When it comes to basic maintenance, there are several things you can do to ensure that your computer is performing at its optimal level.
Run operating system updates at least once a week.
Updates to your system software are released on a regular basis to fix bugs, patch security vulnerabilities and improve system performance. Microsoft, for example, releases new critical updates on the second Tuesday of each month. In addition to fixing problems with the software, some software updates introduce new features to enhance system usability. Installing these updates on a regular basis ensures that your system software is current and running at its optimal level.
Allow your system to shutdown completely.
Let your computer shutdown completely before cutting its power. Improperly shutting down your computer can potentially corrupt files that it uses in the background to operate. To ensure that these files are closed properly, use Shut Down in the Start menu, or hit Alt-F4 to shut down your PC gracefully. For Mac, select Shut Down from the Apple Menu. On some Macs, you may be prompted to Shut Down by pressing the power button.
Run virus and malware scans regularly.
Be sure you have an Anti-Virus program installed and keep it updated. Install and regularly run spyware detection software in addition to your Anti-Virus program. Spybot, Ad-Aware, or Windows Security Essentials are some programs that will detect many malicious programs that anti-virus might miss.
Keep your computer’s hardware clean.
Dust can clog fans and cause a computer to overheat, so it is important keep it clean and free of dust and debris. You can minimize dust accumulation by keeping your computer elevated from the floor, especially away from pets and cigarette smoke.
Perform regular backups of personal files.
To ensure that you do not lose important data in the case that something does happen to harm your computer, its important to perform regular backups of personal files. Burn important data to DVDs or copy to external hard disk to prevent data loss.