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Home Office – Computer Maintenance

So many people seem to have a cavalier attitude about their computers. As long as they can turn it on and it works and connects to the Internet that is all they are interested in. There are various very simple things that you can run without any gadgets, additional expense or technical expertise to keep your computer running smoothly. Just check around in your start menu or on ‘Computer’/Local Disk C.

Clean it Up!

There are ways you can ‘tune up’ your browser on a daily basis and you will be amazed at how things will run smoother if you are consistent about clearing your browser cache. When you encounter errors online or with anything you may type that is an error, your computer may build a ‘cookie’ to that error state. Now every time you try the same thing you are getting the same error. When a site has been down for a few minutes and has recovered you may still be going to the error for hours and even days through the cookie.

That is why you need to regularly go into your browser settings and delete your history, cookies and temporary files. You will be amazed at how much better your computing and Internet experience will be if you do that at least a few times a week and definitely every time you have been to an error site – whether a link that is not working or which you typed wrong.

Possibly the most critical issue is security. This involves having an up-to-date (up-to-the-minute=live update) anti-virus program preferably with firewall, etc. You can even get some effective free programs that if kept up-to-date will offer you a certain amount of protection. This one for the cavalier is particularly tragic because they will not listen and it will not occur to them until they may need a new computer or serious technical help to recover lost data (costing hundreds of dollars). Sometimes it is not even possible to recover but at least you may be able to get your computer back.

One very important thing you can do that is free, takes only a minute, and is easy to do, is to make sure your browser has the latest version. Just go to the ‘About’ link and it will tell you the version – many of the newer versions can be set to automatically update or at the very least to start the update as soon as you enquire. Out-of-Date versions of browsers are a red flag as hackers know those updates are usually security related and they know how to exploit a breach now that they realize you have one.

The same is true for WordPress versions and especially plug-ins. WordPress will warn you when there is an update available for either and you should take 2 minutes to run them the minute you see the message, because again this can be a serious security issue. Particularly plug-ins are frequently hacked and you can lose all your work. Some will make your site malfunction just if out-of-date. This can be serious where you can’t even login.

Still another and this is the most ridiculous one that is ignored the most, is use secure passwords. The dumbest password in the world is any real word or name in any language – even if you feel you are being clever by adding a number after it. It would take less than 5-minutes for a hacker to break into your account and possibly steal your identity, deface your site, or plant invisible malware links.
… but go on and keep ignoring all this – until that day when you have a rude awakening. Unfortunately that is what it takes for many people to get a clue. Good luck recovering, Rover123.

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