Happy New Year to you!
It’s great to have a fresh start and as usual I want to begin with some ideas to make computing safe and enjoyable for all in 2010. I hesitate to use the words “New Year’s Resolutions”, but I will give you just one and then a few suggestions about some best practices.
Have more fun in 2010 with your computer
My one proposed resolution is that you have more fun with your PC next year. Some of the best practices I’m about to list will make it safe for you to lighten up and have a little fun. Sure you use your PC for serious work and as a main means of communication; but you can still regard some of your computing time as entertainment.
If you are in a rut with your computer skills, I want you to learn something new; either on your own or take a class. If you are not a right clicker for example, start using right click! Right click is a benign and informative way to learn things about parts of your desktop, your files, and almost any image you can click.
Most times when you right click an image, you’ll get a pop-up or drop-down menu that gives you some options. It’s only when you left click one of those options that you execute a command and something happens. The right click just gives you information and you can still choose what you want or do nothing at all.
One important best practice is to keep your Operating System and other software (including all your security and virus stuff) updated. Monitor your Security Center to make sure all is safe. When you bought your PC, it probably had antivirus software and the like but remember, it’s up to you to maintain it.
The bad guys who invent and launch malware are always improving their arsenal and we must do the same. I am often asked to remove the same or similar viruses from two different client’s PCs, but rarely do they respond to the same removal techniques, even after a very short time.
Another important practice is to keep your vital files backed up; in a safe and separate place. Give yourself this reality check: go to a friend’s PC and try to use it as your own.
- Where are your address book and your saved emails?
- How about your documents and your pictures? Where are your music and video files?
- If you do your personal finances on your PC, what about those important files?
Now think how hard it would be to recover all those unique items. It is so easy to backup now that we have inexpensive thumb drives. Buy a handful of them in assorted sizes and use them according to your needs. Store them away from your PC.
Next, keep your files organized and clean. When you file a current copy of a document, decide if you need the old one and toss it if not. You have in your documents folder an almost unlimited potential to create and organize files. Structure them the way you want and sub-divide the folders as many times as you like.
Keep all your pictures together, your music and videos somewhere else and your personal word processor docs and spreadsheets together.
Resolve to be safe, organized and have fun with your PC this year.