Have You Made These Five Computing Mistakes?
I hate to sound unsympathetic, but most computer problems are caused by careless users. There are a few basic steps you can take to avoid malware infections, data loss, and performance issues. But too many people try to save time or money by cutting corners, and they end up paying the price...
Five Computing Mistakes to Avoid
Here are five of the most common computing mistakes, and some tips on corrective action you can take today.
SECURITY: Failure to use anti-malware and firewall protection is like leaving your door open and your wallet on the table. Viruses, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, rootkits and other malware are ubiquitous, and they can enter a computer through many different channels. The damage that malware can do ranges from minor annoyance to data loss to identity theft. The latter can take years to remedy and cost thousands of dollars.
It's been shown that a computer left unprotected can be infected within minutes after going online! Protecting yourself against malware should be a high priority. There really is no excuse for not using an effective anti-malware program. I have reviewed many of them here, and all are available in free versions.
OPERATING SYSTEM: Keeping Windows up to date is also a critical security chore, and one that too many users skip. Hackers discover new vulnerabilities in the world's most popular operating system every month, and Microsoft issues critical security updates of Windows and other MS applications as fast they're fixed. Obtaining this free protection is as easy as enabling Automatic Updates in Windows; just set it and forget it.
- HOW TO FIX IT: See Microsoft Windows Update Website
SOFTWARE: Application software also needs to be kept up to date and secure. Many malware packages target vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and other popular applications. Automatic updates are available for many applications, and they should be enabled so you can easily receive security updates. Manual checks for updates should be performed at least monthly if automatic updates are not available.
- HOW TO FIX IT: See Secure Your Software
HARD DRIVE: Defragmenting one's hard drive is as important as changing the oil in a car regularly. Every hard drive's data gets fragmented over time. Fragmentation makes the drive's read/write head work harder, shortening the life of the drive. Fragmented files are more likely to become corrupted, too, causing loss of data and problems running applications. Defragmentation can be done while you work, or scheduled for times when the computer is idle.
BACKUPS: Backing up data is probably the most neglected computing safety chore. The Backup utility built into Windows will do an adequate job of backing up just your data or your entire hard drive. Alternatively, there are many backup utilities and online storage services for your backup copies. You don't even have to remember to run a backup; just schedule backup runs weekly and let them run while you sleep.
- HOW TO FIX IT: See Hard Drives Are Not Forever
- HOW TO FIX IT: See Windows 7 Backup and Restore
- HOW TO FIX IT: See Which Online Backup Service Is Best?
The biggest mistake most users make is assuming that the worst will never happen to them. Paying attention to these five simple chores can prevent a myriad of computing problems. Have you made any of these mistakes? Follow the links above and learn how to protect yourself from viruses, identity theft, data loss and sluggish performance.
Your thoughts are welcome on this topic! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Oct 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Have You Made These Five Computing Mistakes? (Posted: 17 Oct 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved