Monday, January 05, 2009

Great Tools for a Clean Computer


There are a few software programs that I have been using to keep my email and web surfing clean for so long that they have become second nature to me. However, most people I work with or just talk to are not even aware of these kind of programs. The most popular and expensive commercial products promise to clean your email, block spam, identify porn and many other tasks automatically or with little human intervention. I believe most of these products do, at least, something for you but in many cases it's more like sweeping problems under the rug rather than actually getting to the heart of the problem.

The biggest culprits are the products that organize your spam into convenient folders, or send it right to the "trash" or "delete" folder. The problem here is that once you have downloaded any spam email the sender knows that you exist. It's really great that you have all your spam organized and out of the way, but since the spammers knows you exist they will just keep sending you more!

Are you still getting more spam? The people who sold you the anti spam software shure hope you are. Otherwise they would be out of business. Maybe it's time to find a better way.

For example: My household has seven email addresses. We have had most of these addresses for at least five years. The average spam and junk mail total for the week, for all seven accounts, is usually around 10 to 15. Most of this junk goes to my 14 year old as a result of his web surfing habits. He has gotten better but I still need to do more work with him. I think this is a really low spam count. And I attribute this to the great products listed below.

I will go through each of my simple, effective and free (or very inexpensive) programs that have kept my email and web surfing nearly trouble free for years.


I started using this program about 6 or 7 years ago when I was still on "Dial-Up" to view my mail server before I downloaded new mail. With a dial-up connection it can take 10 minutes or more just to find out that your Aunt Nellie has sent you another 5 bad pictures of her cat. Really frustrating!! With MailWasher you can see how large the email is, you can read the title and partial text and much more without having downloaded it.

So here is a list of features as stated on their web site:

Preview. Easily preview the message in your email to see what the sender has to say before downloading it. Just double click on the message.

Bounce back unwanted e-mails so it looks as if your email address is not valid. This will make the sender think your address is no longer active so your name can be removed from their list. This unique feature is great for privacy and it couldn't be simpler!

"Bounce is BY FAR the coolest feature. This is what kills spam! Several other programs just organize your spam into seperate folders after it is downloaded. But by then it is too late. They already know you exist. DUUHHH!!!"

Delete unwanted e-mails before you download the whole message. You will be able to see who the email is from, the subject, and the attachment. This will enable you to decide if you want to delete the email or keep it. A great way to stop viruses or large attachments.

Blacklist. Any e-mails you bounce back get their senders details put on the blacklist for easy removal if they come back. You can even set it to automatically bounce and delete blacklisted e-mails, or whole domains off the server. Plus, MailWasher can use external blacklists such as ORDB and Spam Cop or you can specify your own.

I can't say enough about this product. Get it. It's Free. I always use MailWasher before I download email. It also gives me a chance to see what my kids are doing with email. I view all 7 accounts at once to keep everybody clean.


This product has been around for years. It's free. It keep the bad guys out. It will stop a virus infestation on my home network (we share 5 computers and a network printer). It is also an easy way to monitor internet traffic. Has your computer been hijacked? ZoneAlarm will show you what programs are sending or receiving data from the connection.

Pop-Up Stopper

This is an easy program to use. It does the job. It's Free. Easy to turn on and off. It will block all pop-ups... Period! Get it at:


Ever wonder what your kids are doing with AOL Instant Messaging (AIM)? Did they get up in the middle of the night to play a few rounds of Half-Life 2? Are they talking about drugs in their emails? eBlaster will answer all these questions and leave no doubt in your mind.

I have been using eBlaster for abour 2 years to keep an eye on my kids. Yes... It's a little like spying but I'm a parent. It's my job to keep my kids safe and out of trouble. And I don't hide the fact that I see what they are doing. They know I can read their AIM's, outgoing and incoming. I don't tell them how I do it though. I simply tell them that I can monitor internet traffic. You would be amazed what your "Perfect Children" talk about on AIM. As a parent your knowledge can keep them out of trouble, out of jail, maybe even save their life from predators. I have eBlaster set up to send me an email every day at 8:00pm (or the next time they are on-line) with the complete text (both ways) of their AIM sessions, email, keyboard reader and web sites visited.

For company use there is a version that can be remotely installed via email, however, it is not automatic. So don't think about trying to scam your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife or anyone else you want to dig dirt up on. Of course, if you get your hands on their computer when they are not watching, you could do the install yourself. But... Well... I don't want to talk about it.

This product costs about $100.00 (one time fee) and is worth every penny. Additional downloads are $49.00 each.

Auslogics Boot Speed

This is my most recent tool. It does several things very well. Great tool for cleaning up temp files, registry cleaner, defrager, optimizing internet connection and plenty more. The price as of February 2008 is only $29.00. Visit their web site and look around: Auslogics

I hope this information is usefull. Try the free stuff. It can't hurt. But it may hurt if you don't!

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