Joe & I had a serious heart to hear last weekend.
It was about my computer.
Yes, my computer. Apparently at my rate of how I take care (or more accurately DON’T take care) of my computer, I’ll be having to purchase new ones each year. And there’s no way I have a budget for that.
When I left my job earlier this year, I turned in my work laptop, meaning I had to pony up for a new personal computer. Fortunately I handed that responsibility over to Joe to research and found me a computer that was both affordable and would work for what I needed…. Email, Pinterest, and Blogging.
But before I turned on my brand new computer, Joe gave me the lay of the land so that I don’t ruin this computer too. (Yes, there’s a backstory)
Here’s his top tips to keep your computer virus free and running smoothly
1 Install and update an anti-virus. Ok. Ok. This sounds like an obvious one. But don’t let a day go by without installing AND ensuring it’s active. Just because you installed an antivirus years ago, doesn’t mean it’s still active. Make sure you’re up to date on your payments and double check to make sure it’s running. We use McAfee, but there’s definitely a wide variety to choose from!
2 Always always ALWAYS install the updates on your computer when it says to. There’s absolutely no reason to sit on these. Yes, this is a screenshot of over 200 updates needed. Yes, this was my old personal computer. No, its not working anymore. Surprised?
3 Skip the peer to peer downloading (aka free music, bootleg videos, etc). First, it’s illegal, but you’re also pretty much telling the world “Please give me a virus. Please”. In my college days, I would download videos and music from Napster (remember them?). Fortunately I had a deal with Joe where I would do his laundry and he would fix my computer. Let’s just say eventually he started going to a laundry mat because it was no longer a fair deal 🙂 .
4 Turn off and restart your computer once a day. EVERY day. This one was tough for me. I’m that girl who just pushes down my computer screen and assumes that means my computer is turned off. Well apparently it’s not.
5 Remove stuff you don’t use from your start up folder so computer turns on faster. A lot of companies have deals with computer companies to automatically have their programs downloaded on your new computer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re not going to use those programs, you might as well remove it from your computer. For me, it’s all the video games that showed up when I first turned on my computer.
6 If searching on your computer starts to become slow, you may need to run a disk clean up and disk defragmenter. Overtime your computer files become scattered over your hard drive causing searches to run slow. Typically running these once a month is sufficient. (Add it to your to-do list!) On newer computers, simply search for “disk clean up” and “defragmenter”. On older computers, go to your settings to find these.
7 Back up data regularly. Storing anything super important in only one location is a recipe for disaster. Even if you’re convinced your computer is healthy. Plus, online cloud storage is becoming extremely affordable. Think: Dropbox. Google Drive, etc. Even Carrie Bradshaw jumped on the bandwagon, but only after disaster hit. Don’t be Carrie.
8 Uninstall applications you don’t need anymore. Similar to removing necessary applications when you first get your new computer, as time goes on, if you notice that you no longer need a program anymore that you previously downloaded, remove it from your computer. Remember, simply deleting the icon on your home screen is not actually deleting the program. Go into your settings to fully remove the program.
9 Overheating can cause your computer to shut down and even cause permanent problems. Even though our Seattle weather never gets particularly hot, somehow I’m able to find the warmest spot in our house and leave my laptop there. Joe was not impressed.
Cheers to your computer virus free and running smoothly!
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