Why not start out 2006 right?

With the new year, comes a couple of smart technology reminders. Your computer can't stay clean by itself - make sure you're doing your part. And with the new year, and new month, why not verify things are up-to-date now?

1. Make sure you're running the most up-to-date product, with the most up-to-date definitions for your anti-virus software. Not using a AV program? Grisoft offers AVG for free for home users. I've used this product for years and stand behind it 100%. http://www.grisoft.com/doc/289/lng/us/tpl/tpl01

If you're using Norton Internet Security, on the other hand, don't update to NIS 2006 - either update your past version's definitions, or look for another product.

2. Ad-Aware - it just makes sense. Download Ad-Aware and run it on a semi-regular basis. Your computer, mouse, keyboard, and network will thank you. Again, completely free. http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/

3. Disk Defragmentation. If you're running a new version of Windows (like XP), there's no reason not to defragment on a semi-regular basis. Heck, it's already installed. Under the Start menu's programs, Accessories > System Tools.