Why Preventive Maintenance Is Vital For A Healthy Computer
There are a few steps – some simple, some a little more complicated – that can ensure the longevity of your computer, keep your data safe (so it won’t get lost or stolen), and basically keep you from being forced to spend expensive repairs or time away from your machine.
The most basic level of preventative maintenance is keeping your software up to date, especially updates from Microsoft. These updates help repair recently discovered security holes in system vulnerabilities that malicious people can exploit to do a variety of nefarious things on your computer. They can lock your valuable data, preventing you from accessing your files or deleting them entirely. The other big threat that can result from hackers gaining access to your machine is identity theft. Thieves can collect passwords, social security numbers, just about anything they want once they have access to your computer. Identity theft is a major problem Americans face today, with the total monetary damage reaching hundreds of billions of dollars, with an average loss per person of nearly five thousand dollars. But by keeping your operating system updated in a proper and timely manner, you have a much better chance of avoiding what could be an incredible headache.
Just as people brush their teeth so they don’t have to deal with an expensive and painful trip to the dentist, you also need to take small steps to keep your machine clean. One surefire way to destroy a computer is to allow it to overheat. Your computer is made up of many fragile electronic components that can only function efficiently within a certain temperature threshold. If your computer is exposed to excessive temperatures for too long a period of time, something is probably not working properly. This is likely to inevitably lead to costly repairs and even more costly downtime. To keep your machine running cool, use compressed air to blow out the fans your computer uses, including heat sink fans, power supply fans, and possibly video card fans. This will remove dust and allow your fans to run much more efficiently.
Returning to the topic of updates, it is important to update your antivirus software wisely (and if you don’t have antivirus software, you should buy it). The reason it is so important to keep up with virus definitions is that bad people are creating new threats every day, and if you simply run a scan without updating your antivirus software first, your scan will not find any newly developed threats. , which will leave you vulnerable. Other software to stay current includes Adobe, Flash Player, along with many other third-party software that hackers can use to attack your computer.
One last method to extend the life of your computer and increase performance is to defragment your hard drive on a weekly basis. Doing so will allow your drive to read data faster, and since the drive will have less work to do, it will likely last longer.
The goal of preventive maintenance is to save money and avoid downtime.