GENERAL RULES FOR ALL COMPUTER USERS
The underlisted rules will help kep your computer running successfully
Handle data appropriately
You must be aware that you have special responsibilities when handling sensitive data electronically (e.g. electronic data containing social security numbers, PINs, CU ID numbers, passwords of any nature, health, medical and psychological records, police records, and/or final grades). Employees responsible for generating, creating, and/or altering sensitive data have a special responsibility to safeguard the data and maintain the accuracy of the data. You should password protect your computer so that data cannot be obtained by an unauthorized user.
Unplug PC to avoid overcharging
With heightened dependence on wireless devices, optimizing power is a top priority for many. There are few things more dreadful than a draining battery when you’ve got hours of work and play left on your day’s schedule. However, it’s better to resist the temptation of plugging in the moment your PC falls under 50% battery life.Unnecessary charging can lead to overcharging, which then leads to regenerative capability deterioration. This often looks like a laptop that can’t hold a charge as well as it could in its earlier days.Being shackled to the weight of a charger defeats the purpose of a laptop’s wireless portability. To avoid a bad battery fate, unplug your device after it reaches 100% charge, and don’t plug in until power is actually low.
Purge your system of junk files and programs
Computers tend to show their age best in the number of unused files living on their hard drives. Useless programs and old junk files likely take up more space than you realize. From old versions of software to retired versions of your resume, your PC is sure to have its fair share of digital debris festering on your desktop or in your start menu. These programs and files can quickly turn into performance hogs if they continue to accumulate.Before your computer gets to a point where it’s begging for more storage space, use these PC purge tips to relieve your system.
- Uninstall trialware
- Run disk clean up software
- Empty the recycle bin
- Delete temporary files
- Remove cache of offline web pages
Run regular antivirus scans
Malware attacks can sneak up on you at any given moment, and in the event one does, having a savvy antivirus living on pc will protect you against the damage viruses bring. Weekly antivirus scans ensure your computer is always clear of malicious software infections. A basic scan will examine your computer for any glaring dangers or outstanding activity.For those who are frequent web-users and download programs and files regularly, consider running a virus scan twice a week. It’s always better to err on the side of safety, especially when your personal data could be at risk.Malware infections can compromise the performance of your computer and expose your confidential information to third-party cybercriminals. Depending on the type of malware installed on your system, a virus could also:
- Slow web browser speeds
- Disrupt network connections
- Freeze or crash your system
- Alter computer settings
- Allow unauthorized access to system resources
By running regular antivirus scans you can rest assured that nothing slips by. Be sure to choose an antivirus scan servicer that also scans all of your downloads, too.
Clean the keyboard and case
You’d be surprised to see just how much dust and debris lives underneath your keyboard’s keys. From food crumbs and dog hairs to dust and dirt, and everything else that can fit in between the keys, a number of dirty particles can clog your keyboard. This usually results in sticky or difficult-to-press buttons.Clearing out these hard-to-reach parts of your laptop or desktop setup is most easily done with a compressed air canister, available from office supply stores, computer stores, and hardware stores.
For external keyboards
Unplug the keyboard from the USB port or power it off if it’s wireless. Tilt the keyboard upside down and shake any loose debris out first. Spray compressed air at an angle and approximately 1-inch away from the keys. Use a damp microfiber cloth to finish the job, removing any excess dust or grime.
For the laptop user
Power your laptop off and unplug any USB or power supply inputs. Tilt the laptop upside down and gently tap it to encourage any loose debris to come out. Set the laptop down in its natural position and spray between keys from about 1-inch away. Spray in short bursts moving from one side of the keyboard to the other.If you find certain spots tougher to clean than others, use a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol as a great alternative. Alcohol evaporates more quickly than water which makes it the perfect solution for hardened debris.Pro-tip: When cleaning your laptop or desktop, absolutely avoid pouring any type of liquid onto the body. Water and electronic devices do not mix well and could result in extreme damage to your computer.
