Five Very Common (and Avoidable) Computer Mistakes
Most of us who own a computer use it on an almost-daily basis. Whether you use it to balance your accounts, edit your family photographs or watch the latest episode of your favorite series, our computers have become central points in our lives and without it, we could feel very lost. Like an old friend who has left us with nothing more than a blank screen as a goodbye note. The same way that you would take care of yourself or your car, your computer also needs regular TLC to keep running optimally. Most computer owners make mistakes that can easily be avoided, as these mistakes, though it won’t necessarily kill your computer, will definitely lower the performance quality that you get out of your machine. Let’s take a look at some of these common mistakes.
Clicking on something you will regret
If you get a pop-up message excitedly proclaiming that you have won an amazing prize because you are the millionth person to visit that site – ignore it. Mystery prizes or empty promises, actually any dubious pop-up that suddenly promises something amazing is most likely (most definitely) not what it proclaims to be. These kind of pop-ups are created to link to websites which will install malware onto your computer without your permission or knowledge. The same thing can happen if you access websites that are in the “darker corners” of the World Wide Web. You might get asked to download and install malevolent software which cold potentially slow down your computer or allow virus access.
Letting your computer grow slow
Once those viruses and malware gets inside your computer, one of the first symptoms will be that your machine becomes slow. That said, a slow computer doesn’t necessarily equate to viral infections. A very common reason for slowing down of your computer is because your space allocation has not been done properly. The space and memory on your computer is limited, but with regular spring-cleaning and defragmentation of your machine, you will ensure that the available space is used optimally. Another speed-eater is applications. Because most applications are programmed to open automatically when the computer starts up, they are often running in the background without your knowledge, using up memory and speed.
Letting your computer get dusty
The electricity that feeds your computer creates static electricity which in turn charges cigarette smoke or dust particles and attracts it to the electronics inside the computer. As these particles stick together they create a layer that covers the electronics. This causes the computer to overheat, age faster and potentially fail. A little-know fact reported on compuhero.com is that regularly smoking close to your computer could potentially void its warranty. This is because cigarette smoke accelerates this sticky layering process, as the particles contain more moisture and stick together even easier.
Allowing your internet security to be weak
In a US survey done by consumerreports.org they found that 9% of people use one single password for all of their online accounts. This is dangerous and rather stupid. If some online snoop manages to get hold of your password, especially if it’s an easy one (like “1234”) then it will be open season on all your information. Remember that, with all our links to social media it has become child’s play to find access to every account you own online.
Losing your data
According to a survey done by the Graziadio Business Review, the most common reasons for data loss is hardware failure at 40 percent. Human error accounts for 30 percent of data lost. In the same study, they estimate the cost of data loss in the United States alone to come in at $18.2 billion per year, based on the value of the actual data, the productivity lost due to lost data or to technical services incurred to recover the data. If you’ve already experienced data loss, your best bet would be to contact data recovery specialists but it is always better to prevent it by making hard copies of all your important data and keeping your computer in a good condition by following the tips above.
Marilu Snyders knows her way around her Mac and the Internet, but still not so fondly remembers mistakes that led her to mastery of the digital domain.