Computer upkeep is something many people don’t even think about. After all, as long as my computer is running okay and I can browse the web or play those PC games, who cares what condition it’s in, right? Wrong! The health of your computer not only affects the longevity of the machine, but also plays a part in the speed your programs (and PC in general) run at.


I have had this discussion several times lately with family and friends, who are amazed at how long my computer has gone without any virus or problems. 2 family members had a virus attack recently, and one lost all her files and programs (although I was able to recover them, thankfully). Another friend had his computer totally crash, and permanently lost all the data. So, I thought if it was such a common problem, why not share a few things I’ve learned that help keep my computer running at full capacity?

Anti-Virus

Norton Anti-Virus, but I know many people have their personal favorites. Just be sure it really works; I don’t recommend just browsing for freeware, as many times these actually carry a virus (I speak from experience, as another relative downloaded one of these last year, and totally messed up his computer).

One free program I do recommend is SpyBot Search and Destroy. While it’s not an anti-virus, it does scan your computer for any possibly harmful files or viruses, and gives you the option of quarantining or deleting these.

Defragment

I also recommend defragmenting your computer between once a month to every other week. If you’re not sure how to do this, simply pull up your control panel and click on maintenance. This shows you your defrag option, as well as the ability to clear space on your hard drive (also a good idea to do regularly).

Clear Space

Keeping your hard drive with a maximum amount of free space also helps with speed. Delete any unneeded files, uninstall those programs you no longer use, and empty the trash bin on a regular basis. I also recommend (for 2 reasons) that you store important documents, pictures, video, etc. on an external hard drive. Not only does this free up more room on your internal drive, but it protects these files from loss if something does happen to your computer.

Turn It Off

One last maintenance step I recommend is actually turning your computer off each night. Even putting it into hibernation is not the same, as it still leaves your PC open and vulnerable to attacks over night.

These are just a few easy steps to take to keep your computer healthy and running at the proper speed. There are many more, but following these will get you started on a lifetime of computer health.