I am a tech support specialist, someone who helps people identify problems with their system for a living. I have a great wealth of knowledge and I am able to help friends and family with any technical issues they may have. Over the many years of helping people with their computer problems, I have discovered that a great many people could easily avoid the problems they have, if they just followed a few simple steps. I know, exceptions are in order, as is always the case with any suggestions, but for the most part, following the information below should help you solve a great deal of headaches you may encounter while using your system.

1. Back Up Important Files

This is a lot simpler than it sounds. If you have no idea of what cloud storage is, then I suggest you get to know. OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and so many others, are designed to make backing up confidential files a breeze. These programs work by putting a folder on your desktop, which you can then copy confidential files to. Any file that is copied to this location is then automatically backed up to the cloud. This process happens automatically, every time you make changes to the folder.

These services will usually offer a free storage limit. If you exceed this limit, you can then pay for more space or you can just use several different services, and keep your storage count within the limits. If you have a lot of video and photo files to store, you can always use Google Photos. As this service offers unlimited storage for photos at no cost, and is an excellent tool to use to organise important media files.

2. Protect Yourself from Malicious Files

It’s very important that whichever security tool you have installed on your system is kept up to date. New viruses are created every day. If your security software is allowed to go out of date, then you will be left vulnerable. Malware is capable of destabilising your system, stealing confidential data and also corrupted important files.

Every system in your house should have an antivirus program installed and running on it. You should also go a step further, and get antispyware, antimalware and a firewall program installed on it too. Another big security threat is the security holes in Java, which is a programming language, used for websites to run interactive content.

When you have an outdated version of Java installed on your system, and you visit a website that has been compromised, this paves the way for cybercriminals to copy malicious code onto your system. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be unaware that your system has been compromised, until the last minute.

If you want to be safe from this headache, then you can opt to not use Java at all, or you can simply remember to install updates as and when they are made available.

3. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the main advantages of the computer is its ability to carry out functions at lightning fast speeds. But, telling your system what you want it to do, can at times be slow and drawn out. Fortunately, there is a way around this.

Say, for example, you wanted to print a document. Instead of clicking on the menu system at the top of the page, you could simply press Ctrl + P on your keyboard, and it would print.

There are tons of different shortcuts that you can use, from pressing Ctrl + Z to undo a delete, to pressing Ctrl + S to save a file.

It will take you some time to adjust, at first, but after a while, it will become second nature and you will find that you don’t need to use your mouse as often as you once did.

4. Use Social Media Wisely

If someone you are already a friend with, sends you a friend request, then you should never accept it. First thing you should do, is report it. Never make sensitive information available to the public. It’s very unnerving, the kinds of things people choose to post online. Some people may go as far as to post a picture of their new Driver’s Licences or a picture containing their address or something else considered confidential. It’s your responsibility to be wise, when on social media.

5. Easy Way to Share Large Files

The internet was designed specifically for sharing information. But, when it comes to sharing large files, we’ve all had our issues, especially when done over email.

When attempting to send a large file via email, it can be very slow, and oftentimes you’ll find that you’ve exceeded the size limit.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that you can use. The three most popular alternative sites that can get the job done for you include, WikiSend, Dropbox and Senduit.

6. Fix Wi-Fi Issues

There’s nothing worse than a wireless network that is sluggish. Movies fail to buffer, video calls drop out and online games lag.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check your internet speed, to ensure you’re getting all of the bandwidth you’re paying for. Speedtest.net is an excellent service for you to go to, to check your internet speed.

You always want to ensure your network is encrypted. If you notice a sudden drop in internet speed, this could be a sign that someone in your area has logged onto your network, and is using it to surf and download files.

If you have a lot of dead spots and weak signal areas in your home, then you should try placing the router more in the open, in a more central location of the house. Ideally away from metal filing cabinets, obstructions and any walls.

There’s also the beer-can hack that you may want to try. This hack involves cutting a soda or beer can open, with a knife, and using it to create a parabolic antenna. It’s possible to boost your network signal by two or more bars.

7. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date

Make sure you’re using the latest version of Windows, MacOS or Chrome OS. If you don’t have the latest version of whatever OS you’re on, then it’s definitely time you considered that upgrade, regardless of how painful the process may be. Make sure your browser is set to update automatically. Any old software running on your computer, puts your system at risk of being compromised by cybercriminals – keep that in mind.

Read also: Evaluating the Definitive Potential of Custom Desktops

Uchenna Ani-Okoye

By Uchenna Ani-Okoye

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.

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