Why you need to get rid of temporary Internet files

As a network support technician, I get a ridiculous and infuriating number of requests for help deleting temporary Internet files. Working on a help line, I am not allowed to field those calls, but in my private network consultant business, I deal with those issues all the time.

It is amazing how much people worry about junk files. Internet temporary files are some of the most dreaded and misunderstood aspects of the personal computer experience. It isn't just that people don't understand computers well, although that is part of it. Just as many people who own cars don't know the first thing about the mechanics of an internal combustion engine, so many people who own computers don't know the first thing about the way an operating system works. Even so, there is more to it than that. Temporary Internet file hysteria definitely has a root causes beyond human ignorance and stupidity.

Of course, one of the biggest problems is the media. Outside of the blogosphere, the media has never bothered to become tech literate. Between Internet virus scares, e-mail scams, identity theft, and a half-dozen other issues, most people are terrified of their computers to some degree or another.

It is a true testament to the usefulness of the personal computer that they are still used. And no matter what the issue, temporary Internet files are always Given more than their fair share of the blame. Deleting cookies and temporary Internet files is almost seen as a panacea for inexplicable computer ills.

Yet the problem goes beyond the media. It involves the way that Windows is set up. Because 9 out of 10 personal computers use Windows nowadays, design flaws introduced through shabby Microsoft programming play a large role in the misunderstandings people have about computers.

Basically, Microsoft Windows often mismanages temporary files Internet as well as other junk files. They can become fragments, cluttering up your hard drive and slowing things down. They can contain compromising information that can be conceivably harvested if your computer is hijacked. Although clearing off temporary Internet files is no substitute for the real solution – switching to Linux – it can still give people a false sense of security. People don't understand that their computer software is deeply flawed. They get conned buying programs designed to delete temporary Internet files (which they could do themselves) in the hope of providing greater security. In the end, who can blame them?