Friday, 22 February 2013

All About Your Computer's BIOS

Are you confused by the computer BIOS? The BIOS is a fundamental component of any PC and if you really want to get into the guys of a computer, it's good through understanding what BIOS Is all about.

This article gives you a summary of what BIOS is and how you can play with the basic and advanced options in a typical BIOS configuration.


First up, let's just define what the BIOS is. The BIOS stands for the Basic Input-Output System of a PC. It is stored on a BIOS chip on the motherboard and it is the interface between your operating system and the computer's hardware. All the software actions you make, e.g. click a in Windows XP, are translated into machine instructions which pass through the BIOS and then subsequently to your monitor, graphics card and what not.

The BIOS is a crucial component of a PC If it fails, your PC isn't going to boot up. I always skip a heartbeat if I see any funny behavior with a PC's BIOS. Because it spells (almost certainly that is) doom for the computer. Make sure you're very, very careful if you intend to fiddle around with the BIOS in anyway. Children, don't do this at home without the supervision of a technie.

Basic Options

Let's run through the basic options of a BIOS setup. Right after you power up the computer, there is usually a key you can hit (usually F8) which allows you to access the PC's BIOS.

In the basic menu in the BIOS, you should see settings for configuring hard drives and boot up options. You can specify which are your primary and secondary hard risk and which will boot up first. You can also specify if the floppy disk or CD Rom boot support before or after the hard disk.

Advanced Options

If you go in to the Advanced Options menu, you can delve into the advanced options for the BIOS configuration. If you're into overclocking, you can specify a different CPU frequency than the default. But be very careful when you do this - you may end up burning your CPU chip if you don't know what you're doing.

In the advanced options menu, you can also change memory frequency and timing, as well as the AGP speed for your graphics card. Again, exercise extreme care when playing around with these settings. You can damage your PC if you don't know what you're doing.

There are many other options in a computer's BIOS you can play with. Some of them include password and security options to limit access to the system, or stuff like power saving options. You can also control things like whether the Numlock key should be on or off when you first start the system.


I hope the article has helped you understand a little of what goes into a com0utper's BIOS and how you can make use of it. Remember, the BIOS is such a fundamental component of any PC that you MUST exercise extreme caution when meddling with it. If you're not sure - don't change anything. It's best to understand the BIOS properly from an expert or read a good book before changing it in any way.

How To Safeguard Your Computer Against Online Threats

Your computer is like the human body. It is susceptible to viruses, malicious codes and other threats from the cyber world that can infect and destroy its data. Cyber crime is on the rise and just like new diseases in the real world, cyber criminals and hackers engineer new viruses and programs every now and then to intrude into people's computers in order to hack and steal sensitive stored data. There is no cause for concern however as there are certain precautions you can take to protect your computer from the menace of online threats and intrusions.

Antivirus - With the present technological advancement, hackers have become more malicious. They release new viruses and worms online that get installed on the computers of unsuspecting users. This leads to an epic loss of data and in worst cases results in a crash as these viruses wipe out all crucial system files from the computer. However, installing an effective antivirus program can protect your computer from these online threats. Once installed the antivirus program will automatically secure your computer by individually scanning all files and folders. If any viruses or malicious threats are detected, the antivirus program would notify you and quarantine the infected file in a safe location on your computer.

Anti spyware - Spyware is one of the stealthiest online threats that quite often goes undetected by the user. Spyware are created by unscrupulous online marketers who use the program as a behavioral tracker to keep tabs on the type of websites you visit so that they can decide which product you would most likely purchase. Spyware is harmful for your computer as it changes your settings and drastically slows it down. They usually install themselves in the guise of tool-bars or enter your computer directly from certain websites. Installing Anti spyware software would shield your computer from this menace. The Anti spyware software gets activated the moment you turn on your computer and constantly monitors and scans your files and folders for any spyware that might be present.

