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Top Ten Tech Tips to start the new year off right!

You might have already broken some of your new year’s resolutions, but here are some great ways to keep your computers and other devices lean, mean, and ready to face the new year.

 

1, Physically clean out your computer Desktop computers are notorious for collecting dust. Fans and air vents can become clogged which means your computer might overheat. Excess heat is bad for your computer and can lead to all sorts of problems like random restarts and crashing.

Spend a few minutes to take the side panel of your computer and wipe down the air vents and fan blades with a dry cloth (turn off your computer first!). It might be tempting to use your vacuum cleaner, but beware that the static generated by a vacuum can be fatal to some computer components.

2, Manually check for Windows updates Windows Update is usually a “set it and forget it” feature, but now and again it’s good to go in and check for updates manually. Windows Update now offers updates for certain installed apps and there are often useful Optional Updates. While you’re in there make sure that automatic updates is actually enabled. Unpatched computers are the most vulnerable to virus and malware.

3, Backup your files – Hard drives fail all the time so you should be backing up. The quickest way is to manually copy your important files to an external hard drive, though it’s best to have an automatic backup that runs periodically. Telelink offers great backup solutions to suit consumers and businesses alike. Call us on (901) 685-5552 for more information.

4, Verify your backup – If you already have an automatic backup solution, take a few moments to verify the backup is actually working. You can do this by looking in the backup folders and checking that the files match those on your computer.

5, Check your anti-virus is running and up-to-date An anti-virus program is only useful if the virus definitions are up-to-date. Open your anti-virus program and check the last time the definitions were updated. Most anti-virus programs update every day or so. If there’s an option to check manually run that, and also check automatic updates are enabled.
6, Backup and clean your windows registry There’s a great maintenance app for Windows called CCleaner. You can use CCleaner to clean up all kinds of files and settings on your computer, one of which is the Windows registry. After a while the registry can become full of unneeded and orphaned settings that slow down your computer. Find out more at Piriform.com – The free version should be enough for most users.
7, Change all your passwords – This sounds excessive, but there have been so many high-profile cases of websites being hacked and password databases stolen. To keep your accounts safe you should periodically change your passwords, also make sure not to use the same password on multiple sites. If you need help remember passwords then Last Pass is a great browser extension for managing passwords.
8, Upgrade your hard drives One of the best upgrades you can do to a computer (both desktop and laptop) is to replace spinning hard drives with solid state drives (SSD). In most cases your computer will feel so much faster it’ll be like a brand new computer. No more waiting five minutes for your computer to boot, after this upgrade it’ll only take seconds.
9, Start saving for your new computer now If your computer is over 3 years old you should expect to have to upgrade or replace it soon. Start saving now to avoid getting caught out by unexpected repairs or upgrades.
10, Let Telelink inventory your computer for free – The best way to start the year off on the right foot is have Telelink take a look at your system. For a limited time we’ll do a free inventory of your computer – we’ll check your computer hardware and provide you with a list of specs so you know what hardware you have and the best way to upgrade it in the future. Call us on (901) 685-5552 to take us up on this free offer.

We look forward to serving you in 2017,

Jim Montgomery

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