Keep Your PC Fast and Secure With 3 Steps

It can be tough to keep up on PC maintenance in our fast-paced business world, but a little effort here and there can go a long way toward preventing headaches down the road that are much more time consuming. PC cleanup schedules may vary throughout the year, but there are a few habits that are always good to stay current on.

There are three steps toward doing this: cleaning, archiving, and planning.

PC Cleaning

We can accumulate a lot of emails and files over the year that we didn’t want to delete at the time. This is a good opportunity to sit down and go through them. What ones are you unlikely to use that you could easily do without?

Go through your junk email, empty your trash, and remove unnecessary items from your Desktop, Downloads, and Temporary Internet Files. Depending on your web browsing habits, clearing the Temporary Internet Files or browser cache can sometimes free up a surprising amount of space and make your browser run better.

Doing a hard drive defrag can sort clustered files and help your system find things more quickly, as well. It can take awhile to complete a defrag, so it’s a good idea to pick a time you won’t need your PC awhile to initiate, then come back to it later.

File Archiving

Create folders for 2014, both on your PC itself and in your email. (If you have not done this before, take everything from 2013 and before and put it into a “Previous Years” folder.) You can then go through your documents and other folders to put files you won’t use regularly away so they can be easily found later. But they’ll be out of your way in your day-to-day, helping both you and your PC operate smoothly. Same goes for email. Go through old messages and either delete them or move them to the 2014 folder so your primary inbox is clean.

It’s also a good idea to run a complete system backup and archive a copy on a flash drive or external hard drive. Put this copy in a secure place such as a safe deposit box.


Your technology plan should include everything you’re doing now as well as any changes that you expect to make to your routine.

Do you want to get a new laptop, or maybe a tablet? Will that make your current technology redundant? Will making this change alter your maintenance schedule or change the process of how you handle and create data?  Will you have data that needs to be transferred?

Knowing the answers to these things in advance will make the transition far smoother, keeping both your personal life and your business technology running efficiently and reliably.

Is Storing Data in the Cloud Safe?

Cloud-based services have become much more common in the last few years, adding convenience to our collection of devices we use each day to go about our business. From syncing contacts or bookmarks across machines to sharing files and backing up data, mobile devices in particular are becoming little internet machines.

But is putting all this data on cloud servers safe?

Using the cloud works similarly to any other internet-connected interaction. Your computer (or mobile device) establishes a connection with a server and exchanges information, except that most cloud-based traffic is encrypted.

One bit of safety most people enjoyed with personal computers at home is the relative anonymity of being “just another person.” Anyone is technically vulnerable to hackers, but hackers generally target businesses or higher profile individuals. The average user usually avoids trouble by blending into the crowd in this sense.

This has raised the concern about cloud servers that they’re targets simply because it’s known that a lot of people’s information is stored there. Cloud servers have teams of people monitoring and maintaining them, however, not to mention they’re armed with security far beyond anything running on most people’s personal computers.

It makes sense when data is the business model.

Like a bank, cloud providers need to ensure a high level of security so that users are comfortable putting their data there (like storing money for a bank). And just like with a bank, any system can be beaten by someone determined. But the security is intense enough to discourage 99% of malicious deeds. Competition is getting fierce between cloud providers, down to amount of space available for free and at each price point.

What none of them wants is a reputation for compromising their user base’s information, and this is good for the user.

Most cloud providers are large companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple. There are many others of course, but the point is that these providers have the resources to create a secure environment to store large amounts of data safely.