How To Keep Your PC Safe, and Fast
Here at TechPicks, we get contacted on a fairly regular basis by friends, family members and colleagues looking for someone to fix a damaged laptop or computer, to recover lost files, or to improve performance after the laptop has gotten all clogged up. The majority of the time it’s a very simple fix, one that the average repair store can charge a fortune for.
You wouldn't drive your car at 50 mph in first gear? Or drive it over a pile of nails? Or never have it serviced, so why wouldn't you show your laptop or computer the same level of care? There are a couple of really simple steps that anyone can follow that will help keep your system in tip-top shape.
1. Install some form of Anti-Virus software. Most systems come with something pre-installed like Norton or McAfee. If you don't have anything installed, there are plenty of free tools out there you can use instead of paying hefty subscription fees. Sophos and Avast are my recommendations.
2. Don't download or install unsolicited programs onto your computer. If you aren't sure what it is don't install it! Also, while installing certain software there may be sneaky little add-ons they try to slip in unnoticed. Make sure to always read the install windows and check what you are clicking on.
3. Backup! I cannot stress this enough. If you have important documents, make sure you have more than one saved copy. Three is always best. One on your computer, one on a USB stick and one in the cloud. You can even email a copy to yourself. Just make sure you always have a copy in reserve, just in case! It is always advisable to run a backup on your whole system, with an external hard-drive, so should you need to reformat your system, you won't have lost everything.
4. Maintain performance and speed. Over time, your system will become clogged with unnecessary programs and malware. There are a couple of simple ways to fix this when it happens. Download my favorite tool, Malwarebytes, to do a comprehensive scan of your system for any malicious programs that could be slowing things down. Also visit your Control Panel -> Uninstall a Program and get removing anything you don't use any more or didn't put there in the first place.
5. Browse safely. Many infections or issues stem from safely browsing the internet and safely using your Email. My recommendation would be to use Google Chrome as your default browser and AdBlock as an extension. This will stop most of the annoying pop-ups out there. Also, everyone gets plenty of spam and junk email, make sure you are careful about links you click on in emails. If you don't know who it is from, don't click it!
That’s it, stay safe and have fun!