Computers are an infinitely valuable resource, but they must be used properly in order to remain effective. Without proper use and regular maintenance they can quickly become increasingly difficult to use. By following the following simple tips and maintenance steps, your computer can continue to be used as intended.
Always have a login password.
Setting up a password for logging into your computer will provide you with one more level of protection against unauthorized access to your files. To learn how to setup a password, please see our guides for Mac and Windows.
Never write down your password.
To maintain more secure computers, never store your username or password on or near your computer. Your password should be easy enough to remember that it should not be written down.
Enable computer firewall.
Keep your computer secure by enabling your operating system's firewall. This helps to protect your computer from unwanted intruders gaining access to your computer. To learn how to setup your Windows firewall, click here.
Never send account information in emails.
Concordia College and most other organizations will never ask for sensitive information in email messages. If you get an email message asking for your username, password, or other account information, DO NOT reply to it. The email was most likely sent to gain access to your sensitive information without your knowledge.
Always lock your computer when you are away from it.
If you step away from your computer even for a short period of time, the recommended safe practice is to lock it. Locking your computer while away protects against data theft in public places. Both Mac and Windows operating systems have a lock function that allows the user to enter their username and password to continue working when they return.
Keep software updated.
Checking regularly for software updates is important. Software updates include security patches that are vital to keep your computer secure. Schedule your operating system and other software to automatically check for updates. To learn how to check for updates in Windows click here or access Software Update in Mac, click here.
Only download files from trusted sources.
Never download files from websites that you don't trust. Files from non-reputable sources may harm your computer with viruses, malware, or Trojans. Also be aware of files sent over email as they can contain malicious files that may harm your computer or steal personal information. Never open emails from unknown senders.
Always backup your data.
While we like to think computers are usually reliable, sometimes the inevitable happens and data on your computer becomes corrupted and unusable. Schedule frequent backups of your computer using your X-Drive or an external disk. Backup all files frequently so in the event of a failure, you can easily restore your files. For instructions on how to backup your computer, click here for Windows or Mac.
Avoid running unnecessary programs in the background.
Many computers have numerous types of trial, free, and promotional software when they're purchased. While some of these programs may be useful to you, often they unnecessarily slow down your system. Uninstall or disable these small programs to keep your computer running as quickly as possible.
Virus Protection (Windows)
Viruses cause your computer to run slowly and often make it partially or entirely inoperable. Stopping viruses before they harm your machine is critical to your computer's health. The Solution Center recommends regularly using all of the following software to protect your computer.
Main anti-virus software
- Runs in the background, continuously monitoring your computer
- Updates automatically every day
- Should be setup to do a full system scan once a week.
Supplements MSSE by finding more spyware that MSSE cannot necessarily detect.
- Does not run on its own; user must update and scan manually
- Update, scan, and immunize twice a month
Speeds up computer and protects privacy online by cleaning out cookies, temporary files, and browsing history.
- We recommend that you update and run CCleaner once a month to keep your computer running smoothly
Supplements MSSE by finding malware MSSE sometimes misses.
- Does not run on its own; user must complete scan manually
- Should update and scan once a month
For help removing viruses on your computer, contact the Solution Center.