7 quick steps to avoid computer catastrophe

There is nothing more catastrophic that having a computer stop working or worse corrupts on you. That leads to days of lost time, aggravation, stress, liability and and and... Here are seven steps that you can do today to triple protect yourself!

So let's do a bit of housekeeping to ensure if and when something does pop up, you aren't without your precious files.

  1. Clear the Desktop! Part of preserving your energy and your eyes. Keep your desktop clear!

  2. Run your updates. - Windows System Updates: Have the system set to automatically update when you aren't working. Even set it for 2am! Just make sure that your system is sleeping and not turned off. - Anti-Virus: Make sure you have run the updates and run the scans! Quick Scan AND regularly run the Deep or Full System Scan at least once a month. - Software: Keep your programs up-to-date. Run your updates!

  3. Declutter Programs and Files - Uninstall programs you aren't using. This frees up space on your hard drives and also in the memory. Space is important!

  4. Detangle the Cords - Visually, tangled cords tangles the eyes! - Functionally, if you have a tangle of cords, it is often a trip hazard. If you do accidently get tangled in them, that can lead to seriously damaging your ports and connections. - Twist Ties and Zip Ties work great for cleaning and detangling the cords! - Little labels identifying what the cord is attached too, is really handy too!

  5. Be good to the Battery. - Be good to your battery! If you keep it plugged in all the time, you will actually shorten the battery life. - Charge to 100%, unplug and use the device until it is fully drained before charging.

  6. Protect Your Devices! - Remove devices properly! Did you know there is a "proper" way to remove devices like your thumb drives, hard drives, and whatnot? There is! Do it properly actually guards against corruption. How do you do it? In the system tray (where you see all the little icons in the lower corner, there is one that looks like a little thumb drive (see point 1 in image below). Mouse over and right-click to bring up the drop-down and select, Eject (whatever your device is called) (See point 2 in image below). A small notification will say it is safe to remove the device. Then unplug it.

- Use Cases and Bags! These really go a long way to protect your devices, phones, laptops, tablets, etc. Use them!

- Use a Surge Protector! These protect your devices from the spikes in voltage and energy. It can really be damaging. The surge protectors aka power strips, are great at limiting the amount of energy that is allowed to reach your device.

7. Back Up, Back Up, Back Up! I'm talking external hard drives, the cloud, Dropbox. Really, you need to have multiple back up sources to ensure you are protected against device failure, hacking, etc.

Story Time! Have you ever had the perfect storm of your device (computer) AND your backup fail at the same time? It is crazy painful! I had a perfect storm. Laptop memory board failed and in the process it fried the hard drive. Thought I was okay since I had everything backed up to an external hard drive. When the computer died, it corrupted the external hard drive. Fluke, yes. But to lose over 20 years of photos, 2 years of business files and projects and countless hours of rebuilding. All because I thought it was a safe system.

Learn from my unfortunate experience. Use three different systems and do it often! - Backup to a disc. If you have one that is large enough. Keep them in a dry, safe place away from magnets, extremes in temperature.

- Back up to an external hard drive. Simply copy all your files and backup files to it. Then unplug it (taking care to eject it properly! See number 6 above.)

- Back up to the cloud. This can often be automatically done with services like DropBox (I love it!), OneDrive, iCloud, Etc. Check out your settings in each program.

How often? Taking just a few minutes once a month, or even once a week to do a full backup will save you the havoc of losing your precious files! Having your systems to automatically back up files as you modify them is a great option too. But do recommend doing a full backup at least once a month. Check your system settings to set up those automatic setups. Put it on your calendar and actually schedule time to do this important, yes it is often annoying, but it is so important task.

You've got this!

XOXO, Heather

P.S. If you need help decluttering, imagine having 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁'𝘀 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲, when and 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝘁. The house will be the 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 when friends and family visit! Together, we'll be going room by room, one day at a time, spending less than an hour a day to get things organized & decluttered! 👉🏼 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝟭𝟬-𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲

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