The most common complaint is a slow computer. If computer programs run fine and things only slow down when using the internet, you should check your internet speed. If it's not what you are paying for, call your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

If a computer runs slow when a web browser isn't open, when starting up or shutting down, or if just a few programs are open, then adding more memory (RAM) and adjusting the virtual memory setting will likely solve the problem. (Don't confuse memory with a computer's Hard Drive - an explanation is here.) However, if the computer is five to eight years old, it may be time for a new one.

Malware (spyware, worms, ransomware, viruses, pop-ups, Trojans, browser toolbars or "browser search engines," etc.) may also cause a computer to slow down as a result of opening multiple windows or processes in the background. Usually one infection leads to another so it's good idea clean up the situation before it gets worse. Here's an article on the most common signs that a computer is infected. Unfortunately many of the free antivirus and anti-spyware programs advertised on the Internet and TV/Cable do not work as advertised. Some will scan your computer, tell you that it is infected - even if it isn't - and then request that you purchase an additional program to fix the problems (this is called scamware.) Stick with reputable products! If you are only using the antivirus program provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or that came with your computer - that may not be enough - especially if it is past its expiration date! Additional software is needed to keep a computer clean and running its best.

Francis IT has tools that will stop malware, remove it and protect your computer against further threats.

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