Firewall - Firewall is a basic default security setting found on every Windows supported computer. When activated, it monitors the stream of data that is relayed from the Internet to your computer and vice versa. The firewall scans all applications that are connected to the Internet and prompts you with a message if it notices a suspicious unidentified program. It is a fairly effective security measure that is best supplemented by a potent antivirus program for maximum security.

In addition to the methods mentioned above, you can follow these simple precautions:

-Always scan for viruses before downloading an email attachment

-Never open an unknown email attachment as it could most likely be a virus

-Always ensure to run a virus scan before opening or installing a downloaded file or program from the Internet.

-Avoid clicking on indiscriminate pop ups that appear on your browser window.

Keeping these basic preventive measures in mind, you can ensure complete protection for your computer from the peril of online threats.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ten Easy Ways to Boost Your Computer Security

These days it is very easy to take our computers for granted. It is almost as if they are part of our office or household furniture. However, we all have increasing amounts of sensitive data stored on our computers and it's worth being aware of the ongoing risks so here we take a look at the best ways to maintain and improve your computer security.

Of course adding some computer security features to a pc costs a little extra money, but it is essential to do to ward off attacks from the rogues out there determined to upset home pc users as well as large scale organizations. Viruses can vary in seriousness such as harmless but annoying e-mails or spam to programs delivered to PCs that can wipe out all the data stored on the computer.

Let's take a look at ten ways all of us can improve our computer security:

1. Password Protection - A good start to computer security is to put in a barrier to unauthorised users of your computer. Protect your login id with a password. That way you can ensure that only you can access confidential information on your computer. Never disclose your passwords to other people, don't write them down and try and make them unique with a combination of letters, numbers and other characters.

2. Operating System - Keep your operating system updated frequently. Turning on the auto-update in Windows Update will boost your computer security. Microsoft releases frequent fixes to vulnerable areas of computer security so this is critically important.

3. Anti Virus Software - Ensure your pc has up to date anti-virus software installed. This is a key element of computer security and will help detect and remove viruses as well as block spam e-mails.

4. Firewall - At the same time your computer security should be enhanced by adding a firewall especially if you are part of a network either at work or home. The firewall setting on your router should be switched on as these could leave you exposed to hackers or indeed your neighbours might be able to view what you are doing on the internet.

5. Regular Scans - Your anti-virus software may do regular background checks, but it is a good idea to run a scan at least once a week. This will help clean up your system by deleting unwanted cookies and temporary internet files.

6. E-Mail Attachments - Be very wary of attachments to e-mails sent to you, especially if they are from an unknown source. These could potentially carry a virus that will prove damaging to your computer. A good computer security tip is to ignore attachments from unknown sources and delete the e-mail. You can save any attachments or downloads to your desktop and scan them with the anti-virus software.

7. E-Mail Links - It is best not to visit websites by clicking links attached to an e-mail. Most links taking you to a home page asking for log-in or account details are scams. Any details entered here can be used by the hacker who set up the link.

8. Suspicious E-Mails - Ignore e-mails that look suspicious and delete them as these could breach your computer security. Ignore any e-mails purporting to be from your bank or someone else you hold an account with asks for personal details or passwords. This breach of computer security is sometimes known as phishing.

9. Websites - Be wary of websites you wish to enter. Some anti-virus programs offer warnings next to websites to indicate whether they can be trusted. Avoid clicking on a website if it is not rated as trustworthy.

10. Online Payments - If you need to make a payment online ensure that the payment screen is protected. The page will usually indicate that it is secure and may have a padlock image at the top of the page.

Anyone still not convinced may want to bear in mind some of the facts about viruses. In January 2007 a worm called Storm appeared on the scene. Nine months later it was believed that some 50 million computers had been infected by the worm. Computer security is so important to protect you and your personal data.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Save Money With Preventive Computer Care

Computers are an everyday part of life in the modern world. However, computers require special attention and care in order for them to function properly and to operate safely. Here are some basic guidelines to help you maintain your computer equipment and to keep your equipment functioning for a long time. After all, keeping your equipment running will save you money.

