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Protect yourself from PC cleaning scams with these tips

Many purported PC cleaning apps masquerade as helpful software. Instead, they usually just take up a significant amount of system resources, and end up wasting your time. They might even try to trick you into paying up.

Here are a few reasons why you should avoid most PC cleaning apps you see on the Internet, and how you can actually clean up your PC for real.

They don’t clean anything

If you really want to clean out your PC, you can use the cleaning tools that come standard on your computer. Most scams will offer you a free scan of your rig, which will undoubtedly inform you of supposed problems with your system. However, the tactic is usually used to simply scare you into paying up for the software. Further probes using legit software will likely reveal that many of the so-called problems actually don’t exist.

Instead, you may want to run your computer’s disk defragmenter if your PC is running slower than normal.

It never goes away

With most PC cleaning scams, the software may send you continuous reminders informing you of the need to perform additional scans. If the software had properly done its job in the first place, there wouldn’t be a need for constant updates and scans, right?

Additionally, most of the software is incredibly hard to uninstall, requiring you to perform multiple uninstalls and constantly search out malware that may plague your system.

It may ask you to connect remotely to an unknown tech

Unfortunately, another facet of PC cleaning scams comes in the form of tech support offers. The software may stop working entirely and prompt you to call someone to fix the supposed problems remotely. The regret sets in when you let the unknown stranger invade your PC for several hours, likely to no avail. You will likely have to pay up for the “work” as well.

How to clean your PC for free

If you want to clean your computer without getting scammed, you can do so in a few easy steps. First, clear out your browser history, cookies, and cache. You should do so manually every now and again, or preferred, set your browser to do it automatically. With that in mind, check out our guide on how to clear your browser cache. On top of that, run regular virus and malware scans to keep your computer squeaky clean.

How to speed up your computer

If you are trying to speed up your computer, the first step you should take is to uninstall programs you don’t use. There is always the nuclear option of reinstalling Windows. Alternatively, you can always restore your computer to its factory defaults as well.

[Image courtesy of Kirill_M/Shutterstock]

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