New Year’s resolutions...for your computer habits.
It’s a new year! I hope both your Christmas and New Year’s day was great and you were able to spend time with your family or friends. But now it’s time to get back to the real world…everyday life. Reality is kicking in. So I wanted to come up with a somewhat fun and somewhat serious New Year’s Resolution list when it comes to your computer. So here we go:
- I will not believe everything I read on the internet or hear on phone calls.
The founder of Facebook is not giving out 45 million shares in Facebook stock for sharing a status update and Microsoft is not calling you to help you fix your computer. Also, a Prince in Cairo really does not want to give you millions of dollars and you did not, I repeat, did not win the lottery.
In all seriousness, your bank or Paypal account probably wasn’t hacked either. But, if you ever do get an email that looks legit, saying an account of yours was hacked, please either call them directly or exit out of the email and log into your account like you generally do. Do not use a link in an email because it could be fake. And if it is fake, the moment you log into what looks like your account, you’ve just given the bad guys your account username and password.
- I will back up my data more than once a year.
There are so many backup options these days that there shouldn’t be an excuse. Back in the “old days” we could backup to a CD or a clunky old external drive (or tape drives if you could afford it). But today we have CDs, tiny external hard drives, USB thumb drives, and the cloud! Find out what is right for you and make a schedule! If it all confuses you, give us a call and we can help you find a good option. We also have a few options of our own.
- I will not install everything that I see that may “help speed up” my PC.
The chances are that these are pieces of software designed to do just the opposite. This software ranges from free to paid and most are too good to be true. Computer repair shops do not use one piece of software to tune-up your machine because all-in-one solutions just don’t exist.
If you want to keep your computer in tip-top shape, come up with a schedule to bring your computer in to a reputable computer repair shop just like you would with your car. Many people spend more time on their computer than their car, yet they never realize their computer needs to be tuned-up as well.
- I will be proactive in keeping my computer safe from viruses.
Do you even know if your anti-virus is updated and functioning? Go check right now. If it isn’t, there are plenty of free options (generally with ads to help pay for being able to offer the free choice) and many great paid options. Talk to us, we can help you be proactive with one of our Care programs that help make it easier on you.
- I will not click on everything!
Oftentimes we get so used to installing software that we just keep clicking “next” until we see the word: “Finished.” In the last couple of years, we’ve realized that it is important to read what we are clicking “next” to. A lot of software these days are coming with add-on software to help pay the bills. It is mostly on free downloadable software and many of it is legit. But generally the add-on software is not. Pay attention. When installing the software that has add-on software, you generally have an option to not install the other stuff. It may take you through 5 or more screens allowing you to opt-out of installing the add-on junk. Opt out because it is always junk and usually causes havoc on your computer!
- I will keep my computer up-to-date!
Updates for your operating system, whether it is Windows-based or Mac-based, are very important. All operating systems are vulnerable to hackers and these updates are often patches to help protect from those hacks. If your operating system prompts you to update your system, then do it! The same goes for software that you have on your computer. If Java or Adobe prompt you to update your version, do it! These too have vulnerabilities that need to be patched and are patched often.
We all wish that we could just push a button on our computers and things would just happen the way we want them to. But just like everything else, keeping our computers in tip-top shape requires some work.
We’ve developed what we call “Care Plans” for Home & Business that can essentially do this all for you. We even created a very simple plan called the “Protect Care” plan that, in a nutshell, keeps your operating system updated, provides you with an anti-virus that stays updated, and runs that much-needed maintenance for you on a schedule. If you are interested in any of these plans, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.