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What You REALLY need to know

So, when a computer person (or company) is helping you with a computer problem, what do you think we wish you had known?  The truth is, you have probably been told these things over and over, so today, I am going to reiterate the obvious.
  1. Make sure you have recovery disks - These are disks that contain your operating system.  When you first get your computer, you are usually given the option to backup the system which includes all the essential items for your computer. This option is free and highly recommended. You can also order them from the manufacturer (HP, Dell etc.) but it will cost anywhere from $15 to $50. If your computer needs a clean install, which happens occasionally, and you don't have the disks,  you will have to go out and purchase a new copy. Windows 7 is running at about $100 at the time of this article.  If it is another operating system, it actually could be even more.

  2. Make sure you have one (and only one) antivirus program on your computer - Make sure it is turned on, up to-date and scheduled to scan regularly. Any decent antivirus program will work, I prefer Microsoft Security Essentials because it doesn't slow down the computer, does a good job against malware, viruses and spyware and is free.. Free is good.  

  3. Computers don't last forever - No, they are not immortal and as such may not be able to be repaired or upgraded.  Did you know that the average life span is 2-3 years for a laptop or closer to 4 years for a desktop. This, of course, depends on how you are using your computer (laptops take a lot more abuse) and the changes in technology may have an impact on your needs.  A ten year old computer just cannot be upgraded to stream movies off the Internet and the cost would far exceed buying a newer system that can easily handle the task.

  4. Proud of downloading those programs, music and movies for free from torrent sites or browsing porn sites? Well you often get more than you wanted as these are prime locations for picking up computer viruses. I have also heard of keylogger issues from torrent sites. Keylogging tracks what you type on your keyboard (including usernames and passwords) without you being aware of it happening. If you download things to your computer, your antivirus can't help you. It isn't covered by any warranty.  Not to mention, porn and pirating is just plain wrong. ☺

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