I'm posting this in lounge, I hope its ok. In addition to me sharing I would like to know any other methods you guys have picked up to stay safe and keep a fast running machine. I started surfing the net in 1995 when my neighbor who worked for HP got it. the main thing I did as a teenager was look up porn. After a couple years I went to college and learned computer basics, blah blah ok. to the point. since I been online for so long and been a windows user for so long I have developed methods that generally keep me safe online. I'm not saying I'm unhackable, but i rarely get anytype of virus or spyware. Please I don't want you to prove me wrong I know I am just as vulnerable as anyone else. I do run firewall and microsoft security and stay updated. I just want to help people who don't know learn how to be pretty safe online because you can still get caught. This will be long post I will try to divide to make sense for you. 1. Your pc. do you know how to manually turn on and off features of windows? I don't mean using ctrl+alt+delete. I mean msconfig. Msconfig. if you ctrl+alt+delete then go to file -- run and type msconfig then press enter your system configuration dialog comes up. With this you will see different startup options you only want to use two tabs. Services and Startup. Services tab. Very important!! click hide all microsoft services. I personally do disable many MS services. I disable print spooler, and many other services. I do very CPU intensive audio production, video production, and 3d rendering. For this reason I disable all non essential services. However these can be used to speed up any computer that is running slow. Now after hiding all microsoft services you can see all the software on your machine non windows. IF you have a laptop or even desktops you will see software that is still important to your machine. Your mouse driver and keyboard etc can be in there so you want to make sure you know the program you uncheck will not inhibit your computer. By simply typing the name of the service into google you can find out what it is for. If you learn those tips you can speed up your computer significantly. Now click startup tab. I say uncheck all these... these will slow down ANY machine and are NOT necessary for your computer to run fine forever. Remember you would rather update a program when you want then automatic becuase they alwasy update at bad time. You working something important and you leave and update restart your machine. Uncheck these to speed you computer.. even utility for your soundcard you don't need. your wireless network card software you don't need use windows. AcroTray AdobeACrobat AdobeREader Divx Updat googleupdater if you have itunes you can uncheck all items UNLESS you use ipod to connect then leave all itune checked. Quicktime uncheck microsoft office uncheck winzip ucheck. Most of the time you can also uncheck your printer software like brother or HP. Your computer will still print and everything will work fine. You may find though that for all in ones you might need to manually start the scanner program or something like that if you disable it being on auto all the time. best to keep your java up to date Also your webcam software too don't uncheck unless you want to have to start manually although most of the time cam will work fine with disable try and see. ok number .. .. 2. This has two things wrapped in one. First if youve ever gone to a website, and you try to exit but then you get that message that says click here to scan your pc and you know that if you click anything it starts right? This is what I do. I hit ctrl+alt+delete then I don't end process normally, i then click file -- run and type cmd. when little black box opens I type in taskkill /im iexplore.exe /f this tells my machine to force this program to shutdown immediately. Instantly all windows close and I am free. BUT pain windows is. when you reopen browser they ask "would you like to restore your browser?" say no and you will be fine. Now this taskkill also works perfect when some programs freeze and you cannot get them to close. You don't have to restart your computer to close the software. These are the softare that freeze up the most and that even trying to end process will not shut them down. Fireworks, aftereffects, 3ds max. So when these programs freeze up i do the taskkill /im afterfx.exe /f etc, and bam they close right away and I restart and it's all good no waiting for machine to reboot. final tip Now I use VMware workstation. What this program allows you to do is to start a new machine on your current machine. So you can have 5 different OS all running same time on same computer AND each can view through teamviewer simultaneously. So my machine has 16gbddr3 ram and 6cores @3.2ghz. Now what I can do is open vmware workstation and click create virtual machine then I tell it ok I want 4gb of ram and 2cores and then it ask for OS so I tell it OS in D drive or Hdrive whatever. I run win7x64 and also linux ubuntu Then it install OS and right on my desktop I now have machine with 4gb of ram and 2cores that anyone can log onto with teamview at the same time and work and I can minimize window and repeat process until out of cpu OR I can tell it give me 4 cores and 14gbram, This works great because now I have "virtual machine" so even IF I get virus or hacked only thing damaged is a virtual machine and I still have my foundation to go back to anytime.. Well I hope this wasn't ramble. I tried to tell you exactly how I try to stay secure and also not sacrifice speed. Quick points.. NEVER click the FIRST download link you see. It's ALWAYS not what you want. never download anything from anybody you don't know. If from here make sure someone give good review first or person is trusted in community here. if you get email from anyone asking you to reset or anyone saying having trouble etc, never logon through email. First check url in email but just go to url yourself then login to see if anything is wrong with account. ALWAYS look at the url in the top of your browser to make sure it says the right url. if it has a funny name and then a dot and then the name you want go to google search and make sure its right url. Also I have sped up hundreds of computers for people and they are always amazed. If your computer takes forever to boot or is real slow I promise you see huge difference. Perfect example: I have old compaq evon1015v. this has 1gb ram but single core processor. You can watch videos and it works really nice and smooth because i disable all non essentials. Peace.