In our last blog we talked about the simple task that most people should be doing with and for their computers, but don't take the time or have the time to initiate the process. Hopefully, we have taken a step in the right direction with the first three tasks and your computer is now well on its way to having a much longer and healthier life.
That's not all you should do, though. The first three tasks were just the beginning. Let's keep it going with three more easy tasks.
Start your day right.
Starting up a computer for the first time each day can be a frustrating experience. Yes, we all know that it should take a little time for the computer to boot up from a previous shutdown. But, as time goes on and your computer gets older and gathers more and more programs things begin to slow down even more. Your computer needs time to initiate all the programs that you have scheduled to run on startup and for many of us, its wasted time.
Get your computer back into a racing trim by cleaning out some of the excess boot-up programs. One of the best programs to help eliminate some of the programs causing your computer to slow down on startup is our old friend, CCleaner.
You should already have CCleaner installed from our previous task list, so go ahead an open up the program. Once you have it on your screen, click on Tools from the left hand window and then select Startup. You will see a list of all the programs that you have installed and set to launch when Windows starts. Now, read through this list and find all the programs that you aren't using or do not need to have preloaded. When you find on, click on it and then select Disable.
We live in a world where even the most innocent action can lead to a possible virus or malware infection. In the worst case, with a poorly updated system, simply looking at the wrong web page can end up with you being infected. You probably already have an antivirus installed and scheduled to run automatically every so often, but do you have an anti-malware system in place? Malware may seem like a minor threat when compared to a full-fledge virus, but what malware does is not target your computer, it targets you.
One of the best programs to combat the malware threat is Malwarebytes. Install the program and run it once and watch how many privacy threats you have assaulting you. Not all will be real threats, as many are false-positives from cookies that keep track of your favorite pages, but that's the point... even the good sites track some bits of information every time you visit their sites. Image what could happen if you visit the wrong site.
If one is good, two is better.
The last stop on our tour of easy tasks that everyone should be doing but probably aren't, is at backups. This is a dead horse that we beat on every-so-often, but we do it because so many people still do not have even the simplest of backups configured for their personal and private data.
The easiest way to set up a backup plan while not having to shell out cash for an in-house NAS or other external setup, is to use an online or cloud backup service. There are many out there to choose from, like Mozy, Carbonite, and CrashPlan, and yes, you will have to pay something for the service. However, the money invested in the security of your data in the face of a catastrophic failure will be worth ten times what you spend. A backup plan is insurance, and just like insurance you are investing for the future when the worst happens, but hoping you never have to.
Pick the service and plan that fits your needs best and the download and install the associated program. Then simply chose the files that are most important to you and assign them to the backup plan. Any time a new file becomes important enough to need protection, add it to the list. Now you have a simple backup –plan that takes very little tie to set up and then will automatically protect your data while you go about your life.