Tech Tuesday #5: Maintenance

Tech Tuesdays. It’s your chance to send in your tech questions, and we’ll answer one per week for everyone. To ask a question, just message us. They can be on any topic from security to cloud computing, or anything in between. And we’re featuring Media Mondays over on the CT Media sister page. Be sure to fan us over there, too!

TechTuesdays from Charland Technology

Today’s question, from Diane from Leominster: “What do I need to keep my new computer healthy?”

Many people don’t realize that computers do need attention and maintenance.

Most computers don’t need much for physical maintenance (we recommend proper ventilation, a good battery backup power supply, and protection from excessive humidity), but they do need regular attention.

1. Backups, backups, backups! We now offer an automated (because you won’t run it yourself), online (to protect your from fire/theft/etc), and monitored (because it’s IMPORTANT) backup solution for home users to complement our more advanced business-grade backups. Contact us for details, plan starts around $15/mo.

 

 

 

 

2. Antivirus. All computers, Windows, Mac, or linux, need software protection. GFI VIPRE has worked well for us and runs well on older computers. We don’t recommend Norton/Symantec or MacAfee products. But yeah, even Mac computers need active protection with automatic updates.

3. System Updates. You should schedule Automatic updates to run, well, automatically. Any system now can be configured to run these updates at a time when you’re not using your computer…for most people this is at night. Most updates fix security problems or solve usage issues, and they’re almost always safer than NOT installing them. And if you’re running Windows make sure you activate Microsoft Update to included MS Office patches as well.

4. Other updates. Make sure your Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader are all kept up-to-date.
a) Java: go to http://www.java.com and click “Free Java Download.” Watch it during the install, though, as it will often try to sneak in the worthless MacAfee safe-scan tool, or the equally-worthless Ask toolbar. Un-check the boxes for those.

b) Adobe Flash and Reader. Go to http://www.adobe.com and look at the bottom-right for “Get Flash” and “Get Reader.” Again, make sure you’re ONLY getting what you want, un-check the boxes for the other crud.

And whenever Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, or Java ask to do updates, let them!

Otherwise….we haven’t found much value in cookie cleaners, registry “optimizers,” and disk defrags, even the legit ones.

Got questions? Send them to CharlandTech via Facebook, post as a comment on this article, Tweet ‘em to @gregc00 or @CharlandTech, or find another creative way to get them to us.

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