Mid Summer has just passed and it is as good a time as any to perform simple maintenance tasks which can help to keep your computer running smoothly.
Externally, Alcohol pads can be used to clean the keyboard and the mouse, but not for the computer monitor this can be cleaned with a soft slightly damp cloth. Around the back of the computer, dust should be removed with a vacuum cleaner
Find out what operating system you have, then, keep it up-to-date, for Windows systems use Windows update
If your preferred machine is an Apple Mac use Software Update to keep the version of the operating system up to date. The Time Machine application provides the facility for automatically backing up your system to an external hard disk and will allow you to restore part or all of your files to the state they were in on a particular date.
Remove any unused or unwanted programs from your computer, on a PC this can be done with the Add/remove programs option in the Control Panel. On the Mac locate the program in the Applications folder and drag it to Trash.
To organise your work store all of your files in folders in Documents which makes it easier to find them afterwards. Delete unwanted files and empty the recycle bin or Trash. E-mails should be regularly archived or deleted , and remember to empty the deleted items folder or Trash.
Disk clean and defragmenting of drives should form part of your monthly maintenance, you can check in the help menu on the computer for instructions on how to do this.
To protect the user of the computer, the people of the make IT Secure project have compiles a list of top ten tips for safe surfing on the Internet.
1. Do use up-to-date anti-virus software, a firewall and anti-spyware.
2. Don’t open email attachments if you are suspicious.
3. Do choose ‘Yes’ to install the latest official security software updates to protect your computer from viruses and phishers.
4. Don’t share your password with anyone
5. Do make sure your Internet connection is secure when giving out personaldetails – look for the padlock icon.
6. Do make back-up copies of your files and store them in a safe place.
7. Don’t give out personal banking and credit card details by email.
8. Do mark your profile private on social networking sites.
9. Don’t allow your children to meet someone they have only met online without taking you or another adult they trust, along. Not everyone is who they say they are online – people often lie.
10. Do advise your children to be careful when meeting new friends online – if it ‘feels wrong’, tell them to talk to you or to another adult they trust.
Further tips and good advice can be found at www.makeITsecure.org. Who said there was nothing to do on a rainy day in the summer.