If you’re just beginning to grasp all that the Internet has to offer and are interested in learning more, there are a few simple things you should know first. Here are a few tips and tricks that will keep your system clean, figuratively and literally, as well as keeping it safe.
1. Make sure your set up does not expose your computer to excessive heat or to static (such as the static naturally accumulated on carpet surfaces).
2. Check your computer for dust. It seems simple, but most people neglect to remove the clumps of dust the computer fan draws in. By doing this, you could save your computer energy and keep it cooler. If your computer doesn’t have to work so hard to stay cool, it will perform faster for you.
3. With free anti-virus software available like AVG, there’s no excuse for leaving your system exposed. Download protection immediately and make sure your firewall is up to prevent identity theft. Even with anti-virus, it is still important to click with caution.
4. Find out which sites to trust before beginning to download software. WOT, or “Web of Trust,” provides you with a free, user-based monitoring system for enhanced security. The tiny widget shows green for go, and red for stop (when sites are untrustworthy).
5. After getting a green light, it is still advisable to check-in with technology authorities on message boards to see if the software you want has bugs, if it’s a good value, and if a free (open source) version exists.
6. Another important factor that is often neglected is your OS, or operating system. Before downloading software, be aware of your OS and which software works best on that platform. Certain free widgets and open source software will not be optimal and may even lead to crashes and confusion.
Technology can be intimidating, but taken in small steps, it has a lot to offer.