How’s Your Computer Like a Car? 5 Similarities That May Surprise You

Computers are like cars in the sense that people just can’t manage anymore without either of them.  For some people computers are even more important because they don’t just physically take you to work and to the store, they enable you to work and shop, anytime anywhere.

For some reason, the average consumer is much more aware of the tasks and investment required to keep a car up and to run smoothly than the steps required to keep a computer running safely and efficiently.

Here are 5 necessary steps you can take to protect your computer and secure it from harm resulting in serious time and financial loss.   Some of these tasks you can do yourself, get a friend or family member to help you or use a software service that runs behind the scenes and takes care of everything, even while you sleep.

Secure your computer and its contents

Would you leave your car unlocked with the engine running? Of course not. But many people abandon their PCs unprotected. Viruses, spyware, adware, keyloggers, Trojans, pop-up generators and other malware attack your PC in many ways. They can swipe your personal information, take control of your PC, use your machine to spam others and perform other devious tasks.

Laptop Physical Lock

Also, don’t forget to think about your computer’s physical security. Lock it and store it in a safe place as you would your car, and also prevent access to your machine or its removable devices (USB, CD drive, etc.). Don’t use an external hard drive or USB device for important data, these represent another vulnerability, as they are easier to steal/lose.

Get rid of unnecessary baggage

I don’t know about you, but typically in December, I still have beach chairs in the trunk.  Since there are physical things in a car, it is easier to see what is needed and what is unnecessary and should be cleared out to leave room for groceries and other essential items.

Delete Programs

For your computer, it is even more critical to clear out your storage and keep it clutter free, as extra baggage will prevent your PC from running efficiently. Unneeded programs can hog valuable resources and cause your computer to startup slowly.

[pullquote]Unneeded programs can hog valuable resources and cause your computer to startup slowly.[/pullquote]

Also, through the process of adding and removing system components, you can have unnecessary entries in your Windows registry that can increase the time your PC takes to boot and can slow system performance.

Keep everything updated

You always ensure that all your car parts are in working order, right? Because we know that whenever possible only the latest parts from the factory should be used, and any parts which have a history of not working are automatically removed. Again, the same is true for your computer. Your computer is work in progress. It constantly needs the latest information.

By continually checking for Windows updates, solution security updates, program updates and new drivers, you can maintain protection, performance, and stability. It can be helpful to have software to assist in finding the necessary updates because they occur frequently and can be hard to track down.

Get a regular tune-up

Just like a car, a computer needs periodic checking to make sure everything is in working order.  Otherwise, we risk having the car break down when we need it most and being stuck with costly repairs.

It is good to have a periodic PC checkup with good diagnostic software.

Identifying potential performance issues in advance and fixing then can prevent costly equipment failures and inconvenient downtime. Having a periodic PC checkup with good diagnostic software is good.

Don’t rush to replace  your computer – it may still have a few good years left

Some people like to trade in their car every two years for a new one while others prefer to maintain their cars so they can worry free for a decade.  For most people the current hardware of their home PC is adequate for their needs, and trading in their existing computer just because there is a faster chip on the market isn’t necessary or cost effective.   By doing updates, diagnostics, and keeping the computer clutter-free, computer owners can keep the computer running smoothly for years.

Taking the time to keep a computer running smoothly is well worth it, not just regarding protecting your investment, but also all the data and content you treasure that is stored inside.

Alex Varshavsky is co-founder and CEO of Fixico..
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