Give Your Computer Summer Cleaning

This summer, you’ll likely take the time to wash windows, vacuum cobwebs, organize closets, and clean out garages in preparation for fall and the upcoming holidays. But do you give your trusted computer the same attention?  

Technology is more advanced than ever, so it’s no wonder that many of us have become accustomed to not maintaining them. For those who do not have neat, tidy, and well-organized computer desktops, this summer is the perfect time to think back to when your computer was new, clean, and well organized.  

If an organized desk is the sign of an organized mind, the same can be said of the virtual desktop. According to Newsweek, the average American loses 4.6 hours each week trying to find lost or misplaced items. Isn’t it time to take 10 or 20 minutes to sort through the icons, folders, and documents that have taken over your desktop, making it impossible to find the right file?  

1. Delete Old Files 

Desktops can go from clean to clutter before you know it (and start looking like a collage of sorts). Now’s the time to really look at each file and delete what you no longer need. 

2. Create Folders 

Organize the files you’re keeping. Start by creating a master folder, and then establish sub folders where you’ll place each file. 

3. Protect Pictures 

Instead of storing your valuable pictures on an unprotected desktop, it’s best to keep them on storage devices like SD cards or external hard drives.  

4. Install Antivirus Software 

If you don’t already have anti-virus software installed on your computer, now’s the time to add it. Then be sure to run occasional scans to find any unsafe files that you may have inadvertently downloaded. 

5. Add Password Protection 

If you work on your laptop out in public, you risk being visually hacked. It happens in public locales where one individual will look over another’s shoulder and see private information on the computer screen. The information can be captured with a smart phone camera and used to steal data, including financial and medical information. In a study by the Ponemon Institute, more than 90 percent of visual hacking (or shoulder surfing) attempts are successful. So in addition to cleaning your desktop, password protect your computer to keep it away from prying eyes. 

6. Plan for Maintenance 

Don’t wait until next summer to do another cleanup of your desktop. Set a recurring event on your calendar to perform desktop maintenance on a regular basis. This can be a weekly or monthly event, depending on how much damage you typically do. 


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