How to Keep Your Desktop or Laptop PC Running Efficiently

How to Keep Your Desktop or Laptop PC Running Efficiently

You just got online, and go to your favorite website to get the day’s news or the newest funny video on the web. All of a sudden, a box pops up and says you have a virus, and to clean it “CLICK HERE”. What do you do? You “click here” of course….but you shouldn’t do it! Anytime you’re on a website and an unexpected box pops up, take a moment before you just click on it. Look and see if there is a small “x” in the top right corner or a small box that says “close” nearby. Get budget laptops for kali linux. Chances are, the “click here” box is spam or even worse, an embedded piece of spyware in a website trying to infect your computer. Ever seen the XP Virus Cleaner message pop up to help you get rid of the unwanted virus’ on your PC? Guess what, the XP Virus Cleaner is a cleverly named trojan itself, and once you click on it to clean your PC up, you’ve done just the opposite, giving that devlish little program access to your PC and allowing it to download all kinds of smaller programs designed to rob your computer of processing power, sending out spam messages, and potentially giving up sensitive information.

So, with all these ways to have your computer infected, infested and robbed of it’s ability to give you the pleasure you bought it for, what are you to do? Well, nothing is 100% foolproof, but I can say that as of writing this article, I haven’t had a day of downtime in 6 years due to a computer infection. We’ll go over a suggestion list of things to know, things to be on the lookout for and what to do if all else fails and you get infected anyway.

First, and this one is the hardest one of all, just apply some common sense. If you get an email that suggests you’ll get something for nothing, it’s true. You’ll get infected for nothing, after all, clicking on that email won’t earn you one red cent, and may cost you plenty. If you get an instant message from someone you don’t know offering to show you photos, chances are those “photos” are infected with the newest downloaders for the trojan of the day. As mentioned earlier in this article, if you go to a website looking for sports scores, and get a pop-up that says you have a virus, were you really expecting that pop-up from that site? Probably not, and you most likely probably don’t need to click on the box that just popped up. However, that leads us to point number two.

Number two is almost as obvious as number one, and that is to install an antivirus and antispyware program on your PC and keep it updated. If you’re on a high speed, constant connection (like RoadRunner or DSL from home) then allow the software to check daily for updates. This will help keep your computer running as smooth as it can. If you’re not always connected, then ensure once a day that you connect you take a moment to manually update your antivirus. In most cases, antivirus files are updated by the major AV companies almost daily, and certainly every other day. You’ll also want to schedule antivirus automatic scannning (called on demand scanning sometimes) so that every document and file is auto scanned before it’s opened. The same applies to antispyware software too. Let it take a look at the files you’re downloading and let it run in the background, it will often alert you when hidden programs are trying to make changes to your system. Included in this article are links to FREE antivirus and antisoftware products that work wonderfully well on home and personal computers/laptops.

Another note on the software is to ensure you’re updating your operating system files. These updates in many cases are just as important to stopping the spyware, virus’ and trojans as are the previously mentioned applications. Don’t forget that if you’re using Microsoft Office, to update the APPLICATION UPDATES too from the Microsoft website. A virus intended to infect MS WORD documents can still slip past the most update antivirus program if it’s pretty new still. Keeping your operating systems and application files updated will build a 3 level defense around your computer. Along with the aforementioned common sense, you now have a 4 ring protection system around your computer. It’s not bullet proof, but it certainly makes you less of a target.

Coming in at number three is something to look at with your hardware. Whether you have a desktop or a laptop, some maintenance is needed to keep it running in tip-top shape. FIrst, keep it clean. Static builds up in the dust and dirt particles and will rob your PC of computing and memory power. Your RAM can be affected, as well as other hardware devices (your network card may not run as fast from built up static for example). Monitors can start working less efficiently, taking more power to run at the same levels as before (especially important to laptop users to maximize battery life). The exhaust fans on the back of the desktop and on the sides/bottoms of the laptops also need to be clean and have good ventilation. If you put your PC into a small enclosed area, the heat will not dissipate as fast, making the fan have to work twice as hard (and failing twice as fast). The same goes for laptops. If your fan is on the bottom of the laptop, ensure you’re not blocking the airflow by setting the laptop on something that could mold itself to the bottom (such as sitting it on a bed, and the laptop molding into the mattress, thus sucking the bed linens closer to the fan intake, and less air passing through). Buy yourself some type of laptop riser (or make one of your own) to keep the laptop elevated just enough to allow for air flow.

Another piece of hardware advice concerning laptops is this: No matter what brand laptop you have, or how new it is, don’t always leave it plugged in while using it. Once a battery is charged, it will go into protection mode so it won’t be overcharged. However, a battery that is always turned on, always plugged in, never has a chance to discharge itself. In very short time (3-5 months observed on both Dell and HP laptops) the batteries can go from brand new 3.5 hour lives, to 1.5 hour battery life. So, if you use your laptop daily for long periods, once you notice its fully charged, don’t be afraid to unplug it and let it discharge some. This is called cycling the battery, and goes a LONG way in keeping good performance and battery life for your laptop.

Finally, remember, PC’s these days are built to have a useable lifespan of about three years. Now, that’s not to say yours won’t be working after three years, but the software that comes out will be programmed to look for faster processors, more RAM, and overall just different hardware architecture. This is one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of a computer and when someone says my computer runs so slowly. Often people have installed software looking for a hardware profile or availability that their machine doesn’t measure up to. Combine this with the hardware needed to just run the operating system (XP, Vista, etc) and it is no wonder your computer is running slow. Most folks don’t know they have to look at the application’s needs and compare that to their machine’s abilities before buying the latest, greatest video game or income tax software.

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