6 tips for cleaning up your computer (for Pessach)

Cleaning

With Pessach around the corner, many people are busy scrubbing their homes to rid them of all signs of chametz. In honor of this season of cleaning, here are 6 (mostly) free tips on housekeeping for your computer that anyone can do to keep it optimized and in good health:

  1. Antivirus program – make sure you have a good antivirus program installed on your computer, and that is constantly being updated. Two good antivirus programs are Norton Antivirus and McAfee, and they cost about $40-$50 for a one year license. These programs are constantly monitoring your computer’s activity in the background, and scan documents and email attachments for potential threats. Once a week, manually update your antivirus program and run a complete scan of all of your computer.
  2. Disk and registry cleanup – as you install, uninstall and run your programs, a lot of garbage files are created that take up space and slow down your computer’s performance. I use a free program called CCleaner to clean up my computer. CCleaner analyzes your hard drive for files that can be safely deleted, such as temporary files and cookies. For example, I just ran it and deleted 360 MB of extra stuff. Then it scanned the computer for issues, and identified registry files that needed to be fixed.
  3. Update your Windows and Office software – To update your Windows, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/. It checks your computer to see what updates you need, and installs them for free (as long as you have authentic Windows software).
  4. Protect your computer against spyware – As you surf the web, chances are little files and programs are being deposited on your computer without your permission. It is recommended that you run at least two different anti-spyware programs, since they tend to catch different things. I use Windows Defender and AVG Anti-Spyware, both of which are free. Update your anti-spyware programs and run a full system scan at least once a week.
  5. Disk defragmentation – In Windows go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Analyze your hard drive, and then defragment. Defragmenting your disk organizes your file system and helps Windows read files faster. Don’t do anything on your computer while it is defragmenting your hard drive. Do this about once a month.
  6. Backup backup backup! Wouldn’t it suck if that paper you were working on for days was lost forever? Backup as frequently as you don’t want to lose new information. You can burn your information onto a CD or DVD, portable hard drive, or use any of the online services. Just make sure to do it.

A happy computer means a happy computer user!

Happy Pessach and enjoy the matza!

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