VISUAL NEWSLETTER – OCT 2008           

 


COMPUTER MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES

 

There are a number of procedures that companies can follow to ensure that computers are protected, working efficiently and are not shut down by viruses and other Internet based malware. These procedures can be divided into Daily, Weekly and Monthly categories and should be run on every computer. There are some advantages to having one person run these procedures, as this reduces the total man hours required to complete the tasks. A single person is also more likely to spot any differences in operation between one computer and another.

 

DAILY PROCEDURES

 

1) As noted in previous newsletters we strongly recommend that daily backups be performed on each computer to protect My Documents and E-Mail files. The simplest device for this purpose is a USB Drive that can hold from 1 to 32 GB of data and then attach to your keychain to ensure that you have current backups off-site. This procedure, once setup, will typically take 1 to 10 minutes and can be done at lunch or the end of the day while your employees get ready to go home.

 

2) Check the bottom right corner of your computer screen for Microsoft Windows Updates and Java updates. These are important to apply, as they patch any security flaws found in Windows and Java based programs. Viruses and other Malware are always looking for new ways to invade computers and these updates aid in the fight.

 

WEEKLY PROCEDURES

 

1) At least once a week go into your Anti Virus to confirm that it is up to date and functioning normally. If you see any warnings, red circles or exclamation marks on your Anti Virus icon this may mean that it has been compromised and is no longer working properly. Anti-Virus updates come out at least once a week so you want to make sure that your Virus Definitions are current within a few days of today’s date.

 

2) Similarly, Spybot and other Ad-Ware/Spyware removal programs should be run, updated and immunized to ensure that you are protected from malicious web-sites and software. Keep in mind that most of this type of software is installed when users click <OK> to some warning they see while browsing the Internet. These warnings are virtually 100% fraudulent and try to scare people into downloading unnecessary or dangerous software to fix problems they don’t have. Exit these warnings if you see one.

 

3) Scan your computer with a good Anti-Virus once a week. This is often an automated procedure that runs at night since it can take up to two hours or more to complete. Generally we schedule these to scan every night that the computer is left on, but generally once a week is sufficient. Norton, Symantec, McAfee and AVG are good choices to provide this form of protection.

 

4) Scan your computer for Spyware, Adware and other Malware using a program like Spybot Search & Destroy to detect and remove any unwanted software programs. Users that download software, like screen savers and such, unwittingly invite this sort of software into their computers. There are some good free programs on the Internet but many companies have ulterior motives associated with all of the software they are giving away.

 

MONTHLY PROCEDURES

 

1) Run \ Accessories \ Disk Cleanup to remove any temporary files and help clean up your hard drive. Internet properties can be used to cleanup cookies and Internet files as well.

 

2) Run \ Accessories \ Disk Defragmenter to help organize and Optimize your hard drive.