Update your passwords
Believe it or not, updating your passwords is a task as crucial as backing up your data. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that an alarming 81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords . Poor password behavior encompasses everything from using the same password for every account to using simple, guessable passwords like “password” or “123456.”When it comes to basic computer maintenance, protecting your digital world against cybercriminals should always be at the forefront of your task list. No security system is perfect, and more today than ever before, consumers are realizing this on a large scale.If you’re overdue for a password update, consider using these strong password generation tips:
- Use at least 10 characters
- Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
- Include both numbers and special symbols
- Add emoticons if possible (:O, :(, :D, :), T.T)
A strong password safeguards all of your data against potential third-party hackers which is precisely why it’s such an essential part of computer maintenance.
Organize your data
It’s easy to let your computer’s data organization run awry when your work and play lifestyle doesn’t leave much time for calculated file management. Whether it’s old music files from your garage band days or downloaded add-ons for your favorite simulation game, your PC’s many folders can grow crowded.If you can’t remember the last time you took a look through your downloads folder, you’re likely overdue for a visit. The same applies to the rest of your default folders (documents, photos, etc.).Dealing with a cluttered desktop or crowded computer folders may be a daunting task, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to a functioning system of files and folders.
Create large, main folders
Everyone uses their computers for different primary purposes. A freelance writer will likely have completely different main folder assignments than a professional gamer or a business owner. It’s important to narrow down your digital world into easy folder divisions to make your first round of organization a breeze, and your future rounds even easier.
Create small sub-folders
Within your larger primary folders, smaller sub-folders make your organization operation even smoother. Being able to categorize files by their functionality or content will help you access them whenever you need them. No search button necessary.
Empty your downloads folder
Your downloads folder should function as a temporary cache for recently downloaded files. Get into the habit of placing recent downloads in their proper folders or deleting them once they’ve served their purpose.
Clear your desktop
When you power on your computer and saddle up for your day’s work or some light social media browsing, you want to be able to do so without the stress of clutter. Clear your desktop of any files, folders, or programs you don’t need readily available at every power-on.
Choose thoughtful filenames
If you’re frequently saving images, PDFs, and other common files, you know how easy it is to type in gibberish for a successful “Save As” operation. Instead of rushing through, take the time to come up with intentional file names so you always know what’s living on your hard drive and where it’s located.
Back up your data
Part of owning a modern computer is to prepare for the unexpected. Sudden crashes, untimely glitches, and random hardware failure all have the potential to damage the data living on your PC. Backing up files is one of the most vital computer maintenance procedures PC users can do for themselves. That’s why we’ve ranked it at our final spot. Your computer is replaceable, but without a backup, your information is not.
Know (understand) the limitations of privacy in electronic communications
Recognize that in certain circumstances, the university may access and disclose faculty, student, or staff electronic communications; therefore, privacy and/or confidentiality should never be assumed.
Maintain a secure password
You should choose a password that is at least six characters long and a combination of at least two of the following: upper or lower case letters, numbers, or punctuation. Do not write it down—commit it to memory. Don’t tell anyone what it is. Your password should not be easily guessable, so don’t use common names or words. We recommend that you change your password at least once a year.
Use resources ethically; don’t harm computing and network resources
You should use computing and network resources efficiently and effectively. Don’t engage in excessive game playing; send frivolous or excessive email, including chain email; print excessive copies of documents, files, images, or data; keep unnecessarily large files on shared systems; or, if you are authorized to have one, do not host a server that places excessive demands on network capacity. We recommend that you set your computer on the energy save mode to conserve energy when not in use.
Don’t make deliberate attempts to harm, degrade, or negligently disrupt the performance of any CU-Boulder computing and network resources or use CU-Boulder’s resources to harm other computing and network resources (e.g. don’t create or spread viruses, damage equipment, software, or data, disrupt services, or engage in IP spoofing).