From our first communication, Lin was extremely professional and articulate and made sure that I understood the finer points of my computer problems. She explained clearly what my options were, which I appreciated knowing before any work was actually done. I would recommend Lin's services to any of my friends and business colleagues alike.
Update your Virus Definitions
In 2005, Symantec's Norton Antivirus knew of over 70,000 different computer viruses. Worse still, nearly 5,000 new viruses are discovered each and every year.
Good news, updating your virus definitions can be done with ease. How do you do it? That depends on the antivirus software you use. Norton Antivirus has a "Live Update" featured integrated into it; click on the icon, and Norton automatically downloads and installs the latest virus definitions from the internet. . McAfee VirusScan has a similar update procedure.
Do Mac users have to update their virus definitions every week? Absolutely! While there are more viruses aimed at PC than Mac it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you want to know more about what viruses are, how they spread, and how to avoid them, check out:
So, the first thing we should do every week is update our virus definitions. The second thing we should do is ...
Run Windows Update/Software Update
It is suggested that you run Windows Update weekly
Windows is appropriately named because it is full of holes. There are many, incidental 'open doors' (or 'security holes') in the Windows operating system that COULD feasibly make your computer vulnerable to outside attack. Specifically, A hacker COULD 'walk through' one of these open doors on your Windows PC and read any file on your computer, delete specific files or programs, or even completely erase your hard drive.
When Microsoft discovers a security hole, they usually release a software patch to secure it. Without the patchâ€”and there are MANYâ€”your computer may be vulnerable to outside attack.
Fortunately, like updating your virus definitions, downloading these patches couldn't be simpler. Integrated into every PC since Windows 98 and into every version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer since version 4.0 is a feature called "Windows Update." Windows Update is an easy-to-use tool that helps you ensure that your PC is running the absolute latest Microsoft software patches and drivers.
ScanDisk is a built-in tool from Microsoft that scans and, in most cases, repairs errors on your hard drive. These errors typically occur when your computer crashes and has to be rebooted.
The technical explanation is that
Your files are saved on your hard drive in data groups called "clusters", sometimes these clusters can become "cross linked" with other clusters belonging to other files, or they can simply become "lost" from the rest of its fellow clusters. When you run scan disk the utility saves the "lost" file fragments into new files that you can view called "check" files (*.chk). It also repairs cross-linked clusters by making a copy and pairing it to separate families (the original and the cross linked one).
In other words, ScanDisk makes your computer a little happier as well as more stable.
ScanDisk stabilizes your computer. A disk defragmenter ensures that, if a particular sector on your hard drive fails, you only lose a few files instead of many. According to our friends at WhatIs.com (One of the best technical glossaries on the internet, and one of my top Web resources)
When a file is too large to store in a single location on a hard disk, it is stored on the disk in discontiguous (not adjacent) parts or fragments. This fragmentation is "invisible" to the user; however. The locations of the fragments are kept track of by the system. Over time, disk access time can be slowed by fragmentation since each fragmented file is likely to require multiple drive head re-positionings and accesses. (There's nothing you can do to prevent fragmentation, by the way.) A disk defragmenter is a utility that rearranges your fragmented files and the free space on your computer so that files are saved in contiguous units and free space is consolidated in one contiguous block. This also improves access time to files that are now contiguous.
Backup Your Data
Here is a frightening thought: imagine your reality if your computer crashed. All of your programs, all of your emails, all of the pictures and files you have downloaded from the internet ... gone. How would you react? What if it could have been avoided?
In the world of computing, you either have a disaster recovery plan or you don't. Fortunately, backing up your critical data is no harder than downloading new virus definitions or running a disk defragmenter.
Okay, maybe it is a *LITTLE* harder.
"Backup Basics" article at:
So, that's it. Update your virus definitions, run Windows Update), run ScanDisk, run a disk defragmenter, and backup your data. Do these five things in order ... each and every week ... And of course if you have any questions or are in need of support please feel free to email me or dial me directly (949) 375-6267.