Spring Cleaning for your Computer

Spring Cleaning

After a long and hard winter, it’s nice to hear the birds chirp and finally see the sun again. While being inside the office for months, a lot of things have built up – both around our desk as well as on our computers.  It’s time to get into the spring cleaning mode and start cleaning up your office as well as our computers. it is time for “Spring Cleaning for your Computer!”

Cleaning up your computer is a wise thing to do, not only to regain some storage space, but also for data security reasons.  Removing unwanted software or online apps and services, updating passwords, as well as deleting old data you will never need again, helps you in securing your digital identity and prevent it from getting leaked.

If you are on a Net X Computers Maintenance Plan you don’t have to stress about this, as we are taking care of this for you 😉 If you are not, you should keep reading to find out what things you should be doing on the regular.

So, you definitely know how to clean your office, but what are you supposed to do when cleaning your computer? Well.. here are some tips and tricks on what you can do:

Delete unneeded software

Deleting unused software and data not only gives you more storage space, it also helps your device run faster. Specifically software you installed and has become a startup item, so check in your computer system configuration for what software is starting up and delete them. After you have removed these you may have to delete the program or application itself. In a Windows 10 system, you just have to check under ‘Apps and Features’ or ‘Programs and Features’ and then uninstall those programs you want to get rid of. This may take some time as you have to run each uninstall separately.

Delete unneeded system files

There are two kinds of files that you might have: Those that you really downloaded and those that got in your system because you were on the internet without protection.

The second type of file can be downloaded program files, like Active X controls or Java applets or software you just wanted to try out but then decided you didn’t like. These are most likely stored in the programs download folder and use a lot of space. However, these can be found be the built-in ‘Disk Cleanup’ tool of your operating system.

In Windows 10 this feature is hidden under ‘Settings.’  Here choose ‘Storage,’ then ‘This PC’ and choose your hard drive. Then select ‘Temporary Files’ and after doing so, select ‘Delete Temporary Files.’

Use this tool to delete unwanted program files, temporary internet files, setup log files and more. When you are done with that, you can still check the proper system folders if your find some more. Please be careful: You have to be sure of what you’re deleting, if you are not sure – do not delete it.  As and example some .dll files, are needed for the Operating System to work. Deleting some of them might cause the computer to not start up or run normally.  Adding them again will be very hard. So dont “Spring Cleaning for your Computer” too much 😉

Delete unneeded data

Most of the data you can get rid of are files you downloaded or created yourself such as movie files, sound files, Word documents, Excel files, etc. If your files are unorganized, use the search tool to search for those files using their extension. This way all .mp3, .mov, .docx, and .JPEG files are listed and can be put into the recycle bin without any problem. Deleting files by putting them into the recycle bin and then “deleting” them is not a secure way of erasing data. Using this method only destroys the link to those files on the storage device. If you want to erase the data forever, you have to use a professional data destroyer software, from Bleach Bit or AVG, which overwrites over the data with a special code. Only after that you can be sure that there is no more personal data stored on your computer.

Clean up your mailbox

It doesn’t matter if you are working from home or the office, you probably get a large amount of emails everyday. Even if you sort out the junk mail, there is still a lot of material to remove. Remember – just moving it into the trash does not mean it is gone. You should at least finally empty the email Deleted Items Folder.

Clean your web browser

We are sure you are well aware of viruses and ransomware, hackers use a lot of different ways to get inside your computer and your network. In all cases they use weaknesses inside your operating system or special software to gain access to your system. Using a loophole or backdoor created by an old browser extensions, add-ins, or plugins poses a great risk to your overall data security.  Besides deleting your browser history, you should definitely uninstall and delete old browser extensions.

Check your online identity, change passwords, or close your account

Spring Cleaning for your computer is a good time to make an overview of all the password protected online or social media services you use. In the case you don’t use it anymore, make sure that you delete as much information as you can. It can be difficult to close your Facebook page and your account, but you can do it. If you’ve been away for a long time or if you’re unsure if your current password is still safe, just change it. Remember to use a difficult and long password that doesn’t make sense in any language and at least 12 characters long. It should consist of numbers, normal characters, and special characters. something like: This%isGreat&Advice

Bring your operating system and software up-to-date

Unknown back doors inside your operating system or software programs can lead to data leaks or virus infections. Therefore, it’s necessary to frequently update your system with patches and updates. Run your Windows or Mac Updates. Your should do this Weekly, but if you can get to it Monthly that is better than nothing 🙂

Check your security preferences

Your operating system, software, browser, and wireless connection all pose a threat to your data security. Therefore, you should check your security settings in your preferences according to your individual needs. If you are a frequent internet surfer, you could think about creating a second, and separate, Windows user account without administrator rights, so important data is less likely to be hacked.  Another idea is to use two different computers for different uses. A Chromebook for surfing and a Windows for writing and working. Another idea here is to use a virtual machine in the cloud surfing the internet. This could result in problems and challenges regarding speed and connectivity. But it is worth a try and safer.

Backup your most important data

Make a backup of the most important data, so if a system failure occurs, you don’t end up empty handed. However, if you do need to recover lost data from your desktop, Net X Computers can help. Try and use the 321 Backup Method when possible.

Last but not least: Clean the dirt and dust from your device!

Clean your computer screen, the shell of the device with a microfiber cloth, and some special cleaning liquid solution. Additionally, you can check for dust in the fan and inside the desktop box. Try to remove the dust gently. These are the most important tips for cleaning your computer. Using them should help keep your PC or laptop running faster, smoother, and more secure.

Does this sound like a lot of work? Don’t have time? Don’t have the Patients? lol! We’ve got your back! Spring Cleaning for your Computer can be done by Net X Computers every month with no interaction from you! lol! Give us a call today and let us tell you how easy it can be to get this done 🙂