Computers are surprisingly durable machines. Anyone who has ever accidentally dropped theirs on the floor knows that. Under most normal circumstances, your computer can handle being throw in a backpack, carted around on airplanes, used both indoors and out, and running for several hours a day, every day. Regardless, there are things you should NEVER do to your PC, as long as you want to keep it running. Here’s your breakdown of things to avoid.
1. Let it get Dirty
A little keyboard grime is one thing. A dusty fan system is entirely another. As your computer runs, it uses its internal fan to move air around and keep sensitive electronic components cool. Over time, however, these fans attract dust, dander, and particulate, which can build up in your PC’s casing and become a real hazard.
To keep your computer from breaking down, clean it regularly. A can of compressed air will do just fine to blast dust away from the fan and internal components.
2. Forget to Plug it Into a Surge Protector
While most people plug their computers into the wall without even thinking about it, this can cause a real problem for your computer’s hard drive. Even under the best of circumstances, electrical grids are vulnerable to power surges.
Commonly created by lightning strikes, outages, and other power glitches, voltage spikes can fry your computer’s internal components, and contribute to early hard drive failure.
With this in mind, always plug your computer into a surge protector, rather than the wall itself.
3. Force Anything Closed
Whether it’s a CD tray on your desktop or a USB cover on your laptop, jamming anything closed on your computer is a sure-fire way to break things and create the need for a costly repair. If something is stuck open on your computer, try closing it gently. If that doesn’t work, take it to your local computer repair place to be fixed.
4. Carry it Uncovered
While your computer could probably withstand an accidental drop if it had to, it’s not an ideal situation. To keep your computer safe from bumps, dings, chips, and cracks, be sure you’ve got it covered in a case or sleeve when you take it out of the house. This cushions your PC against accidental drops and keeps its more sensitive components safe from punishing blows.
5. Leave it Open
If you’ve been using your laptop, close it before you walk away. The reason for this is simple: your keyboard is one of the most vulnerable parts of your laptop. Beneath each key is a complex series of electrical circuits and tiny components. To keep them as safe as possible, the laptop needs to be closed when not in use.
Not only does this lessen the chance that your cat will “Accidentally” tip a glass of water onto your keyboard, but it also prevents dust and debris buildup from happening when you’re not around.
6. Install Unknown Programs
Don’t go willy-nilly when it comes to your computer’s programs. Instead of installing anything that suits your fancy, be choosy about which sites you trust and which you don’t.
There’s a great deal of malicious software out there, and being discerning about which you choose to download is one of the best ways to keep your computer (And the data you store on it) safe.
If you’re not sure how to practice good online safety, read our recent blog post on the topic.
7. Forget About App Updates
Not updating your computer’s software is an easy way to put your entire system at risk. Instead of letting program updates tick by unfulfilled, enable auto-updates on your system. This keeps your computer and its programs free of security loopholes and makes it easy to enjoy a streamlined, functional system every day.
Keep Your PC in Great Health With These Simple Tips
Yes, your computer stands up to the wear and tear of daily life, but there are still some things you should never do to your PC. By knowing what these things are and understanding how to avoid them, you can keep your computer strong, functional, and healthy for years to come.