Computer Science Pty Ltd    ABN:  75 115 092 101

Providing On-site Computer Support

in Melbourne's East

Links       

Free Software

Here are links to a selection of very useful and free software that we can recommend:

Security Programs


Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) - no longer offered for Windows XP

Avira Free Antivirus

avast! Free Antivirus

AVG Anti-Virus Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

CCleaner - Slim

Internet


Mozilla Firefox

Adblock Plus Firefox Add-on

Mozilla Thunderbird

MailWasher Free

Graphics


Picasa

Paint.NET

Microsoft Photo Story

VideoLAN VLC media player

Foxit PDF Reader

Sumatra PDF reader

Office Productivity


LibreOffice

OpenOffice

IBM Lotus Symphony

Backup!

As always, please make sure that you have a verified, current backup of your important data before making any significant system changes.
Also consider making a 'System Restore Point' before major updates or new program installs.

Further Recommendations

Some programs that are free also have paid-for versions available. In many cases, the free versions are quite adequate but you may find that they come with some advertising and prompts to 'upgrade'.

As you install a program, carefully read the choices along the way, and be sure to 'untick' any pre-ticked option that installs a Web Browser Toolbar, changes your Homepage or your Search Provider, or adds some (often completely unrelated) application or feature. Never just 'click through', and do choose a Custom install rather than any Express option, to make all of those details visible. Unfortunately, many programs will try very hard to trick you into installing bundled 'junkware' with misleading buttons and text.

It's never a good idea to run more than one anti-virus program or suite on your computer, if they are always running in the background checking your files as you open them. Having multiple security programs that will scan only 'on-demand' is usually fine.

We are often asked if it's OK to update programs when they pop-up and notify you of 'Update Available' - the answer is normally "Yes" for applications such as Firefox, Java, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Windows itself, but it is a good idea to be slightly sceptical when the 'Internet' offers you something!

A common hazard as you surf around the Web are pop-ups or advertisements offering to 'Scan your PC for Errors or Viruses'. These are likely to install unwanted software that can be quite difficult to remove. Using Mozilla Firefox with the Adblock Plus add-on really helps with this annoyance. Almost all 'Registry Cleaners' should be avoided (CCleaner, as linked to above, is perhaps one exception to this rule). When in doubt, just Google Search an appropriate phrase, such as "is conduit search protect malware".

Another scam we hear about is the telephone call - out of the blue - claiming that "there is a problem with your computer". It's best to just hang up. There has been no breach of security and they don't have your personal details; they are simply dialing sequential telephone numbers on their (very long) list.

 
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