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.


Friday, 3 February 2012

7 Tips to Keep Your Computer in Tip-Top Shape.

In this modern age we keep in touch with relatives either through chat or emails, search for information about anything under the earth and sometimes out of the earth as well. We also do business proposals and communications with associates and of late do shopping and pay utility bills sitting conveniently at home. This is possible with the help of our computer and an internet connection. So it is important that we take care of our computer to work efficiently and without any hitches. Listed here are 7 tips to keep your computer running in tip-top shape.

1 Value in Brand: When you depend on the computer to do lot of your personal as well as business communications, it is of paramount importance that you invest in a good computer to do that. There are assembled sets available at a price lower than the quality branded computers. But in the long run they will make you incur more money on servicing and repairs due to the low quality parts used in them. Invest on a Good Brand for reliability and even if something goes wrong, the warranty will protect you from added expenditure.

2 Software: There is a tendency to rely upon counterfeit operating systems to save some money. This will prove as a wrong decision on the long run. Information technology being on a fast track, there are newer versions and updates to the existing versions released on a regular basis. Only genuine software is capable of updating them online. Further, there is no guarantee that the counterfeit will work without trouble. Imagine a situation when you have to reach an important client to close a deal but your computer crashes. Insist on OEM software.

3 Antivirus: Computer and Internet is regularly targeted by hackers to steal important data and details like username and password to use them for anti social activities. You can lose your money and credibility in that computer if your online bank account is compromised. Install the latest antivirus program on your computer and update them on a regular basis to stay ahead of the hackers and have peace of mind.

4 Power supply: As it is food for man, a computer to function at its best, require a continuous and steady supply of power. In case you area is prone for black-outs or power cuts valuable data can be lost when the power is lost abruptly while you are working on an important work. Therefore it is advisable to ensure a steady supply of power through a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply).

5 Qualified Personnel: The computer being a sensitive gadget, operations of them should be done by qualified personnel. The computer should be operated only by those who are aware of the basic functioning of the machine. Further, when there is a malfunction rather than fidgeting with the machine, it should be referred to the service personnel.

6 Regular Service: It is advisable to enter into an AMC (annual maintenance contract) with the supplier of the computer to ensure timely service and to avoid extra expenditure in way of repairing charges. Regular service will keep your computer in tip-top condition.

7 Beware of spam: One should be careful not to open spam emails which may contain viruses that will infect the computer. With the hackers also getting wiser day by day, any such email with "smart virus" in them can surpass the antivirus program installed. It will infect the system and important data will be lost.

It really pays to take care of your computer for a trouble free working day.