1. Clean the Junk off your computer regularly.
Download the free program CCleaner and click “Run Cleaner” to clean the
junk that piles up on your computer, including history, temporary internet
files, cookies, recycle bin, and much more. You can also use the built-in
Windows tool “Disk Cleaner”, which isn’t as thorough as CCleaner, but
better than not running anything at all.
2. Defragment Hard Drive.
If you have Windows 7 or Vista, Defragment is scheduled to run
automatically once a week. Defragmenting keeps the hard drive running fast
and organized. For XP you need to run the degrag program manually. For
Vista and Windows 7, check to make sure the defrag has been running
regularly. I recommend turning off the auto defrag and downloading “Smart
Defrag” by IObit which will defrag your computer whenever your idle, and
it and does a much better job defraging than windows defrag tool.
3. Don’t Fill Hard Drive above 80% capacity.
Having the hard drive too full can risk causing it to crash and slow down
your computer. If you need to free up space, run the program CCleaner.
Also I recommend you do a search for all files on the hard drive by
searching “.”, and then click the “size” button at the top of the “size”
column to sort from largest to smallest files on your computer.
4.Just because you have antivirus software, doesn’t mean you are
Antivirus programs are only around 40-85% accurate at stopping viruses.
Use at least one cleaning-only tool with your antivirus program such as
Malwarebytes, Superantispyware, or Kaspersky Free Virus Removal Tool.
These tools do not provide real-time protection, so they wont conflict
with your current antivirus program. For a free antivirus program that
has real-time protection, I recommend Avast or Microsoft Security
5. Monitor Start-up Programs and Services.
Click Start and in the Search Box (Use “Run” for XP), type: “msconfig”.
Click the Startup Tab, and uncheck any programs you don’t need running all
the time in the background. Next click the Start-up Tab, and check the
box “Hide Microsoft Services”. Uncheck all the services you don’t need
6. Safely Remove a USB device.
Before removing a USB device, be sure to safely remove by clicking the
“Safely Remove” icon on the right hand side of the taskbar, and then
select the device you’d like to remove. By not safely removing a USB
device you can risk having the device crash, especially while writing data
7. Only Install Programs you Need.
Having too many programs puts you at risk of getting more viruses,
spyware, and malware. It can also slow down your PC and take up hard drive
8. Be wary of links and attachments in e-mails.
One of the most common ways people get viruses, hacked, or scammed is
through e-mail. Be wary of any links or attachments in e-mails, even if
the message is from someone you trust. It’s very easy to spoof e-mail
address identity, and hackers and some viruses can send e-mails from your
friend or family members. I also recommend not clicking any links to banks
or sensitive sites, as phishing attacks are getting much more
sophisticated and hard to detect.
9. Download Programs From Trusted Sites.
Download software from trustworthy sources. The website CNET.com scans
all downloads for viruses, and they have a HUGE database of programs. Most
of the time CNET will have what you need.
10. Check Temperatures.
Check the temperatures with various sensors in your computer including
CPU, GPU, and hard drive. I recommend using the free program “Open
Hardware Monitor” from openhardwaremonitor.org. The program will also tell
you the CPU load percentage and some other useful information that is good
to know. Keep an eye out for any temperatures that get above 55 degrees C.
11. Check sites for HTTPS.
Whenever giving out sensitive information such as credit card numbers on a
website, check to make sure the site starts with HTTPS:// instead of
HTTP://. HTTPS sites use encryption called SSL, and make your browsing
experience much more secure. Most browsers will also show a locked padlock
icon on sites that use the SSL encryption.
12. When You Delete a file, It’s not really gone from your
When you delete data on your hard drive and empty the recycle bin, its not
actually leaving your hard drive. The data just gets moved to an unused
part of the drive, and waits their until it gets pushed off by new
incoming data. To securely wipe data from your hard drive, use the free
program CCleaner to wipe the free space. Make sure you check the box
“Wipe Free Space” before you click the “Run Cleaner” button.
13. Windows does not come with Microsoft Office.
A common misconception is that Windows comes with Microsoft Office. This
is simply not the case. I recommend everyone try “Libre Office”, which is
a free Office suite that is fully compatible with Microsoft Office.
14. Do your Windows Updates.
Updates help correct problems and fix vulnerabilities. Run your Windows
updates even when set to automatic. You still have to regularly manually
install the downloaded updates.
15. Use a router for your network instead of a modem.
Routers have a built-in firewall that gives you a much higher level of
security. When your devices are behind the router, they are invisible to
the outside world. If a hacker was to scan your IP number they would only
be able to see your router and not the devices behind it.