Windows Startup Programs, viruses, updates and spyware
Referencing: Start-up applications do you really need all of them?
Maybe someday dealing with Windows problems won't be part of our
lives, but for now, most of us have to deal with these things now
and then. Aside from viri and adware and security issues, a common
source of problems is startup programs: all the things that load
when Windows starts. On modern systems, if you run "msconfig" and
click into the Startup tab, you'll likely see a long list of
programs. Some of them are immediately identifiable: you probably
understand what "Quickbooks Update" is and whether or not you want
it. But what about "igfxtray" and "ccApp" - what are they, and do
you need them? Actually these two are common and useful and you
probably do want them, but how would you know that? The searchable
list at Startup Applications List
can often help you.
On other Windows subjects: keeping up to date with Windows
Updates is becoming very important. It is still a double-edged
sword - these updates can do damage too - but I've found that to be
less and less likely recently. As for the warnings against SP2, so
far I have NOT seen problems. Overall, I think not keeping up with
these will cause more problems than otherwise.
I do recommend all Windows users install and use a program like
and of course it is critical to run desktop virus scanning even if
you are scanning at your gateway (see Protecting corporate email by using multiple anti-virus scanners)
I'm of divided mind on the subject of centralized servers to
update desktop machines. On the one hand, it is convenient and of
course it also cuts down on internet bandwidth for downloads, but
it does require the resources of another server and it may limit
your choices for what you use on the desktop. It also may require
specific Desktop OS choices - some of these don't work at all with
older Windows OSes. Then there is the "all the eggs" problem - if
that server doesn't update its virus protection, nobody gets
updated, which could lead to a major problem if everyone got hit
with a bad virus. For these reasons, I tend to lean toward
individual installation for smaller companies, but it's definitely
just a "lean" - I'm not adamant about it.
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