PC Maintenance Tips

  • Make sure you keep your computer software up to date. Especially the software that is prone to having security threats (such as Java, Windows, etc.). Make sure you keep all of your anti-virus programs up to date as well so you can be sure you are getting the best protection possible.

 

  • Clean out your temporary computer files every now and then. These files are not needed to be kept for long periods and can even sometimes contain sensitive information. Free programs can be used to help you clear out all of the various files. I personally recommend using the free program CCleaner (download here).

 

  • Run regular anti-virus scans on your computer. This is mostly for the heavy users out there, but it is never a bad idea to have a weekly routine scan for any malware that may have infected your computer. For free anti-virus programs visit my useful links page here.

 

  • Defragment/Optimize your drives. Most of the time you will probably not have to do this, but it is good to do every once in a while depending on how much you are using the computer. You do not need a dedicated program to defrag or to optimize your drives because Windows has it built into their operating system.

 

  • Clean out the dust from your computers. This is actually very important for both laptops and desktops as they both build up dust over time and the dust can cause the computer hardware to overheat and eventually die. Use a can of compressed air or buy a blower vacuum for electronics to blow out the dust. Do not use a regular blower vacuum as they can create static electricity and may cause damage to your computer.

 

  • Clean up any dirt or grime on your computer. This is good to make your computer look and feel nice. It is also good hygiene to make sure your computer isn’t covered in germs. I recommend using a high concentration of isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol to clean parts of your computer such as your keyboard, mouse, and monitor/screen. The alcohol will kill germs, clear away dirt, evaporate quickly, and it won’t leave any residue behind.

     

     This is not a complete list, but it does cover the basics of computer care. Let us know what you think of our tips by leaving a comment below or contacting us. We reply to any feedback we receive as quickly as we can. Thanks for reading!

Internet Safety Tips

     If there is one thing I have learned in all my years of supporting computers and being a part of the IT support community, it is that there are still a bunch of people who have no clue about how to stay safe on the internet. So, to try and help out my less tech minded friends out there, I have put together a list of tips that will help you avoid any nasty computer infections. I hope this helps!

 

  • Do not click on links from people you do not know or trust. Even if the link looks legitimate, there are ways of spoofing links and leading you to a site that could infect your computer with malware when you click the link and visit the site. Be incredibly wary about links found on public forums, emails, and in the comments sections of websites as these are prime targets for malicious links to be found.

 

  • Do not open suspicious looking emails or any email attachments. Emails asking you to follow a link or sign into an account of yours should be looked at closely before you type any of your personal information in. Today, most email attachments can be scanned before being opened which will cut down the risk of infecting your computer. Just be sure to scan when given the option to.

 

  • Do not click on or put in any personal information in pop-ups. A common tactic for delivering malware to unsuspecting victims is through pop-up ads. These ads can take many forms, so be incredibly wary should one pop-up. In most cases, it is generally advisable to close out of pop-up ads. Even if these pop-ups are asking for a survey or claiming you have won a prize of some sort, do not put in any personal information (including your email!) and do not download anything from the pop-up.

 

  • Download your programs directly from the source. There are a ton of websites that allow you to download various programs all from one place. However, there are many times when a malicious program can slip in claiming to be a program that it is not. That is why I always recommend to download a program directly from its website if you can. Downloading your programs from the source website also insures that you will have the most up to date version of that program as well.

 

  • Make sure your connection is secured when you are inputting sensitive personal information. If you are buying something online or filling out personal information that is sensitive (like your social security number) make sure that your connection is secured by HTTPS. When the web page is secured by HTTPS, it means that your connection to the website has been encrypted which will make any information you submit secure. You can check to see if the web page you are on is secure by looking on the address bar of your internet browser. There should be a green padlock with https in front of the website address. This lets you know that your connection has been secured.

 

  • Be wary of what websites you visit. In a world of aggregate sites like Reddit, it is incredibly easy for any unsuspecting user to end up visiting a malicious website. These websites can be hard to recognize as malicious, but there are tools out there such as web of trust that can help you decide if the website is safe to visit. Modern internet browsers will also sometimes warn you if a website is suspected of being malicious.

 

  • Do not share any of your passwords with anyone over the internet. Even if they are family or friends, sharing passwords is incredibly discouraged. Information you share over the internet is largely unsecured from being intercepted by someone else. Additionally, there is the risk of your friends or family using your credentials on a compromised computer and accidentally leaking out your sensitive information.

 

     These tips will help you to stay safe when your on the internet. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will reply to your feedback as soon as we can. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think of this list and if you have any good tips to add.