Schools Training

10 Valuable Computer Tips for New Users

17 SEP 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology

Using your computer the right way is the best way to ensure that it continues to operate reliably, safely, and efficiently for as long as you own it.  By following the ten tips provided here and also searching out your own resources, you can get the most out of your computer and keep it functioning at peak performance at the same time.

Despite the benefits and advantages of having and using a computer, you do need to be mindful of the activities you engage in, especially online, that could leave you vulnerable to data thieves, spyware, or viruses.  Also, your computer does require some TLC occasionally to keep it operating at a peak level.  Here are several tips for new computer users to protect yourself, your data, and your computer when you are using it on or off the internet.

  1. Back-up important data to prevent loss in case you experience a hard drive failure.
  2. Protect your computer with a surge protector (very helpful in the event of an electrical outage).
  3. Update the core programs on your computer regularly, either through automatic or manual updating, to keep the software up-to-date.
  4. Make sure you have anti-virus software installed.  You can also use anti-spyware programs or other malware detection software to decrease your exposure to harmful attacks.
  5. Do not click on YES, ACCEPT, or OK for any window that pops up on your computer until you’ve thoroughly read the accompanying message and understand what you are allowing or agreeing to.
  6. Use system maintenance options regularly, such as disk defrag and ScanDisk.  These programs reallocate data where it needs to be, remove unused or unnecessary data, and keep your computer’s performance optimized.
  7. Don’t pay for something you can get for free.  Many programs that people use like word processors, anti-virus, and others, have free alternatives that work just as well as their costly counterparts.
  8. Use the help files to understand the various features and functions of your computer.
  9. Install only the programs and software that you really need or will use frequently.  One of the most common causes of poor computer performance is when the hard drive gets so overloaded with software that it creates a data traffic jam and slows down operations.
  10. Restart your computer on a regular basis to clear any temporary files, data caches, and other data storage locations.  Often an issue with computer performance can be traced back to the fact that the user did not reboot after installing a new program.

If you want to learn more about using your computer and don’t have hours to spend searching for information on the internet that may or may not be helpful, consider taking computer courses.  You can often find basic computer use classes available at a variety of places such as a library, community center, or computer college, and they are usually fairly inexpensive.

Visit Oulton College for more information on other career paths like web design courses.