So you’ve got your first computer. Great! This new machine will open up a world of communication, shopping, entertainment and exploration like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Computers have become a part of everyday life, and now that you have one, you’ll quickly find it to be indispensable.
The thing though, is that computers are complex machines that require regular maintenance in order to keep working at their best. Just as your car needs oil changes and regular tune-ups, your computer needs to be checked and cleaned regularly. So let’s cover some of the basics of computer cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning the external portions and internal hardware of your computer may be daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple. The best place to start is with your monitor. If you have an old-fashioned CRT monitor (the sort that look like a television set) then you can clean the front with a standard glass cleaner and a paper towel. If you have a flatscreen monitor, there are various anti-dust cloths you can use to clean it. The keyboard and internal parts of the computer can be cleaned using compressed air, which you can purchase in cans with special nozzles at almost any electronics store. The keyboard’s keys can also be cleaned with an antibacterial cleaning solution, although it is important to apply the solution to a paper towel and then wipe the keys rather than spraying it on the keyboard. You don’t want to short out the keyboard after all! This sort of cleaning is something that you should do once every month or so, to keep the computer from becoming clogged with dust and grime.
Now that the exterior of your computer is clean, it’s time to clean the interior. Almost all computers have antivirus software installed, and you should check that yours is up-to-date and set to scan on a regular basis. Most antivirus programs can be scheduled to run late at night or when you are at work, and it is best to schedule it to do so and then leave it on so that it will have the machine scanned when next you use it. It is also important to manage the computer’s software so that unnecessary or unwanted programs are removed. You should regularly go to the add/remove programs menu and uninstall software you no longer need or which has become obsolete. You should also regularly defragment your hard drive in order to allow it to read and write faster. All of this should be done about once a week, but you don’t have to do it all on one day.