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Seven Procedures To Help Protect your
Computer Software Setup and Data

by David Charbonnet with DCI Computers 717-7917

 

1) Install a good Virus Scanner (we recommend Norton Antivirus 2002 - not a full utility suite bundle).  Keep it's virus definitions database up-to-date by downloading updates regularly! Verify it is set to protect your email accounts.  If you do not download the updates don't bother getting the program and live unprotected / on the edge of disaster.

 2) Download Windows Critical Updates.  Accessible under Internet Explorer's Tool Menu called Windows Updates.  If you do not find it there just go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/  At that page click on Product Updates.  You need only install the Critical Updates listed at the top of that web site.

 3) Run Lavasoft's Adaware regularly.  More frequently if you have children that use the Internet. You can download it from  http://www.lsfileserv.com/index.html or a link can be found on this page http://www.dcicomp.com/links.htm.  This program is needed to check for and remove adware and spyware programs which virus scanner do not check for and which have become a popular source of problems.  Also run BHO Captor (available at http://www.dcicomp.com/downloads/bhocaptor.exe) to remove unwanted IE Plugins.

 4) Backup your Data (including Email/Contact list, Internet Favorites list, passwords if that is important to you) to external media like CD-R disks. If you have no backup device you can call us and we can back you up or install a CD RW drive that you can backup to. Remember it is not a matter of if a hard disk will die but when. Plus Viruses, user error and Murphy's Law all have it in for your data and software setup so it is best if you can backup your entire software setup.

 5) Limit access to your computer to only those that need use it and that you know use good judgment and caution when opening email.  Ask them to get your approval before installing any new software especially so called share or freeware off the Internet!

6) Resist the urge to download and test a lot of unneeded so called shareware or freeware on your main computer.  Each program you install modifies your software setup and indeed the operating system itself and few can be truly fully removed.  You take a risk with each program that you install and all programs contains some bugs.  I personally do not load such programs on my main computer, but test them on another hard drive to determine if they are worthwhile and seem reliable.

7) If you can afford the time and minor costs, learn or have someone (like us) teach you how to backup your full software setup.  It generally requires purchasing a second hard disk (under $140) and an inexpensive program like Norton Ghost that can easily, quickly and fully backup your entire setup to the second hard disk.  You can backup multiple computers if you have them to this same hard disk.

 

Basic Windows Productivity Tips:

 Quick Launch Pad: Many people find the Quick Launch pad more useful for quick access to programs that the desktop or start menu.  It is located on the taskbar and can be resized to suit your needs by clicking and dragging on its border.  If it is not on you can turn it on by right clicking the taskbar and choosing toolbars and quick launch.  You add items to it be right clicking and dragging items from the start menu or desktop to it and choosing create a shortcut here.  You remove items like you would remove items from the desktop or Start menu, by right clicking the item and choosing delete.

For quick access to Windows Explorer hold down the Window Key (between Ctrl and Alt) and press E.  When copying of moving Files in Windows Explorer try using the right mouse button when clicking and dragging as when you release the button you will get a menu which give you a chance to verify the destination and operation you want to do is correct.

Copy & Paste: Most people seem to know bout cut or copy and paste, but don't seem to take advantage of it as often as they could, like to copy text or images from their browser (Internet Explorer) to other applications like Word.  To copy text you first selecting it by dragging the mouse over it (of via keyboard hold down shift key and use cursor pad) To select an image you typically just right click it.  Next you do the actual copying by either right clicking it and choosing copy or press Ctrl C on the keyboard.  Then go to the other application you wish to put the text or image and right click and choose paste or via the keyboard by pressing Ctrl V or Edit paste on its menu.  This method also works to copy and paste between Windows Dialog Boxes; so for instance, to save an image ot a file you could drag over some text that may describe the image and right click choose copy than right click on the image and choose Save Image as and right click in the Save as dialogue box and choose paste.

 

Basic Internet Explorer Tips:

When surfing the Internet and you wish to follow a link but also keep the current page open than instead of clicking on the link you should right click the link and choose open in a new Window.  Similarly you could hold down the shift key when you click on a link   However this technique will not work on JavaScript links, so if you see the link says JavaScript in IE's status bar than just click the link as it is already set to open in a new Window.

When surfing the web keep in mind that instead of clicking on a web site you may prefer to shift click (or right click and choose open in a new Window) so you don't loose you place on the current page.

Instead of typing the full address of a root internet site you wish to go to in the address bar, you can omit the www and . com if you hit Ctrl Enter (rather than Enter) on the keyboard.  For example to go to www.google.com you could just type google in the address/URL box and hit Ctrl Enter.  This only works well on sites that end with a .com extension

The top rated Internet search engine is located at www.Google.com and it also has good Index and image search sections.

The most helpful Windows shortcut keys include; Alt Tab to Switch among running applications. Alt F4 to close the current application.  A description of common keyboard shortcuts can be found at www.DCIComp.net/support.htm#Keyboard

A nice start page for IE (Internet Explorer) is located at http://www.dcicomp.com/destinations/index.htm which you might like if you happen to run your monitor at a resolution of 800x600.  You can load it faster by downloading it to your computer from http://www.dcicomp.com/downloads/destinations.zip.  You set IE to start at a certain page by first opening the page you want to be your default start page then click Tools | Internet Options | Use Current.

 

? Please keep us in mind on your next computer purchase
and computer service needs
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