While the majority of Americans know the basics of taking car of their cars such as changing the oil when the sticker says so, filling fluids and taking it in to a shop when a bunch of warning lights are on — not nearly as many are good at taking care of their computer.
If you take the time to take care of your computer like you take care of your car you’ll get longer life and better performance . Below you’ll find four steps to keep your computer in top shape from choosing the right service shop to preventative maintenance.
- Find a Reliable “Mechanic” – Don’t go shopping for computer repair based only on price, hopping from shop to shop every time you have a problem. Just like you should get your oil changes at the same place every time, frequenting a computer repair shop means the staff will know you, your needs and your computer and be able to provide better service. Going to the wrong shop could cost you…big.
- Don’t Turn off the “ABS Brakes and Airbags” – Imagine if your car came with a 30 day trial of anti lock breaks and airbags and after 30 days you could drive without these safety features or turn them on for free by visiting the manufacturer. Many computers come with free anti-virus programs that run out after 30 days. After that you may as well be speeding down a residential street at 90MPH without brakes, airbags and a seatbelt every time you check email. Instead, install Microsoft Security Essentials for free and surf with your airbags and anti-lock brakes on.
- Perform Regular Maintenance – Just like you take your car in for oil changes, fill up fluids and replace the wiper blades; take a few steps to keep your PC running. You can perform some steps on your own like uninstalling unused programs, clearing out your startup or defragmenting your hard drive; or use a tool like System Mechanic 10 that will tune up your PC for you. It’s so easy my dad can use it (who is incidentally an actual mechanic).
- Know where you buy gas – You’ll avoid “That” gas station because it sells “watered down gas”, but you’ll install software from anywhere? Take a minute and think before you install any software from a popup. Did you visit a website looking to download and install a program? If not then don’t install it. If you are using your computer safely, you already have an antivirus, so when you get a popup telling you your computer is infected — don’t click on that popup, instead go look at your actual antivirus program and see if you are infected.
If you take care of your new computer you won’t suffer from all of the problems that slow your computer down and waste your time.
Photo via AMagill on Flickr