We often forgo common sense for convenience, but when it comes to keeping your machine and information safe and in proper working order, it’s of utmost importance to practice good habits. There are some things you can do on a regular basis to keep your PC in tip-top shape and limit any information losses that can occur.
1. Moderate programs using Task Manager
Task Manager in is a Windows utility that allows you to look at what programs are being executed in real time. It’s a great way to see if something is running in the background. This could be a program you purposefully installed, one you forgot about, or a virus. All three can slow down your computer. When your computer is running slowly, use this tool to see what the computer is doing. Your PC could be running slowly for other reasons, but this is one way to make sure anything you don’t want running on your computer isn’t. Lastly, Task Manager is an easy way to kill programs that have frozen or glitched in some way. Once you kill the program, you can restart it.
2. Update, update, update
You know those updates your OS keeps reminding you about? Take the time to approve them. Just like your mobile device, updates are necessary to keep your PC in proper working order. A good way to make updates without interfering with your day is to set the computer to update when you go to sleep. It’s also important to tell your computer to shut-down after it’s made an update. That way, it isn’t running while you are away from your computer.
3. Auto backup
Auto backup is the best way to keep your information from getting lost. Accidental deletions can happen due to user error or a computer glitch. Do not be caught unprepared by a system shutdown. Auto backup your important documents, photos, and files to an external hard drive. If you don’t have an external drive and you don’t have too many files, you can use a flash drive to manually backup your files. Consider having a password management system in place – and make sure it has a backup!
4. Utilize cloud storage for important documents
Another option if you do not have an external drive is cloud storage. Gmail and most popular email clients offer this service for free. Some, like Gmail, have storage limits while others do not. DropBox is another free service you can use to store and share files – great for all your important stuff, from photos to Word Documents.
5. Turn your computer off when you’re not using it
This is so important. Turn your computer off when you are not using it. It prolongs the life of your PC as well as saves you money on your electricity bill. There are some reasons this may not be feasible. If you are running on a network (perhaps for work) and administrators are making constant updates, you will not want to shutdown your computer unless told to do so. Otherwise, make a habit of regularly shutting down.
An extra – I have an article about keeping in shape while sitting at that desk all day – it is important!
Just a couple of simple ones to get you started – look out for more advanced tips coming soon.