This month I want to address one of the easiest ways to improve your computer’s performance, tighten your security, and whiten your teeth! (Just kidding.)

Simplify your systems by reducing the software you have installed. When you have an application that you don’t use, it gives attackers a larger “surface area” to try to exploit. For example, Adobe Flash is notorious for how many ways it has been exploited. You might think that all the “bugs” should have been worked out by now. But it seems that not a month goes by without a significant compromise, even to the point of taking over your whole system. So, my point is, if you don’t use something get rid of it NOW!

If you haven’t used a program in the last 30-days, you should consider uninstalling it for the following reasons. Each application you have needs to be regularly patched. Many of them run software constantly in the background taking up valuable processing power. Plus lots of programs “sneak in” when you install something else. For example, simply installing Adobe Acrobat Reader will install other “bloatware” like McAfee Security Scan Plus (web filtering). So now would be a good time to take a few minutes to review all your installed programs. If you’d like some expert guidance with deciding what’s good or bad, we’re here to help. For a Windows machine, go to Windows Applications to Remove. For Mac, go to MacOS Applications to Remove. If there is something you don’t recognize, or not on our list, you should uninstall it. In the end, the extra speed of a clutter-free machine just might make your smile a little bit brighter!