Saturday, October 19, 2019

Maintenance Tips for your Mac or PC

Prevention is the BEST Medicine

Preventative maintenance for a computer is the best way to minimize issues while extending the life of your computerWhether you have a PC or Mac, there are 4 things that we recommend doing on a regular basis.

1. Install Updates - Installing updates is critical because they often include important patches to security holes. In fact, many of the more harmful malware attacks we see take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, like operating systems and browsers.

How to Manually Update Windows 10
  1. Select the Start (Windows) button from the bottom-left corner.
  2. Go to settings (gear icon).
  3. Select the Update and Security icon.
  4. Choose Windows Update tab in the sidebar (Circular arrows)
  5. Select Check for updates. If there is an available update, it will begin downloading automatically.

How to get Updates for MacOS Mojave or later
If you've upgraded to macOS Mojave or later, follow these steps to keep it up to date: 
1.    Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click Software Update to check for updates.
2.    If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click ”More info” to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.
3.    When Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, the installed version of MacOS and all of its apps are also up to date. That includes Safari, iTunes, Books, Messages, Mail, Calendar, Photos, and FaceTime.

2. Check for Viruses - When you're running a Windows Operating System, we always recommend having an effective and lightweight anti-virus/malware security software. If you have a paid security software installed on your computer they usually run automatic scans in the background. However, if you have a free security software, you usually need to run the scans yourself. If you don't have a security software installed (paid or free) then we recommend turning on the security software provided by Windows. In our experience, having the Windows Defender security software is better than any other free software you can get.

How to Turn On Windows Defender in Windows 10
  1. Step 1: Click “Settings” in the “Start Menu”. ...
  2. Step 2: Select “Update & Security"
  3. Step 3: Select "Windows Security” from the left pane and choose “Open Windows Security”.
  4. Step 4: Click "Turn On" under Virus & Threat Protection

As for Mac's, they are less likely to get viruses/malware BUT it does happen. We recommend installing Malwarebytes for your Mac. The paid version runs automatically in the background and the free version needs to be ran manually.

3. Create a Secure Password
  • Figure out something you will easily remember but that doesn't contain obvious words or dates, such as family or pet names and birthdays or addresses.
  • Make sure it is at least eight characters or longer and uses a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (for example, !@#$%).
  • Make it difficult for a thief to discover your password by being creative.
  • We recommend changing your passwords quarterly at a minimum.
4. Backup your Files 

Backups may not sound like a way to keep your computer safe, but if something damages the computer or you have a security problem, you can quickly recover if you have a recent backup of all your data. Hard drives die, computers are stolen, accounts are compromised but if you have a backup, you can at least get all of your data back. Back up consistently and often so if you have a problem, your backup isn't out of date, and you won't lose weeks or months worth of data.
There are many ways to perform a backup, such as both hardware (USB drives and external hard drives) and software (archiving and cloud). Keep backed up data in a secure location.

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