Whether you’re an actual grandmother or anyone else a little hesitant to do your own computer maintenance, you’ll find the following simple instructions will help keep your computer working well for years to come.
Computer Maintenance Tips #1—Befriend A Geek
Despite the media’s portrayal of computer geeks as nerdy young men, computer geeks come in all shapes. My grandmother’s best friend, another grandmother, is a computer geek.
Befriending a computer geek is by far the best computer maintenance you can do. Your geek friend will teach you how to use your computer the right way, will fix problems when they’re still easy to fix, and can explain to you the many things about computers that require specialized knowledge. As a nice bonus, most computer geeks often give away their old technology to their friends, meaning free goodies for you.
Computer Maintenance Tips #2—Run Anti-Virus
Many grandmothers I know live on a tight budget, either because they have to or because they’re used to it from years of practice (raising a family has never been cheap). So a lot of you probably wonder whether it’s necessary to renew your pricy anti-virus subscription.
Many modern computer viruses are designed by criminals to carry out their illegal businesses. They infect your computer and use it to send spam or attack other computers or spread child pornography. But the government can’t tell that your computer is infected, and more than once, the police have arrested somebody for crimes committed by viruses on their computer.
But even if you’re not afraid of being arrested for child pornography or other crimes, viruses use up the computing resources of your PC, ruining the value of your $500 or $1,000 computer. Compared to that, a $30 or $50 a year anti-virus subscription costs nothing. Protecting your computer from viruses is very important.
Computer Tips #3—Make Backups
Some grandmothers use their computers all the time; some only spend an hour a week online. But no grandmother wants to lose the result of the effort they’ve put into their computer.
Yet few grandmothers backup their files. Unfortunately, every computer hard drive will eventually fail, taking with it to the grave any unpreserved data. An easy way is to simply backup files to an external hard drive.
Talk to your computer geek friend about how to make backups. You want a simple regular system that doesn’t require much maintenance. Windows comes with a backup wizard that you can use with an external hard disk, or you can use a online service like Mozy. Just make sure you get your backup system setup soon.
Computer Tips #4—Examine Error Messages
I bet I know what you do when an error message appears—you click “Ok” and hope things keep working. If they do, you quickly forget you ever saw the error message.
But little error messages like those indicate that there’s something wrong with your computer—something that could become a big problem later.
Whenever you see an error message, write down its keywords before you click Ok. Then show those keywords to your computer geek friend. He or she will either recognize the error or know how to search for it online. Then you can take care of any required computer maintenance once and for all.
My name is Mitz Pantic and I’ve been working with computers for over 25 years and love to teach people how to use their computers. Be sure to visit me at my computer tips website and say hello in the comments section. Also do not forget to sign-up for my free computer tips newsletter and receive a free 59 page Computer Terms Dictionary!
If you have any tips for computer maintenance please share them with us by leaving your comment below.