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.

Wait! Before you upgrade your PC to Windows 10…

Microsoft recently released Windows 10 – the newest operating system in its lineup. You might be anxious to check out the new features and looks, but there are two important things to do first.

1. Make sure your data is backed up.

Though Microsoft assures customers that the Windows 10 upgrade is built to be seamless and error-free, it’s always a good idea to back up important files before any type of major upgrade. Users have experienced various issues while upgrading their OS in past versions of Windows, and you don’t want a weird bug during the install to be the reason you lost your crucial data.

With your essentials safely tucked away, you can begin the upgrade with confidence knowing that in the worst case you can reformat and install a fresh copy of Windows 10.

2. Check that your business applications (including cloud and SaaS apps) and hardware are compatible.

There’s nothing worse than upgrading the OS only to discover none of your applications work. This was a big issue years ago when Windows Vista first came out, and a lot of users struggled to use their printers, business software, etc.

That can cripple your operation at work and cause frustration at home. A brief bit of research – or a few questions to your IT partner – can alleviate this stress.

If you discover that not all your apps are compatible, you can either prepare alternatives or know to wait on the upgrade and avoid that headache. On the other hand, you may discover that you’ll be good to go and can upgrade with peace of mind.

Play it safe and secure! Let us help with your Windows 10 upgrade plans!

A Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail (eventually)

A short story before we get to the point.

My parents just updated their wills and put some contingency planning into effect.  This is a great time for them to do this, because their circumstances have changed.  They have sold their house, and do not plan on living in any one place for longer than 6 months at a time.

Why should you care?  Why am I telling you this?

Because, this is a GREAT example of how most small businesses are run.  Yes, Entrepreneurs have grand ideas, and some planning, but the stuff that is more than a month or two away is fuzzy, and what is going to happen in 2015 is a guess by any stretch of the imagination.

Most business owners plan to adapt to whatever happens, and they don’t feel that writing it down is going to help them adapt.  The problem with this thinking is that while writing your plan down may not help you, it will help the people you work with and having it written down can help keep you on your preferred path.

The Plan:

So before leaving on the next stage of their travels, my parents sat down with some experts and got their stuff in order.  They are in reasonably good health, and fully capable of taking care of their affairs, so why do this now?

  1. They had not updated their plan in a while.  In fact, their old wills stated who the guardian for my brother and I would be.  >> Does your plan contain outdated information?
  2. They could be out of touch for weeks at a time. >> No matter what your role is, there are times when you are unavailable.  Will having a written plan keep your business running when you are not there to approve every single decision?
  3. Having a succession plan also means having a backup plan.  Preparing for who gets your stuff also means preparing for who can help regain access to your accounts when your wallet gets stolen overseas.  >>  What is your backup plan?  Do you have a backup for your backup plan?
  4. My brother and I have not lived in the same state in years. Depending on which one of us is closer, we need to both be on the same page, and having a written document makes it easier to ensure their wishes are respected. >> How do you make sure your plan is followed when you are not available?

I know that you have plans and ideas for your business, and while most people do not expect to fail, the statistics show that many businesses will suffer unexpected events (sooner or later).

Our recommendation:  Plan for the expected and the unexpected.  Talk to your Trusted Advisors:  your lawyer, your accountant, your insurance agent, your business coach/mentor, and your IT Professional.  And MAKE A PLAN. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be customized and a good fit for you and your business.