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A computer is a powerful tool that can be useful in both business and personal use.  Below are a few steps that can help to keep your computer in good condition:
* Regular Backup

  • Your data is the most important thing on a computer. 
  • Anything else can be reinstalled but once your data is gone, it is gone.
  • The life blood of business is Customer’s information. 
  • Spend time and back this up as often as possible.

* UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

  • Surge protector is bare minimum
  • Make sure you connect the phone line to surge protector
  • Do not connect too many devices to one surge protector
  • The larger UPS the better
  • Use Surge protector in conjunction with UPS

* Keep system up to date with Microsoft update
* Virus protection software (Trendmicro)
* Popup and Adware blocker (Lavasoft Adware)
* Keep definitions update
* Use common sense in dealing with email and site with popup

  • Do not open attachment that you are not sure about.  Just delete the email.
  • Do not click anything in a popup window, just click on the X on the upper right corner.
  • Do not install shareware/freeware from un-trusted site.  These programs can contain spam generator.

* Memory upgrade is the cheapest “bang for the buck”. 

  • System should have a minimum of 256MB of memory, but 512MB is recommended for better performance. 
  • Windows 2K or XP utilizes memory much better than previous versions.

* Get broadband

  • How much is your time worth to you? 
  • Broadband can save you more money
  • Keeps your phone line free (free second phone line)
  • Save your money with time saved. 
  • Broadband allows a much faster time online.

*Install a firewall for security:

Why do you need a internet firewall?

Every minute that your computer is connected to the Internet, either through a dial-up (modem) connection or through a broadband (DSL or cable) service, it is at risk.
Without a firewall or firewall software, your computer is operating under an "open door" policy. Bank account information, Passwords, credit card numbers are all at risk.
They are all available to anyone with bad intentions and basic computer skills, as information about hacking is freely available on the internet. 
Hackers can get in, take what they want, and even leave open a "back door" so they can turn your computer into a "zombie" and use it to attack other computers. 
Firewall protection should be a vital part of your computer internet security defenses.

But I already have anti-virus software ?

Antivirus software comes installed on most new PCs, but virus protection is only as good as the latest virus definitions, which are created in response to the latest viruses.
However anti virus computer security software does nothing to secure your computer against direct hacker attacks via an open internet connection.

What is a network firewall? 

A hardware firewall or software firewall is a system or group of systems that enforces an access control policy between two networks. 
The actual means by which this is accomplished varies widely, but in principle tend to be the same, firewall security can be thought of as a pair of mechanisms: one which exists to block traffic, and the other which exists to permit traffic. 
Some firewalls place a greater emphasis on blocking traffic, while others emphasize permitting traffic. 
Probably the most important thing to recognize about a firewall  is that it implements an access control policy. If you don't have a good idea of what kind of access you want to allow or to deny, a firewall  really won't help you. It's also important to recognize that the firewall's configuration, because it is a mechanism for enforcing policy, imposes its policy on everything behind it. Administrators for firewalls managing the connectivity for a large number of hosts therefore have a heavy responsibility.

Many traditional-style data centers have computing security policies and practices that must be adhered to. Where a company's policies dictate how data must be protected, a firewall  is very important, since it is the physical implementation of the corporate policy. 
Frequently, the hardest part of hooking to the Internet, if you're a large company, is not justifying the expense or effort, but convincing management that it's safe to do so. An Internet firewall  provides not only real security--it often plays an important role as a security blanket for management.

Lastly, a firewall can act as your corporate "ambassador" to the Internet. Many corporations use their websites as a front door to back office systems which store public information about corporate products and services, files to download, bug-fixes, and so forth. 
So firewall security become vital to ensure that these back office systems can not be tampered with.

* Call a professional if you are unsure. 

  • Saves you the frustration of trying to fix your computer.
  • Again this comes down to time spent vs. time saved.
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