#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: www.VisitingGeeks.com/downloads.htm
#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.
Now...how about I buy you all a fresh cup of coffee...OK?