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Guest Post: 10 Tips to Get Your Computer Ready for the School Year

NecessityImage by Stefan Neagu via Flickr

I personally have had some major computer issues lately. In fact, my entire hard drive crashed about a month ago. Here are some great tips to keep your computer in tip top shape as we head into fall.

10 Tips to Get Your Computer Ready for the School Year

1. Always be sure to have a flash drive handy. The cost is about $9 - $40, depending on memory size, and can be used in case there are printing issues or computer mal-functions to back up the document and print or use it on another computer/laptop.

2. Parents should explain to their children that their computer is a tool, not a toy, and should be respected as such. Wandering all over the Internet can pick-up spyware, malware and viruses. Although you may have protection on your computer to guard against these things, new viruses are out everyday.

3. Keep your computer in an open area where the air can circulate. If your computer heats up and gets clogged with dust, it will FRY!!! This is a major concern, especially for a laptop, which can be easily fixed by sitting your laptop on a cooling pad.

4. Always keep an extra black and colored ink cartridge on hand. You never know when you’ll need one, and the last thing that you want to do is run to the store, last minute, to purchase one.

5. Keep at least 300 MBs of your C: drive free for Windows to use. If you use Windows XP or Vista, then you should have 400-600 MBs of free space. This will ensure that your computer will continue to run up-to-speed.

6. Run Scandisk and Defragment at least once a month. This will keep your hard drive healthy and prevent crashes.

7. Purchase a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) for your computer. This will keep your computer from crashing during power outages, and will protect your computer from low and high voltage occurrences.

8. Do a virus check regularly. Set up a schedule. Your computer should be set to run a complete virus scan automatically everyday. In order for the scan to run, your computer must be turned on, therefore, it is suggested to have the virus scan run in the early morning hours, while your family is sleeping. Be sure to check to if you are using an anti-virus software that has real-time protection, as well as an anti-spyware component. If there is no anti-spyware component, be sure to run an anti-spyware program as well.

The key to both of these programs is that they are up-to-date. Making sure that your definitions are the most recent versions for both your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs is very important, and will help detect the new viruses that are developed each day. Keeping up with anti-virus software updates and running virus scans regularly will help insure that your computer will run smooth and virus-free all year long.

9. If you have high speed wireless Internet connection, be sure to secure it with an encrypted password and have a firewall program set-up. Most routers will already have a firewall program, but be sure to double check for it. This will keep away those who want to hijack your computer from gaining access to it.

10. Backup, backup, backup any data you cannot afford to lose. Back it up with at least two separate physical drives like external hard drives, flash drives, CD-RW’s, etc. The time to backup is when you create something you can’t afford to lose.

Tips provided by Yvonne Graber, CEO of Computer Community Hospital, serving residents and small to mid-sized businesses throughout Florida with quick, affordable and no-hassle computer repair services. For more information on Computer Community Hospital, please visit www.cchpc.com or call 1-877-644-9403.

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1 comment:

Lynette said...

great tips now teach me what most of this means