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What’s in your computer?


By Michelle Post

Terms of Use: With any advice about your computer, software, hardware, and/or network, please use caution and read all the facts before installing, changing, and/or deleting any files on your computer.

What you don’t know can hurt you! Running maintenance on your computer is just as important as running maintenance on your car or house – it needs to be done. Even the best maintenance, however, can miss something. Here are a few precautions your business can take to help prevent a loss of productivity due to system viruses:

Step 1: Identify what is on your computer. One of my favorite FREE tools is called Belarc Advisor, www.belarc.com/products_belarc_advisor. The reason I love this tool is best answered from Belarc’s website, “The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, any missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your web browser.”

Step 2: Install an anti-virus software that not only protects against viruses, but also protects against malware, phishing, ransomware and browser protection. You can get great protection from free software by visiting www.tomsguide.com/us/best-free-antivirus,review-6003.html. The free version of Avast has been one of my go-to anti-virus solutions for years.

Step 3: When surfing the web, use a privacy browser or go incognito to limit what information you share. A search engine that does not track your surfing history is DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com/.)

Step 4: Install a maintenance software that helps keep your computer optimized and one that cleans your internet cache and temporary files. One favorite I have been using for more than a decade is CCleaner, www.ccleaner.com. The free version does everything I need to help keep my computer optimized.

Step 5: Install a password vault to store all your passwords. I do not recommend storing passwords in your web browser, as this is one way hackers gain access to your computer. A software I was introduced to recently is called LastPass, www.lastpass.com. One vault password unlocks all your passwords, and you only have to remember one password. The software has a free version and paid options too.

In the words of Uncle Ben, “With great power, comes great responsibilities.” And for me, this includes the responsibility of ensuring I am doing all I can to manage the power of my computer.

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