistently mark it as junk, and it disappears off the radar before I receive many more of them.

Setting you filters to "exclusive" will block a lot of bad email, but that won't end the practice of spammers without manually marking them as junk - apparently this activates something at Microsoft that looks at them as SPAM if enough people do it within a short time. Even now my junk folders have email I may not necessarily want to read every day, but I rarely see true SPAM in them - it is just the exclusive filter doing its work to lower my work load.

- Collapse -
Never thought of it that way.

Thanks, will definitely try that. Thing that irks me is the wasted bandwidth. Then again, I do not regularly see much spam or junk mail. I use Avast Free Anti-virus no for some twelve years now and always see the malware it catches. Rarely.

And again, I was forewarned on malware before I had my first Win 98 PC. I shun MS apps as far as possible on the Active X issue. Do not even know much about that, but everything I use is free, excepting my Yozosoft Office, since 2007, paid for once. I grudgingly allow Adobe Air and Adobe Flash to play video's and such since first Firefox and now Seamonkey falls to the default plug-ins. Foxit PDF and PDFill work like charms.

- Collapse -
Active X

SpywareBlaster is a good active X blocker that doesn't slow the PC down, and it has a pretty good host file to block bad servers too. No one product can block everything. Spybot Search & Destroy may add some protection in different ways, as it does have, among other features, a bad cookie blocker too - but it rarely updates on the free version. MBAM Premium is one of the best anti-malware for the money, if you find you just have to buy any of them. Avast is golden and does block some of the grey areas between anti-virus and anti-malware but is actually only an anti-virus. It has a lot of cool features now like an app scanner to tell you when your basic apps are ready to update. That one factor alone can keep the really bad malware from taking over your system - even on limited standard accounts, you can be had, if a vulnerability of an application is exploited by the malware!

If you like a fast scanner, that is fairly effective, Super Anti-Spyware has a killer fast scanner if you set it on full CPU usage - it doesn't slow my regular work down while I'm using it. BTW - you rarely see the things Avast blocks because it blocks it from getting in the PC in the 1st place - there again, it isn't perfect just like every other AV or AM product. In fact, I never scan with it, unless I suspect a problem, because it never finds anything, as it has been blocked already! Shocked There again - defense in depth is still required - no one product can do ti all. In fact you could try everything in the book and still have an occasional comprise - fortunately Windows has become combat proven enough that most of the damage isn't done to the OS but relegated to malware running with the same privileges as the one who is logged in. There is a surprising amount of mischief they can do even then!

As far as autoblocking in browsers, I've had the best luck with Comodo Dragon - the built in ones work very well with Avast's extension, and are easier and actually more effective than trying to block everything with No Script or Script Safe. PUPs are coming out of the woodwork now, God knows where they come from. I don't usually mess with new software, so I think they are using the same techniques the malware do now. AdwCleaner can get rid of most of them but not all. I finally had to buy Hitman Pro to take care of about 10 of some of the worst I've caught in a long time!

Most of the time I get away with free, but unfortunately to stay as clean as possible I've had to shell out a little bit of money - I was lucky to get the lifetime license for MBAM while it was still being sold - they say you can still find them in stock in certain stores, but I'm sure somebody will wise up and scarf them all up, to jobber them out on the market. Maybe I go overboard on PC security, but if I don't, I do have something to lose - running a good anti-keylogger and screen capture utility can protect one in real time, even in an infected environment. That is the only way to go on that particular subject - though running CCleaner every time, before you logon to your bank or other sensitive site can help. IBM has a free utility that is the only one that has passed all 6 tests of the AKLT anti-keylogger tester, that I've run on my honey pot. So theoretically you can get pwned to the gills and still not lose your critical passwords, and user IDs to the criminals. It is called Rapport end point security.

Sorry to get so windy, but I run a crusade locally here, where I live, to try to help as many people as possible to protect their systems from criminal activity. I got so used to doing charity work along that line, that I do nothing but that now.

CNET Forums