Entries tagged with “computer maintenance”.

Have you backed up your computer lately?  Don’t wait until it’s too late!  Here’s a tip that may help make it easier for you.

From Q13Fox.com – Tech Report, March 5, 2012 by Rich DeMuro:

So much of our lives are going digital, from photographs to important documents. But what happens when your computer crashes? Well thanks to high speed internet connections, keeping a backup of your computer files is easier than ever.

We all know we should be doing it. It’s like flossing your teeth; nobody really wants to do it and definitely not enough people do it; but you really have to do it.

It’s backing up your computer.

“A hard drive is a mechanical device. It has an average lifespan of about three to five years, which most people don’t realize. Eventually it’s going to fail,” said Barb Dybwad, head of Tecca.com.

Computer failure these days means say goodbye to photos, important documents and emails. A new campaign from online backup service Carbonite drives the message home.

Tom Murray of Carbonite said, “We’re really excited about the ad. In the real world you never get a warning when your computer crashes and when you lose your files.”

Online backup services store your computer files on a remote server to keep them safe.

“If the product is easy to use and works automatically in our case, then you never have to worry about having a gap in the information that you’ve protected,” said Murray.

Barb said, “Carbonite is a great one, there’s Mozy, Sugarsync, BackBlaze, iDrive, Box.net, all of them are great to look into”.

Protection starts at about five dollars a month, some plans are unlimited, while others charge by how much you’re storing.

Even if you’re using iCloud, it might not be enough.

“By default you’re not actually backing up all of your files (on iCloud), the photostream only does a thousand and after that you’re not storing any more,” explains Barb.

I personally recommend backing up two ways, online, and with an external hard drive. That way you’re always covered no matter what happens. Check out all of the online services mentioned, right here:








View the video at http://www.q13fox.com/lifestyle/technology/ktla-backup-your-computer-online-20120305,0,7796554.story

It’s never too late to set up a back up system for your files…until your hard drive dies and you’ve lost everything that was on it!

Microsoft just announced that support is ending for some older versions of the Windows operating system (OS).

  • Support for Windows Vista without any service packs will end on April 13, 2010.
  • Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) will end on July 13, 2010.

If you’re running one of these versions after support ends, you won’t get security updates for Windows. This means that your computer will be at risk for viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. If you don’t know what version of Windows you’re running, click the following link to see Which version and service pack am I running?

Is it the end of the world? No. But you do want to make sure you’re able to keep your data safe.

Advances in hardware and software technology have shortened the useful life of the average computer to about five years. After five years, they become obsolete. If your computer is older than about 5 to 6 years, you may think about looking into replacing it.

If you do, please refer to my WebSight Viewpoint Nos. 20 and 21 for tips on getting rid of an old computer.

Strangely, I’ve heard from several people in the last month, that had a acquired a computer virus and had lost all of their data.  This is a gentle reminder to remember to 1) back up your data regularly; and 2) if you have a PC, follow these tips to help protect your computer.  If you have a Mac, you may not be as susceptible to an attack, however it is still important that you protect your system.

  1. Use an Internet firewall.
    Note: Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP with SP2 have a firewall already built-in and turned on by default.
  2. Visit Microsoft Update to verify your settings and check for updates.
    Note: If you’ve installed the most recent version of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Update will also update your Microsoft Office programs.
  3. Subscribe to antivirus software and keep it current.  Some more reputable software names are Norton Antivirus and McAfee, that cost somewhere around $40/year.  Microsoft has come out with a new FREE download, Microsoft Security Essentials, for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
  4. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know.
  5. Avoid opening an e-mail attachment from someone you know, unless you know exactly what the attachment is. The sender may be unaware that it contains a virus.
  6. Use a standard user account unless you need to use an administrator account.  The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work.

When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account, therefore protecting your computer.

Keep your business (and personal) documents and systems safe and avoid the headache.

For your daily use files, back them up to an external hard drive or server. Copy critical record files to a CD and store them in a secure place. Remember to keep your account access passwords somewhere safe, as well. If something should happen to you, all of your data will be nice and safe…from those who will need access to help you out!

Also, keep a copy of your files in an off-site location to prevent data loss in the case of a fire, theft, or other disaster at your primary location. There are online backup services that you can use to back up just your critical files, or the whole enchilada, saving the entire contents of your computer.
Basically, you download a backup utility to your hard drive and using the utility, identify the files you want to back up, and set up a schedule to automatically backup those files. The cost for the online service is based on the amount of space you require.

It can seem a little pricey to purchase an external drive or to subscribe to a service, but think of how much you would “pay” if you lost everything and had to start over. Ouch!

Keep your data safe…you’ll be glad you did!

One way to help alleviate the problem is to create a separate e-mail account for your orders and subscriptions. Most SPAM is generated through sites from which you’ve ordered something or joined a newsgroup or subscription, who have then sold your e-mail address to a third party. Many times if you read the fine print, you’ll discover that by signing up with them, your e-mail address is considered fair game! Sharing your primary e-mail just with those trusted friends and colleagues will help minimize unwanted email from those pesky spammers.

Latest versions of Outlook incorporate a “Junk E-mail” filtering function. Highly suspected potential junk mail is put into a separate “Junk E-mail” folder for you to go through and clean out at your leisure. You can also decide who you want to allow into your Inbox. It won’t catch them all, but it’ll help by lessening the amount of mail that goes into your Inbox.
If you don’t know who an e-mail is from, don’t send an e-mail back asking to be taken off of the mailing list and don’t click on the link provided to “unsubscribe” from the e-mail list. Spammers will use them as confirmation of a live e-mail address and then send you even more spam. Simply delete the mail. Yes, it’s annoying, and, unfortunately, it won’t ever stop completely, but it will at least not initiate another action to generate more.

If your e-mail address is displayed on your website, ask your web designer to do something to “hide” your e-mail address from the online spam harvesters. This can be done in a few different ways – displaying your address graphically instead of using text, splitting up your address into parts, manipulating the text by replacing characters, or adding some additional programming.

No method is fool proof, but it can simply make it just a little harder to get your address and should significantly reduce the amount of spam you have to sift through.