Protect your computer when connectedInvest in a battery backup unit or use a quality surge suppression power strip. If you leave your computer powered on regularly a sudden power outage or power surge may cause damage to your system. Battery backup units and quality surge suppression power strips will reduce the risk of damage.
Store your software installation CD/DVDs in a storage container that has a tight lid. These containers are a good place to keep all of your installation CD/DVDs in one spot and in the event that you have an unexpected water problem, they will be protect from getting wet and damaged.
Save copies of the installation keys or serial numbers in a plastic or waterproof container. These keys or serial numbers will allow you to re-install the software in case you have to rebuild your system for any reason.
Protect your computer on the Internet:
- Make sure your anti-virus, anti-spyware protection and firewall software is up to date. There are over 4.6 million viruses, Trojan Horses, RootKits and variants reported as of June 2011. More are being created and released daily. Making sure your subscription to your anti-virus software is current and your software isn’t more than two years old will go a long way in protecting your computer from being infected.
- When surfing the Internet be aware that many sites unknowingly may have malware on them. Also beware of emails that you receive with attachments many contain funny messages, jokes, greeting cards, movie or music files that are actually Trojan horses designed to infect or compromise your computer. Recently there was an email that had a link to a celebrity website that supposedly had a blooper clip on it but in fact was a Trojan horse that once infecting your computer would steal personal and financial information and send it to a hidden identity theft ring site. Current anti-virus software will help protect you.
- If you are you are using a software firewall, make sure it is turned on and it is up to date. Firewalls are a good tool to keep your system shielded from the Internet and to provide alerts if you are being probed or attacked from the Internet.
- Make sure you have all of your Operating System updates and security patches installed. Keeping your operating system up dated and current helps keep you safe from exploiters trying to take advantage of security holes and problems.
Protecting your data:
Backup your critical data files (family pictures, documents, financial files, customer records, contact management databases, etc). All hard drives will eventually fail. In some cases failures may be sudden, a power outage for example may cause significant issues if the hard drive was in the process of writing data. Subtle problems develop over time causing the drive to work slower and slower eventually a hard failure occurs. To protect your data these are the options:
- Online data backup: best security and protection. Data is stored in a secure off site facility. Requires Internet access and once set up will backup your designated data files continually.
- External backup device: good protection. Data is backed up to an external hard drive either through a manual copy process or through backup software. Requires some user intervention to maintain backup hard drive and or to create a script to backup desire files, etc. Security is up to the user.
- CD/DVD backup: fair protection. Although CD/DVDs have good to excellent storage life, the process is manual. The user must designate the files to be burn to the disk and must manage the file size not to exceed the capacity of the CD or DVD. Process is very time intensive and maybe limited by the CD/DVD drives capacity and speed. Security is up to the user.
- Remember this saying: "Backup Early, Backup Often, Backup Lots". Start the backup process when you first open the document or work file, backup frequently while you are working on the document, and finally backup the original to an external device. Again it's up to you, the user, to maintain the security and data backups.
Protecting the Health and Maintenance:
For PC users:
- Run Virus Scan
- Run Windows Update.
- Run Disk Cleanup and delete all temporary files, Internet, system etc.
- Run Disk Defragmenter.
- Run Virus Scan Again.
For Mac Users:
- Run System Software updates.
- Run Disk Utility: Repair Permissions
- Run Disk Utility: Disk Verify