Magazine article USA TODAY

Tips for Keeping a Healthy System

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tips for Keeping a Healthy System

Article excerpt

Whether part of a small business, a multinational, or just trying to find a recipe online at home, we sometimes seem to spend just as much time fixing "issues" and "conflicts" on our computers as we do working on them. For the home user, this merely is an inconvenience but, to a business, it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars lost to decreased productivity or repairs. Although the mere thought of trying to "fix" a computer would cause a cold sweat in many individuals, it is, in fact, the simple little things that even the most timid technophile could prevent, which cause the majority of desktop woes.

"Malware, viruses, identity theft, and spyware account for about 80% of all computer issues resulting in downtime," points out Chip Reaves, national director of Computer Troubleshooters, Decatur, Ga. "It is estimated that the lost-productivity cost due to these alone is around $50,000,000,000, and the associated IT costs of dealing with it has skyrocketed from $20,000,000,000 to $198,000,000,000 in the last five years."

Reaves explains that there are certain simple tips everyone could adhere to-businesses and individuals alike--that will keep our computers (and wallets) in tip-top shape:

Old hardware. "Studies have shown that the likelihood of physical problems with computer equipment goes up significantly after 24 to 36 months. Try to replace computer systems every three years--it makes sense considering how inexpensive computers have become, and one major repair bill could easily cost more than purchasing an entire new system."

Power protection. "Surges and power drops can cause data loss and are always damaging to sensitive components, reducing their life span. Most people do use surge protectors, but what many don't realize is that surge protection wears oft over time. For the best protection, make sure that the surge protectors for all of your computer equipment are replaced every two to three years. …

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