Top 9 Computer User Tips That You Must Know

Even if you are the person that every other person goes to for help on tech issues, it’s more then likely that you too require help with certain things, and need to look up additional information on certain maintenance helps and tweaks. While desktop and laptop systems aren’t as popular today as they were in the past, they are still an essential part of our day to day life, especially if you’re a professional or a student.

Below are some tweaks and tips that you should be aware of, especially if you want to get the most out of your machine. If you find yourself in a situation where your system isn’t running as fast as it should or as effectively as you’d like, then hopefully the information here, can help you.

1. Use the Command Line

Using the Windows command line is definitely more complicated and less graceful as portrayed in the movies, but it is useful. It’s not too difficult to learn, which is why I recommend you check out the many basic command lines, just to get you started. Once you’ve got a firm handle on that, then you can move onto the shortcuts that you can use, via the command line, to navigate your system. These guides are also applicable on other operating systems, such as Linux, UNIX and OS X. For Windows users you may want to use Cygwin or you could give PowerShell a try.

2. Keep Your System Safe from Malicious Files

Every system that is either connected to a network or the internet, must have some form of virus protection on it. If you run a Microsoft Windows based system, then you must install an antivirus program, right away. It’s also best practice to have an antimalware tool, which can detect the kind of viruses, such as adware and spyware that your average antivirus scanner cannot. Finally, as the computer user, you should also be aware of additional security challenges, such as spam, unsolicited emails and phishing scams.

3. Keep Your Computer Clean

By keeping your system clean, you ensure that it runs optimally, as this will prevent it from overheating. In addition to keeping your system clean, it’s also a great idea for you to keep your systems data clean. There are built-in Windows tools, such as Chkdsk that you can use to check your hard drive for errors, or the Defragmenter tool, that you can use to organise the data on your hard drive. You should also go through the various programs installed on your system, and remove those you no longer need or use.

4. Manage Your Network

Learning about Ethernet ports, LAN cables, modems and routers, can be quite a daunting task, considering the various technologies that are required to make them. There are booster devices that you can use to amplifier your Wi-Fi signal. If you’re constantly having to reset your router, make sure it’s not overheating. You should also monitor your IP address to ensure there’s no problems on that end.

5. Learn to Crack Passwords

Knowing how to create a complex password is very important, but those who are a little more knowledgeable about computers may want to go a step further and learn how to break passwords. Such a skill, whether learnt on Mac machines or Windows based systems, will go a long way in helping you understand the mind-set of computer hackers, who are constantly trying to steal your data. Learning the process will put you in a better position to protect yourself against these kinds of attacks, not just with complex passwords, but with other things, such as encryption, and settings tweaks, that can be used to protect you. You may also want to learn how to break into a Wi-Fi network protected by a WPA or WEP password.

6. Regularly Back Up your Data

Regularly backing up your computers data should be one of the things you put at the top of your to-do list. It’s an essential activity that most people tend to brush aside, hoping that their files will never be compromised in the future.

There are a number of tools that you can use, with Microsoft Windows offering its own built-in solution. It’s probably best you start with the Windows Backup solution, and move over to something more complex, if and when you need it.

7. Keep Your System and Programs Up-to-date

Every hardware driver or software that you install, comes with its own set of problems. When a developer releases a new program, over time they discover issues with it, and in turn, release patches to fix those identified problems. When it comes to the biggest applications and operating systems, you are looking at literally hundreds of different patches, updates and hotfixes, during its lifecycle. When you keep your system up-to-date, with the latest patches, you help minimise any future problems.

Additionally, programs that utilise plugins, those plugins also need to be separately updated, such as your browser plugins. So be sure to run through them. 

8. Protect Your System

You’ll want to keep your system safe and protected from hazards such as brownouts, electrical surges and blackouts. You’ll want, at the very least, to have one surge protector for your computer device, and maybe one for your modem. With the right surge protector, you receive protection against things such as electrical storms, which in turn could save you tons of money in repair costs.

That said, it won’t protect you from more severe situations like hurricanes, that’s where online backup services come into the equation.

There’s also the UPS (uninterruptable power supply) device that you can use, which will protect your system from damage caused by blackouts and brownouts, which are fairly common.

9. Regular Maintenance Is Important

With applications becoming more and more complex as each year rows by, maintaining your system has become a more difficult and tedious activity. Whether you’re on a Windows machine or Mac computer applying all the various tips outlined above will ensure that your system always runs optimally.

–AUTHOR INFO— Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website