Maintaining computer systems

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We must ensure that the computer is well looked after. It can only run smoothly if it is protected valuable from malicious viruses which can wreak havoc on your PC or Mac. Computers that become overloaded or vulnerable to viruses can freeze or crash. This can lead to loss of information .Hackers who hack professionally can be a threat to the computers. There are some extremely sophisticated and technologically advanced group or individuals who are hackers and can destabilise operating systems and bring computer networks crashing down. This can lead to a slow computer. Each time a web page is opened or an attachment is downloaded certain data on the computer gets collected, much of it is not needed to be used again .This data gets clogged up on your
hard drive and can affect your computer’s performance if you don’t do a spring clean once .Your computer must be given a general assessment every couple of months. A general assessment should be done more frequently (around once a month) if your computer is used a lot.

Backing Up

It is a very important thing to get into the habit of backing up your files on a regular basis. This means having a recent copy of important data held onto your computer. The important documents on your system include the invoices, legal documents or personal files such as photo albums. You can copy your files to a USB memory stick. USB memory stick do not have enough data to store. They can be quite expensive to buy. They have been popular because of their portability as they’re easy to use.
Disk imaging is one of the most effective methods of backing up .This is a more expensive method as it is the most fail-safe method of restoring everything on your computer if you lose everything on your hard drive.
With the advent of various online backup you can enlist to help with the storage of your computer’s data, which are incredibly convenient as the backup is done automatically and your files are kept in a safe online
environment that you can access at any time.

Deleting files

Storing huge data and big files on your computer can bring performance speeds immediately down. In order to make sure your computer is running efficiently it’s important to delete unnecessary files from time to time.
Windows operating systems has a disk cleanup function that is extremely quick and easy to use. Disk cleanup doesn’t take too long to run .This utility on your computer cleans up all the unwanted files that are stored in your computer’s cache.

Scanning your hard drive

It is really important to Scan your hard drive as an another routine task which you should get into the habit of doing regularly. This utility examines the hard drive for some errors that could have a direct affecte on your
computer’s efficiency. This needs to be done around once a week to use your computer every day or once in a month incase if you use it less frequently.

Defragmenting your hard drive

The computer’s hard drive can become clogged up with numerous files that are broken up across various locations around the drive. The drive becomes really chaotic. Due to the drive getting chaotic your computer gradually slow’s down in its speed as it tries to access information from files scattered all over the drive. Hence it’s really important to carry out a process that rationalises the various files from time to time. Defragmentation collects all the different parts of one file back together in one place in the hard drive. Then it in turns reorganizes information and places the files that are used most frequently. Defragmention process leads to a much faster running computer.

Clearing your cache (cookies and Internet files)

This folder cache is of temporary Internet files folder that is a record of files which have been viewed or downloaded from the web, including web pages, images, music and cookies (small files that websites can create on your computer to help them deliver personalised content when you next visit.

Automatic updating

Computer hackers are determined to destabilise computer software through their malicious programs. A number of big companies like Microsoft , ‘patch’ their products in order to ensure their safety. If you run on windows then make sure your computer is set to update automatically. These updates can be automated by clicking on the start then programs. Windows updates ensure that you’re set to install updates automatically.

Checking for viruses

Installing some form of anti-virus software is a must. The computer is vulnerable to a range of viruses. These viruses are transmitted to your computer via infected email attachments. These viruses are called as worms and can spread over the Internet. The viruses are used by criminals in order to gather personal information. These worms can have serious consequences. Viruses have the capability of gathering financial information and secret data such as passwords and user names.
Hence making adequate arrangements of prevention is always better than cure. Installing enough anti virus protection programs for virus protection on your computers is the best way to protect your computer.
Anti-virus software can be bought as stand-alone or as a comprehensive security suite. Example of various software manufacturers include Mc Afee and AVG.

Installing anti malware, spyware and adware

Malware, spyware and adware all pose a significant threat to your online privacy and the smooth-running of your computer .It is extremely essential to install alongwith anti-virus software , the anti spyware software also. The
spyware can spy on your online activities, as it installs unwanted program on your computer. Adware is used by commercial companies to find out more about consumers and track the effectiveness of their advertising, but it can have more dire consequences. Malicious adware or spyware is very hard to remove from your computer. It can cause to block access to certain websites, stop you running anti virus software, scan your hard disk and
locate sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers and other personal information which can then be used for criminal activities.
In order to ensure that you don’t fall victim you can install an anti-spyware software. They work in the same way as anti-virus software. These free Downloadable products include AdAware and Microsoft Defender. As
with anti-virus software, the free versions may not be quite as comprehensive as their paid for counterparts but they should provide a decent level of protection.

Set up a Firewall

Firewalls are a significant way of protecting your computer from some of the threats that have crept up in the cyberspace world. Firewalls are an effective way to safeguard you from hackers, viruses and worms . These
viruses can endanger the personal information that is kept on your computer. Firewalls are a barrier between your computer and the world outside . But firewalls are not enough to be relied on only. They alone cannot protect your computer from online threats. Your firewall should be used in conjunction with other forms of computer security, such as your anti-virus software. Windows packages contain a ‘desktop firewall’, for which you don’t need to pay for and provide a basic level of security. The broadband internet router that is used for an internet connection also a firewall built into it, which can be controlled via your computer and which is password protected.

Cleaning your computer

Ensuring that your computer is clean of dust and dirt can make sure that your computer is kept under hygienic conditions. Make sure your computer is turned off and unplugged before you clean it. You can buy specialist computer cleaning products or use a damp, lint-free soft cloth to gently dislodge dirt from the keyboard or the exterior of the computer. A computer mouse is particularly susceptible to dirt, making it difficult to control. To clean your mouse turn the retaining ring on the bottom of the mouse anti-clockwise to remove the mouse ball. You can then use a clean soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt from inside the mouse. It’s important to deal with any spillages on your keyboard quickly. Turn off your computer and then turn the keyboard on its side to drain off the excess. Use a soft cloth to mop up any remaining liquid and then let your keyboard dry off before using it again.

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