6 things to consider that will help you take better care of your computer
Your computer is probably the single most important piece of equipment in your business. When it’s not working properly, your entire business slows, employee productivity dips, customers aren’t served or aren’t served properly and partners get frustrated. If you’re ignoring your computer’s maintenance and upkeep, you could find yourself in trouble someday. A properly maintained computer will provide you with substantially higher speeds, both via RAM and on the internet, regardless of your hardware setup and configurations. The second law of thermodynamics states that all systems degrade over time, but here are a few tips on how to delay the inevitability. The good news is, maintaining your computer’s health doesn’t have to involve much time or many resources.
Here are 6 things to consider that will help you take better care of your computer:
Think before you install
So many times I’m told that someone’s computer isn’t working properly only to discover they’ve downloaded several programs from the internet or from a CD of a friend. Installing software on your computer will take up space on your hard drive, which will eventually slow your computer down. These random programs could also be an open door for viruses and cause other programs to crash. So install as few programs as possible on your computer.
Install the right software
Ensuring your computer is protected from digital vandals is critical if you want to keep information safe. It’s therefore important that you install both an antivirus program and a firewall software program. These two critical pieces of software, which you should update on a regular basis, will serve as a wall of protection for your computer.
Clean out all the junk left behind by browsers
Every few months you should regularly inventory your computer to find and delete the programs you don’t really need. These unused or unnecessary programs take up valuable hard drive space, and if you’re not using them, you should remove them from your computer via the “Add/Remove” programs option in your control panel. To do this, you can use the Disk Cleanup utility included on the Windows systems, or download a freeware program such as CCleaner to do it for you. In Linux you can use Kleansweep or Bleachbit. Cookies and cache left behind by browsers can amount up to gigabytes of wasted space, so it is imperative they’re deleted.
Search and destroy spyware and/or viruses on your PC
There is a myriad of tools available to do this. AVG Anti Virus is a good one to use. Download.com is a great place to legally obtain these tools.
Defragment your hard drive monthly to keep your computer running smoothly
Your hard drive is one of the hardest-working parts of your computer-you’re using it all the time, every day (whether you realize it or not) to access the programs you use and store the files you create. But the hard drive doesn’t save the files in any particular order; instead, it uses the first empty space it encounters (space that’s created when you delete files). So the pieces of data become scattered around the hard drive, making it slower for you to access the data stored there. That’s why it’s critical to defrag your hard drive on a regular basis to keep things running as quickly as possible. Do it monthly if you’re a “light” computer user and weekly if you’re a power user.
Always run your computer on a UPS as this will help protect it from electric surges
Phone lines for modems and cat 5 or cat 6 network lines also need surge suppression as they can and will take out your network card or modem in an electric storm.
Your computer can grow dusty in less than a year, depending on where it is stored. :- Open it up depending on how dusty your house is. If it’s not too dusty, then check every few months, but if it’s super dusty (your house), then be much more proactive about it. Remove the dust on the bottom with a vacuum (or cloth), then spray with compressed canned air.
Be careful when plugging in USB, Ethernet, speakers, printer etc. :- into your computer. Ports such as USB and Ethernet can easily be damaged from careless placement. These repairs can be costly and these ports are a necessity.