Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Computer Safety For The Summer...

#1 – Summer Vacation Travel

Holiday travelers should be on alert when arriving home from long weekends, such as the Fourth of July, a popular time for computer viruses to spread. Most computer users have a tendency to turn off their computers when away on trips, which means you’re not getting newly-released anti-virus patches or anti-spyware updates; the two most common areas that cause computers problems.

Before opening e-mail or going online after an extended absence, I recommend you update anti-virus and anti-spyware scans . There seems to consistently be an increase in virus related problems immediately following long weekends. Avoid the problems altogether by updating your security software before using your computer. A really good place to go for a free listing of viruses, spyware threats and trends, visit:

#2 -- Should You Leave Your Computer Running?

One question people ask a lot is, "Should I leave my desktop computer on or turn it off?"
There are 2 schools of thought on this...Turning it on and off numerous times during the day subjects the microcircuits to flexing and fatigue due to change in temperatures. Over time this could lead to a break in the circuitry and result in system failure. However, leaving the computer on all the time puts excess wear on the mechanical components (the hard drive spindle motor and cooling fans). A good compromise is to leave the computer on if you are close or if you may be coming back to it before too long. Overnight, turn it off and let it rest.

I leave my desktop on all through the day allowing for scheduled utility tasks to run during less busy hours. I also restart the systems (to flush the RAM and reset the operating system) on a regular basis and ever so often use compressed air to clean out any dust that may have accumulated, especially around the fans and screens.

#3 -- Stop Pop ups!

Never click inside the window of a pop up. Instead, close it by clicking on the X in the upper right corner. Many people are fooled into installing spyware applications by pop ups that promise to clean their computer system. If you receive a message saying it can help, assume it’s spyware and don’t click!

These three tips may sound simple, but they are the easiest way to assure that your computer stays safe and fairly clean during the Summer months or after a long break. about I buy you all a fresh cup of coffee...OK?


Myrna said...

Hermitjim - Am I first one here this am - or am the last one from yesterday ?
Thanks for the information today - some things I have wondered about and heard different theories. So now I am wiser.
Had such a good evening (plus coffee)at the travel party that I failed to stay asleep so here I am being an early bird .
I bet you are surpised !!
Have a good day !!

HermitJim said...

Hey are indeed the first one here today! I'm glad to see you. I'm glad to hear the party was a success and that you found something worthwhile in todays blog offering.

Let's have that first cup together, OK?


blondie said...

Morning Jim,
On my 2nd pot of coffee already.
Good advise in your post today.

Watching Hurricane Dolly reports on the weather channel. Are you getting any of that storm where you are? Other than the wind we talked about yesterday. Hope not :(

You be safe now, ya hear?
blondie :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Blondie...good to see ya! So far we haven't got much rain from the storm, although we are getting a little. More rain, some may be heavy, is predicted but here in Texas the one thing you learn early on about the weather can't predict it!

Thanks for the concern and for dropping by...

Myrna said...

my inlaws bought a place in Texas - in Weslaco - is that in the affected area ?

HermitJim said...

Hey Myrna...I hate to tell you, but Weslaco is almost right in the projected path of where the hurrican made landfall. It's just a few miles inland which means that the hurrican will die down a lot before it gets to that area. Just around Corpus Christi is where it hit land, so Google Weslaco and you can see how close those two places are. Weslaco should get a LOT of rain.

Hope this helps...good luck!!.

js said...

Hey Jim. Just wanted to add to your post #2, you may wish to add this:

Another good reason to keep the computer on most of the time is that the various chips (electronics) reach a state of equilibrium in a few minutes. And stay that way, provided the fans are working to keep the temperature steady.

If you keep shutting the Computer OFF then ON you are interfering with that state of equilibrium and cause "wear and tear", so much so that at some point one or more chips or capacitors or inductors or resistors will fail.

The fans are easy to replace, you can do it yourself. The spinning hard drive should last for years.

But.... I myself do shut down my desktop at night, usually, or if I know I will not be using it for a long period of time.

HermitJim said...

Hey John...thanks for the information and for dropping by.

Myrna said...

Thanks for this info about "Dolly" and Weslaco. They haven't heard from anyone in the park yet - so -- hope that means good news.

HermitJim said...

hey Myrna...usually the old saying about "no news being good news" applies. I wouldn't worry about things until they hear from someone that lives there or is close. Probably lots of rain, but nothing else. If I can do anything else just let me know.