Apply spring cleaning to your computers and gadgets
By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)
Originally published by Cox Media Group on 3/21/22
Although the weather might not always agree, spring is officially here! When spring cleaning around the home, don’t forget about your computer and other tech gadgets! I suggest doing some maintenance tasks every couple months, which you might be able to do yourself.
Then I recommend having a professional do a good checkup and cleaning once a year, even if you aren’t having any issues.
Here I share a couple things you should consider for your computers and gadgets during your spring cleaning:
Run Malwarebytes scans: Although you might have an anti-virus program installed, I also suggest running Malwarebytes Antimalware as a second opinion and to catch other non-virus junk that can cause issues. You can download the Malwarebytes Antimalware program from www.malwarebytes.
com. It’s free to download and manually run scans. But I recommend upgrading to the premium edition for all your computers so it actively protects you and runs scans automatically.
Protect computers against power surges: Spring is also the start of the storm season, so I recommend you check if your computer is plugged into a modern surge protector to help protect it from surges and lighting strikes. Don’t forget, laptops should also be plugged into surge protectors too. Keep in mind, surge protectors can wear out over time, and I recommend replacing every 5 - 10 years.
You can go a step further and get an uninterrupted power supply that has a battery backup so if the power does go out, it would allow your computer to shutdown properly if it’s on when the power goes out.
Check browser notifications: A newer technology supported by some browsers, such as Chrome and Edge, allow websites to send you notifications at any point even if you aren’t on their website. Typically, you don’t need these notifications and are often misused to send you Ads and junk alerts. The first time you visit a website that’s trying to send you notifications, you will be prompted to allow or block them. Be careful; only allow notifications on websites you really want to alert you of something.
You should periodically also check the allowed notifications in your browser’s settings to remove or block those you don’t want bothering you. The process to do this varies between the browsers, so I suggest looking up how to do it on the web or contact a computer pro if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
Physically clean your computers and laptops: I suggest cleaning the exterior of computers every couple months. When your computer is shutdown, wipe your keyboard, mouse, screen and computer itself with a microfiber cloth and mild antibacterial cleaner or a cleaner wipe, being careful not to soak and ruin the components. You could also vacuum up any hair or dirt buildup you see, especially around the intake fans of the computer.
I also suggest having the inside of the computer cleaned every year or so by a computer tech to prevent any buildup from damaging or wearing out the electronics or fans.
Clean your smartphone or tablet: If you have an Android phone, iPhone, tablet or iPad, I suggest cleaning them at least once a month.
You can physically clean them with a mild antibacterial cleaner or a cleaner wipe, being careful not to soak and ruin them. You should also review your photos and videos.
Delete any you don’t want and then transfer or backup the ones you do want to keep, or setup automatic syncing of them to iCloud or Google Backup. You should also remove any apps you’ve previously downloaded but aren’t going to use.
Just like your computers, I suggest a tech do a checkup and cleanup of your smartphones and tablets every year, even if you aren’t having issues. They can double-check the security and backup, solve annoyances and maybe make them easier to use.