Keeping your computer in top shape is an important aspect to an online business. Why? Without it, you are not in business, or your business will come to a complete halt. There are simple things that you can do to keep your computer safe and running at top-notch speed.
You can keep your computer in top shape if you maintain it properly. Clean the inside of the unit and make sure that your have enough fans in your unit to keep the components cool. Fans can help extend the life of your computer.
If you are going to be doing business on-line, I would recommend XP Professional, this operating system is more robust than the home version.
AntiVirus software is a necessity if you work online. You can go with the free AntiVirus software, although there is no guarantee that they will always be diligent in keeping the antivirus definitions current. Or you can go with the paid AntiVirus, such as Norton Antivirus, or CA Associates EZ AntiVirus. Whatever you choose, no protection is definitely online suicide whenever you have an online business or you surf the net.
Without any security, I would not do any personal transactions online. Why? You would be a sitting duck for keyloggers – which are hackers that attach a program to catch your log-in info.
I would also run an Adware program along with your antivirus software, such as Ad-Aware SE Personal, which is free. This will hold you for awhile, but later you may want to move up to the paid version.
One last free option is to scan your computer with an online tool called ShieldsUP. ShieldsUP will scan your system for any possible backdoors in which hackers can get in. Just go to Google Search and type in ShieldsUP for a free scan.
Daily Computer Maintenance
You can manually keep your computer clean and running by doing the following:
Open up your Internet Explorer, hit Tools, hit Internet Options, and go to the Temporary Internet Files. Here you can delete cookies and files online and offline. In addition, go into History, right under the Temporary Internet Files, and clean that as well.
Or you can get a neat program that does a lot of window washing for you. It's called "Free Internet Window Washer", and as the name implies it is free. However, they do accept pledges to keep their expenses down. This little program washes system files, MS Office programs, Internet Temporary Files for Mozilla FireFox, Internet Explorer, Netscape and Opera, and more. You can grab a free copy by going to my tools section and hitting the "Internet Tools Section".
You know your hard-drive will not last forever (in most cases, it can last about 5 years if you are lucky), so it is always wise to have a back-up hard-drive piggy-backed to the main if the main drive fails. Or, you can have all the information on another computer and run Norton Ghost to upload the information from one computer to the new hard-drive.
It is always wise to backup your data and software programs, in the event your computer crashes and you have to reload everything from start to finish again. Your back-up data will save you time.
Important data, such as transactions should not sit on your desktop. You should keep them offline to protect yourself from hackers, should one get through to your computer.
It can happen. It's scary to see a search box pop up in front of you, and it ask's "what do you want to look at next"! If you see something on that order, shut down your computer to get them off-line, and increase your security – or find out where the hole is in your security system. Such as, turning off a portion of your security and forgetting to turn it back on? Trust me, it may happen once, but after that, it will not happen again.
These tips, though simple, should give you a beginning to protecting your computer and keeping you aware and secure whether you are online or offline.