What most people do not know or often overlook;

    Keep computer equipment away from direct sunlight to prevent overheating.
    Keep computer equipment away from direct exposure to water or humidity to prevent damage.
    Keep computer equipment in a clean and dust free area.
    Always use surge protectors to prevent electrical surge damage to your system.
    Place an anti-static mat in the area where you are operating your computer to eliminate or prevent anti-static damage to your system.
    Have your system's interior cleaned at least once every year to keep it running smoothly and to protect your investment.

Prevention is the key
The most important activity that you as a computer user can do is to keep your computer as clean as possible. Your system's user guide is the best source to find specific information about how to clean your system's outer components; but here are some basic tips you should always follow.

What you should NEVER do;

    NEVER eat or drink while operating your computer. Food crumbs can easily damage your computer.
    NEVER place an open container containing water (or any other liquid) on or near computer. Accidental spillage can damage your computer or give you an electrical shock.
    NEVER use your computer's keyboard with dirty or sticky hands (wash your hands before using your computer).
    NEVER allow your pets near your computer. Dust and hairballs can accumulate inside the computer's case and cause your system to overheat.

Computer maintenance
Basic computer maintenance should be part of your regular routine. Keeping your computer dust and dirt free, will guarantee that your computer will last and will give you years of reliable performance. Please consult your user's guide for more specific maintenance practices and intervals.

How to clean your computer system

Computer systems require cleaning of internal parts especially when used outside of a clean environment. However, only an authorized technician should open the computer case and clean sensitive electronic components. Consult your user guide to determine the best interval for internal cleaning and take your computer to a certified technician.

Regular cleaning of computer system's exterior involves the following:

Monitor screen
Your computer monitor is likely to be the component that will require the most attention, because computer monitors tend to get dirty from regular use and from dust. To clean your computer monitor or LCD, you can use special chemicals design to clean computer monitors without damaging them.

To clean your computer's screen you can use OPTECH CTR Screen Care. This special cleaner is an anti-static cleaner and coating which safely removes fingerprints and smudges from computer display screens. This cleaner also leaves the surface treated with an invisible dust repellent film, which contains an optical ingredient which fills-in minute scratches eliminating surface distortion and reducing eye fatigue.

How to apply a computer screen cleaner
First, NEVER spray the cleaner directly onto your computer. Instead, spray a lint-free cloth lightly with the computer screen cleaner, and then clean your screen. Be sure to hold the cloth away from your computer when spraying the cleaner to the cloth.

Keyboard maintenance
During everyday use, a keyboard can get pretty dirty and sticky. Dirt and other debris can fall or accumulate between the keys and cause damage or prevent the keys from functioning properly. To clean your computer's keyboard you must use either canned air/gas or a small computer-specific vacuum cleaner. NEVER apply any cleaner or liquid directly to your keyboard. If the keys are dirty, use a lint-free cloth that has been sprayed with computer cleaner to lightly and carefully clean your computer's keyboard. DO NOT clean your computer while the computer is operating, and avoid using your computer till the cleaner has dissipated to avoid possible damage to your equipment. Consult your user's guide for precise instructions on your particular machine.

Case/Tower maintenance
Your computer case will require maintenance. You should remove dust and grime from your computer's air vents and your computer's case. YOU SHOULD NEVER spray any type of cleaner into your computer's air vents or you could damage your system. ALWAYS use canned air/gas to clean your computer's vents or air intakes. Canned air/gas cleaners are idea for cleaning air vents, keyboards, disk drives and computer case crevices. The exterior of your computer's case can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth sprayed with an anti-static computer cleaner. When in doubt about how to clean your computer system, ALWAYS consult your user manual or call your system's technical support department.

Safe and clean computing will save you money!
Following these basic computer care guidelines should help you to take good care of your computer system, and keep it running for years. Preventive maintenance will keep your system from having problems and will save you money in the long run. For specific questions about your particular system, you should ALWAYS check your user guide or contact technical support.