Computer Basics from the Techs Always have some kind of Antivirus on your computer (McAfee, Trend Micro, AVG, Kaspersky) o Would you rather pay the small cost of Antivirus, or would you rather pay for a new computer? Plus you lose your files. o Always keep your Antivirus up-to-date and set it up to run weekly scans of your computer Always use a surge protector when plugging in/charging any electronics. It’s amazing the electrical damage a thunder and lightning storm will do. Even brown-outs can severely damage or ruin electronics. Always back up your files. o Don’t put CDs/DVDs remain the most secure form of backup. Just be sure they remain dust/dirt/and scratch free. A portable Hard Drive is another great option. But just remember, after several years, just like any hard drive, they do stop working. So there should not be one form of backing up that you rely on. When in doubt REBOOT. Rebooting or restarting your computer fixes 98% of all computer issues. If you are not sure what a menu or button does, just scroll over it with your mouse and usually the function or name of that menu or button appears in a little pop tag. The Control Panel is Where Everything Hangs out. o If you want to change anything from your sound, to your clock, to uninstall a program, the Control Panel is the place to go. Just Read and make an educated decision when it comes to any menu or pop-up. If you are not sure, don’t say Yes. When setting up a computer match the color of the wire to the color of the port on the computer. Same goes with shape. Match the shape of the wire to the shape of the port. “You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole.”
When in doubt, Right-Click the mouse. That will give you the options that are available to you in any program at that exact point. It’s a great shortcut to the menus that you can use at that particular moment. Google it! o If you need to know something about anything, go to www.google.com and type what you are looking for in the search field. o Don’t be too detailed in typing what you want to find but try to be just specific enough. Example. If you want a picture of a sunflower, type sunflower and above Google search you will see the links, click on images. That will do an image search. NEVER turn off any computer by using the button or just unplugging. This damages the hard drive of the computer every time this is done, and it will need to be replaced a lot sooner by doing this. Ctrl key Alt key Delete key o By pressing these all at once, it can get you to the Task Manager, where you can end a program that may be frozen. You can even restart or shut down your computer at that screen if the computer is frozen/hanging up. Always password protect things. Choose a password that is not your birthdate or contains your name. Type a sentence if you must. A number or symbol is always good practice too! Never share your password with others. Keep your computer up-to-date on all updates (Windows updates, Java, Flash, Shockwave, Adobe Reader) If you have a major problem, try System Restore. It restores your computer back to the state when it was last working fine. It does not affect your files, so try to go back as far as you can when you know it was working good. So if you installed a program ant then your computer just wasn’t the same, try to pick an available date before you did the install. That also fixes 90% of all program related issues. Don’t be afraid to play with applications and settings. o The only way we learn is by trying and testing.
o Change your screensaver o Change your desktop picture to something personal or to one of your choice Some free (just Google them) Applications that are a must an any computer are: o Adobe Flash Player o Adobe Shockwave Player o Java o Quicktime o iTunes o Adobe Reader o RealPlayer When in doubt, call for help (a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or even the manufacturer of your computer. Even the techs get a second opinion! Most importantly HAVE FUN and EXPLORE! You can’t break it. They only really wear out from use.