PC Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your PC can help keep it running smoothly and securely, the following is a checklist of basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Don't worry if you are uncomfortable doing any of the below, contact us and we can do it for you.

1. Anti-virus software

Ensure you've installed an anti-virus, it's updated and you've run a scan. The software should remain running in the background all the time, set it to run scans weekly. For further information, see the website of the anti-virus program you are using.

2. Anti-spyware / Anti-malware software

Some anti-virus programs have a basic spyware check included, if not, install and run one of these.

3. Software firewall

Install and use a software firewall to protect your computer from remote scanning.

4. Uninstall programs you no longer need to use

This will free up space on your hard drive for other programs and files.

5. Run a disk scan to check for hard drive issues

This will identify any problems with your files.

6. Run disk cleanup to identify and remove temporary files no longer     needed.

This will also free up space on your hard drive for other programs and files, remember to regularly delete your temporary internet files.

7. Check and empty your recycle bin

When you delete something, it doesn't mean it's actually gone. If it's sitting in the recycle bin, it's still on your hard drive and taking up space. To empty, go into the bin, double check you really don't want the things in there, then empty.

8. Defragment your hard drive

This will help programs run faster by rearranging fragmented data, your disks and drives will work more efficiently.

9. Make sure your Windows has the latest updates including the latest     Service Packs.

An easy way to do this is to turn on Windows Update. This will give you the latest security and other important updates from Microsoft automatically.

10. Check regularly for updates to other software you use often on your        computer.

For example; security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc.), office suite, Internet browsers, PDF readers, Java.

11. Remove any unwanted / unnecessary internet browser extensions,        add-ons or plug-ins.

This will free up space on your hard drive.

12. Back up your data regularly.

Make sure you have a current backup. Just in case there is a problem in the future, you should make sure you don't lose any of your valuable data. Ideally, back up remotely or take a backup to a remote location.

In addition to the above, practice general safe computing habits every day, for example:

  • Protect your data - update your passwords, if very old, ensure they are secure (longer, with both numbers and letters, upper and lower case) and don't share it with friends, family or work colleagues.
  • Lock your screen whenever you move away to prevent others from gaining access to your computer.
  • Secure sensitive data (especially if sending to other people via the internet) with encryption software.
  • Beware what is shared on social media. Somebody could find the answers to your security questions (e.g. birth date and town, mother's maiden name, name of your first school etc.) Choose security questions where the answers are hard to guess, or even use answers that don't match the question!
  • Browse wisely – by using common sense to avoid websites that seem questionable.
  • Download and install software with caution, when possible, only install reviewed software from reputable sources
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