Healthier PC! For the average business owner, their computer system is amongst the most integral components of it. When there’s a problem with their computer, the business slows down, productivity drops to near zero, and customers are unable to be served, this can result in frustration and of course, loss of revenue. If you’re not taking the time to properly maintain your system, you could end up in a big hole, sometime in the future.
The good thing is that it isn’t too difficult or time-consuming for you to maintain your computer. Below are 9 things you should consider doing if you want to ensure the long-term health of your computer.
1. Install the Right Software
If you want to ensure the safety of your system, then it’s up to you, to only install software that is safe for your system. There are also security tools that you can and should invest in. But ultimately, what you want to be sure of, is that anything you do install is not a virus. You may also want to invest in maintenance tools, such as encryption software and backup tools, as they will prove crucial in the long run.
2. Install Antivirus Software
While also prone to attack, MAC computers aren’t nearly at risk as your standard Windows-based unit. This is mainly because of the significant number of people that use Windows systems, and although Macs are very popular systems, with popularity increasing by the day, only around 10% of computer users actually use a Mac. A computer hacker will spend his/her time creating a virus that will do the most damage possible, and consequently, that is always going to be on Windows computers, which is why they are the prime targets. However, despite that fact, Mac computers have many options to choose from, in the area of virus protection. Most of these options are in the form of subscriptions, but there are some free solutions if money is a problem.
PC users are almost always the target of virus attacks, but there are a plethora of virus protection options to compensate for this reality.
One thing to note is that many viruses tend to target loopholes, which typically are patched. This means, computers that have not been updated are usually the most vulnerable to attacks. Most antivirus scanners also are able to auto-update, which means they are always ready to take on the latest and newest threats, with very little input from the user.
3. Keep Everything Clean
A lot of people like to attach pieces of paper to their computers, which usually contain notes, maybe passwords so that they do not forget. This is understandable, and perfectly fine, providing these pieces of paper aren’t in place they shouldn’t be. Such as, over an air vent. If you want your computer to run at its best, then avoid that mistake. You want all the components within your system to be as cool as possible. You should also use compressed air to blow out any dust in and around your system on a regular basis.
4. Keep Your OS Up-To-Date
One of the most effective yet overlooked ways of ensuring the smooth functioning of your system is to keep the operating system up-to-date. While it may not seem so significant, in today’s environment, maintaining your computer is very important. If your operating system has all the latest patches and security updates it will run faster, more reliably, and will be better secured.
If you’re not on Windows 10 by now, it’s probably best you make that transition, and for Mac users, you want to ensure you’re on the most up-to-date version for your hardware. You also want to ensure automatic updates are enabled in the OS.
5. Remove What You Don’t Need
Every couple of months, it’s best practice for you to look through your inventory and remove any programs that you no longer use. These unused programs will, over time start to take up a considerable amount of hard drive space if you don’t do something about them early. There are several ways you can remove a program, but the Remove Program feature is probably the easiest.
6. Use Complex Passwords
Passwords that are difficult to guess are those that have at least 8 characters, and use a combination of lower and upper case letters, along with special characters (if supported). You want your password to be something you can remember, but not something easy to guess, like a birthday or name. You may want to consider combining words or creating a memorable sentence such as Ihv2bkyrdZ. You also want to have different passwords for all your accounts.
7. Backup Your System
You need to make it a regular occurrence of you backing up your system. There are several mediums you can use to secure your data, with the most common being a flash drive or an external hard drive. However, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Cloud storage are also viable options. Backing up your personal files will ensure you’ll be able to retrieve them in the event of a disaster, such as a total system crash.
8. Think before Installing Anything
It’s not uncommon for an individual’s computer to stop working after they downloaded something from the internet. Anything you install on your system will take up space, which will eventually end up slowing your system down. However, many of these programs may have vulnerabilities, of which computer viruses are able to exploit. So essentially, the more programs you install, the more points of entry into your system, you create. It’s for this reason you may want to consider minimizing what you install. You could even consider setting up a second system, just to test out programs you wouldn’t ordinarily use, otherwise. All of which is done to ensure the security of your main system.
9. Clean the Keyboard
The keyboard is probably the most, if not, amongst the most important components of any computer system. As it’s through the keyboard you are able to carry out the vast majority of other tasks on the system. That is why a failing or failed keyboard can greatly affect productivity. It could be a key on the keyboard is broken or the entire keyboard is no longer working as it should. Either way, your best defense against such occurrences is to clean the keyboard. There are several ways you can do this. The quickest way is by simply turning it upside down and shaking out the dirt. You may also want to use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to suck or blow out the remaining dirt. Alcohol-based wipes are also the most effective at cleaning computer components, so I recommend you invest money into them.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.