I’m sure you value your computer – after all, it probably cost you a lot of money, and we need technology to stay connected and take advantage of all the opportunities the Internet has to offer. So I’m going to believe you want to keep your computer healthy, right? You want it to run like new, like it should. Pretty much everyone gets a virus at least once, but viruses and other types of hassles can be avoided with a few maintenance tips. Regular maintenance not only protects from viruses, but keeps your computer running swiftly and protects your files, too! Read on for tips on keeping your computer healthy and in top form!
- Back up your files – Every time you forget to save something, it’s lost. The same rule applies to your computer crashing. You can lose valuable files and work if you forget to back your stuff up! The classic case is losing music on iTunes. One mistake and your entire library is gone! Many websites offer services that allow you to back up files online, or you could simply store them on a CD.
- Don’t unplug! Never unplug your USB devices like your phone, iPod, etc, while the power is still on. Also, make sure you “disconnect” your flash drive before removing it. If not, you run the risk of shorting your USB connection out.
- UPS – Purchase a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply). These are far better than surge protectors and help save your computer from voltage differences.
- Perform regular scans with Scandisk and Defragment. This helps prevent nasty stuff from infecting your computer. You should run them about once a month.
- Updates – If your computer or browser offers an update (iTunes seems to put out a new version monthly), install it! To be compatible with the latest services, your computer needs to be updated, just like your iPhone. You also need to keep up-to-date versions of Adobe Flash Player so you can view all website content.
- The recycle bin is your friend – Get rid of useless clutter lying around your computer. Applications, programs, pictures, documents, and folders that you never use take up valuable space and memory, and therefore speed. Get rid of them – and remember to clean out your recycling bin or it doesn’t count!
- Set a system restore point and learn how to use it – In your control panel, there is a way to set a “system restore” point. This lets you set a date to which you can have your computer restored to. It’s pretty self-explanatory. You set it back to that date, and everything you did after that date is gone – programss are uninstalled, and it also gets rid of most viruses. Before you install a new program, set your date to yesterday so that you keep all of your current documents.
- Firewall – If you’re on the Internet, you need a firewall. Period.
- Learn to spot scams – Learn the warning signs of viruses and scams. If that strange email has an attachment, don’t open it unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe. And realize that many people put “Scanned” in the subject line of their scam mail, but that is a lie and is not safe! Don’t click on sketchy links, download sketchy products, etc. It’s not fun having your computer crash.
I hope your computer stays in the best shape possible! Use these tips to do that, and best of luck!
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