Your PC needs regular maintenance and protection just as much as your car needs an oil change. Here are 5 things that all PC users can do to help maintain their PC:
1) Basic Maintenance: Keep your PC clean. Use some canned air twice a year to blow out vent and ports. Get that dust out of there. If you clean out your PC on a regular basis, it is less likely to overheat.
2) Power Protection: Use a higher quality power strip. The one that you purchased for $4.99 probably doesn't provide the best protection against power surges. We have more service calls for dead PCs during lightning season than you can imagine. Many of these would have been avoided with a better quality power strip.
3) Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware:
Anti-Virus – You need to run basic Anti-Virus protection. There are no reasons to forgo this protection because there are many great free services out there. We’re currently recommending Microsoft Security Essentials for small business and home uses.
Anti-Spyware – Viruses aren’t the only bad things looking to get into your PC. Spyware is the fastest growing threat to your PC. Try Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or SpySweeper.
(Yes, we know that this was included in last week’s top 5. It’s that important!)
4) Firewall: A firewall is like a barbed wire fence. It helps protect your digital property while allowing safe communication through. All networks need to use at least one firewall, and I use two. I have a hardware based firewall in my router, and I also have a software firewall that is used on each of our PCs.
5) System Restore: From time to time, a new program or a driver can cause unexpected interference with Windows or other programs. You may see erratic behavior or certain programs will not work as expected. Usually, uninstalling the program or driver corrects the problem. When this doesn't help, you need to restore your system using Windows System Restore. It's like a "Do Over" or a way to go back to a previous set-up. You won't lose any data doing this as it only changes programs and Windows. This only works when it is turned on and actively working for you!