The Importance of Computer Clean Up

If you frequently use your computer to surf the Internet and for work related tasks, it is important to get in the habit of running a computer clean up to protect yourself against hackers that can exploit your operating system and view all of your files and where you have been on the Internet.

If you browse around the files in your computer before you perform a computer clean up, you will find records of websites that you visited and cookies stored throughout several locations in your PC, which provide websites with information about you.  You will also discover documents both new and old that you have in your files or may have deleted but they are still on your hard drive.

Files That Need Computer Clean Up

There are a number of files that you want to include in a computer clean up to protect yourself against hackers that compromise your operating system with spyware so they can view your information.

  • Browsing History: When you browse the Internet, your computer logs all of the websites you have visited. If these files are not deleted, anyone with unauthorized access your operating system can view your browsing history.
  • Cookies: Cookies are files that originate from websites that you have visited. Every time you visit a website it installs a cookie into your PC that remembers your name, your shopping preferences, items of interest, and other information about you. Hackers often use cookies to find out sensitive information about you.
  • Temporary Internet Files: Temporary Internet Files store a wide variety of information from websites that you visited. The information includes website pictures, links, sound files, and any other type of component from the website. All of these files are stored on your PC every time you visit a website. Temporary Internet Files are also known as a cache which can be viewed by anyone with unauthorized access to your PC's operating system.
  • Documents: Microsoft Windows contains a feature that stores documents you recently worked on in the Start menu. Anyone who accesses your computer can view the files and if they contain sensitive information, this can present a problem.

How to Perform Computer Clean Up

You should make a habit of cleaning up your computer on a daily basis and every time you finish browsing the Internet.

You can perform a computer clean up by clicking the Start button on the main toolbar on your PC's desktop. Click on "All Programs" and then select "Accessories" from the pop-up menu. Choose "System Tools" from the submenu and then click on "Disk Cleanup." An icon will appear that asks you to select a drive. Choose Drive C from the pull down menu and then click OK.

After you click OK your operating system will begin calculating disk space. Once it completes the cycle, a menu will appear that will allow you to choose what files you want to clean up. Make sure you choose browsing history, temporary Internet files, and cookies, as well as any other files you wish to clean up. Simply click on "OK" and your PC will clear all of these files.


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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser