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As mentioned in Lucy and Charlotte’s blogs, Spring really feels like it’s finally here so it’s a great time to take a look at your computer setup and see if there is anything you can do to help get your systems to run more efficiently.

Over time, your computer can end up with a lot of old and temporary files that are no longer required and which have the ability to slow a computer down. Use a program like Piriform’s CCleaner (download from www.piriform.com) to help find and remove these old files. When you have time, think about running a defragmentation on your hard drive. Over time, files on your hard drive become fragmented, and your computer slows down as it has to look in multiple places on your hard drive to open a file. Disk Defragmenter is a tool that corrects the position of your data on your hard disk and combines fragmented files so your computer runs more efficiently. You can access the Defrag tool via the Control Panel on a Windows PC. Generally Macs don’t require a defrag as often as PCs and for that reason they don’t have inbuilt defragmentation software, however you can download third party software which will help. Also, periodically, clear the browsing history in your web browsers to help speed up your web browsing experience.

Finally, a note about viruses. Hackers are becoming more and more devious in their attempts to access and compromise your computer so make sure you follow these simple rules:

  • Always have an antivirus application such as AVG, Norton, Kaspersky, installed. You can use the free versions but they are not as comprehensive in their cover as the paid for versions.
  • Use difficult to guess passwords on your computer. Don’t use names, dates of birth or anything that can be easily guessed. Do include upper & lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as ^, ! or %.
  • Do not open any file attachments from email addresses that you don’t recognise and, even if you think you recognise the email address, treat the file attachment with caution as an email address can easily be spoofed so that it looks like it’s coming from a particular email address when, in reality, it’s from a hacker.

Hopefully these tips will help you improve the performance of your computers and also keep them safe. If you would like any further help and advice on any of these issues or, indeed, any other IT issues, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

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