AdBlock For Sanity and Safety
The internet has a lot of ads. And unfortunately, scammers use ad delivery platforms to serve bogus error messages to unsuspecting people, trying to entice users to call fake tech support numbers. Installing an adblocker like AdBlock Plus or Ublock Origin can block these obtrusive messages and make your online experience a much smoother one.
Change Your Passwords!
Cybersecurity professionals recommend changing your passwords every three months. If you’re thinking “wait a second, I’m not sure I’ve ever changed my passwords,” now is a good time to do so. More importantly, make sure you have multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up on your accounts. MFA is a protocol which requires a second layer of input (typically a code from a mobile phone) in order to log into an account. It makes it exponentially more difficult for bad actors to gain access to your information.
Move Forward By Backing Up
Every computer has a storage drive, and every drive will eventually fail. If you have any information on your computer that you don’t want to lose, it is important to set up some sort of backup. This can be a local backup, in the form of an external hard drive, or a cloud backup program that uploads your data to an offsite server. The best backups are the ones you can set once and will run automatically, without further prompting, such as LiveDrive.
Clear Out The Clutter
The longer a computer is in use, the more it tends to accumulate unnecessary or unwanted programs. Take this opportunity to check your installed program list through the Control Panel. Maybe there’s a program you don’t use anymore, or something you thought you might need, but didn’t. Uninstalling these applications can save space and system resources, as well as reducing the number of processes that are running when you first boot up your system. It’s also a good idea to open your task manager (hit control, shift and escape) and navigate to the “startup” tab to see what programs are running on boot. Pretty much anything other than antivirus and backup programs can be disabled for a faster startup experience.
Is It Time To Think About An Upgrade?
With tax return season quickly approaching, now is an excellent time to evaluate your current system. How old is your computer? How has it been running? After 3 to 5 years, it’s normal for desktops and laptops alike to begin experiencing hardware failures. If you’re running a computer in that age range, it might make sense to consider upgrading to something new for 2023. If your machine is running slower than it used to, a few hardware updates may be in order. To run Windows 10 well, most computers should have at least 8GB of RAM. If you are still using an old spinning hard drive, switching to a solid-state drive could drastically improve your performance for far less than the price of a new system.
The Future Of Windows
It might be a good time to check if your machine will support Windows 11 when the time comes. Open PC settings and hit the “Updates” button. There should be some information there about whether your current hardware will support the new OS. If so, great. If not, you know you’ll have to think about replacement before Windows 10 goes out of support in 2025.