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Protecting your Computer The things you MUST know.

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Presentation on theme: "Protecting your Computer The things you MUST know."— Presentation transcript:

1 Protecting your Computer The things you MUST know

2 Overview The Basics of protection: Placement of your computer Powering your computer Heat, your computers worst enemy Caring for your computer & Physical damage Protecting your computer against: Data Loss Viruses Hackers Spam Theft

3 Placement of your Computer Your computer is composed of many sensitive parts. In placing your computer you should avoid locations that would put your computer at risk of: Falling or Tipping over Having things fall on them Having things spill on them Being exposed to moisture Being exposed to excessive dust Your computers hard drive is extremely sensitive to shock, this includes any bumps, thuds or large vibrations that your computer may experience. Large, or even small repeated shocks can lead to data loss or complete hard disk failure. In addition moisture damages the electrical components inside of your computer and can lead to short circuits and component failure.

4 Hard Drives are EXTREMELY Sensitive!

5 Powering your computer A clean, steady power source is essential to stable computer operation. Your computers power supply has specific operating voltages that it must maintain in order for your computer to operate. Power surges or spikes are deadly to unprotected computers (and all electronics) because they supply electrical components with voltages that are too high, literally frying them. To protect your computer against power surges and to ensure that your computer has a clean and steady power source: Plug your computer into a surge protector or UPS Belkin ( and APC ( make excellent ones that you can purchase from the If possible avoid plugging your computer into an outlet with other large equipment such as air conditioners, refrigerators, or high wattage lights.

6 Heat: Your computers worst enemy As computer get faster, their components get hotter. Some hard drives and processors produce enough heat to burn you if you were to touch them. And that much heat is just as bad for a computer as it is for you. Computers use fans to cool their components. These fans draw in the cooler outside air and circulate it throughout the case. But along with the cooler air comes dust. Dust is notorious for getting into the fans ball bearings, and once the dust mixes with the lubricants it forms a near solid and causes the fan to stop spinning.

7 Heat: Your computers worst enemy Once the fan stops spinning your computers components begin to over-heat. Eventually your computer will lock up as it reaches a temperature that is beyond its operating range, and if it is not shut down and continues to heat permanent damage will be done to your hardware. The computers hard disk and processor are the components that are most vulnerable to over-heating. To protect your computer from over-heating: Periodically vacuum or blow out your desktop computer Periodically clean any dust filters or install them if none exist Whenever possible place your computer in a cool room Set your computers hard drive to turn off after a specified period of inactivity Turn off your computer, or set it to go to stand-by mode when it is not in use

8 Heat: Your computers worst enemy


10 Cleaning Your Computer Many people dont clean their computer simply because they dont know how. However, failure to clean your computer is the cause for most hardware failures. Here are a few ways to keep your computer clean: Keep the room that your computer is in clean because any dirt and dust that accumulates in the room will eventually make its way inside your computer. Desktops: Unplug your computer and remove the side panel, then use a can of compressed air to blow out your computer. A small vacuum will also work for this. Also blow out your keyboard and any other visible dust. Laptops: Locate the air vents on your laptop, these are generally on the side towards the rear, and use a can of compressed air to blow out the inside of your laptop. You can also blow out the keyboard To clean your monitor or LCD flat panel, turn it off, then use a soft damp cloth to wipe it clean (special CRT or LCD cleaners are also available), then use another soft dry cloth to dry the screen. Turn it back on and youre done. Note: compressed air can be purchased at the campus bookstore, or anywhere computer supplies are sold.

11 Cleaning Your Computer

12 Protecting against Data Loss Youve all known someone that has lost everything! Data loss is one of a computer users worst nightmare's, and can be prevented, or at least made tolerable by taking a few steps. To avoid losing your valuable data: Keep your computer clean and cool by following the previous steps. This will ensure that it wont over-heat, Which is one of the leading causes of hard disk failure. Keep backups, there are a variety of cheap backup mediums today. CDRs or DVD-Rs are one of the most cost effective methods of backing up large amounts of data. Zip drives & Jazz drives are also popular methods of backing up data onto disks. Save your work often. Or better yet set the Autosave feature in Microsoft Word to 2 or 3 minutes. This can be found under Tools Options Save for PC and under Edit Preferences Save for Macs.

13 Preventing Against Data Loss

14 Protecting Against Viruses Computer viruses are no longer something you hear about but no one ever gets. They are real and can circle the globe in a matter of hours. To help prevent your computer against Viruses infection: Run a reliable anti-virus program. Norton Antivirus & MacAfee Antivirus are excellent programs. Stanford Provides the latest versions of Norton for free download on the essential software download page ( Configure your Antivirus program to scan for viruses at least once a week. This will require you to create a new scheduled scan and will differ slightly for each Antivirus program. Configure your Antivirus program to automatically download the latest virus definitions. Delete, and do not open any emails or attachments from unknown sources.

15 Protecting Against Hackers Unfortunately hacking has become a real concern in todays society. Last year at least 4 students on campus had their hard disks erased after at the hands of hackers. To protect your computer against hackers here are a few things you can do: Set a good password on your computer (one that is not easily guessable) Disable any networking features that you are not using, such as: file & print sharing Keep your OS up to date: Run a personal firewall such as: Black Ice ( Lockdown 2000 ( Zone Alarm ( Outpost Firewall (

16 OS Updates

17 Firewalls

18 Protecting Against Spam Junk email, we all get it, but how do you stop it… Well the answer is you dont. Once youre on a list, its virtually impossible to get yourself off. But you can prevent yourself from getting on the list in the first place. Heres how: Delete spam as soon as you receive it, dont reply to the message in an attempt to get yourself removed. When you reply it lets them know that there is a real person on the other end and that their advertisement is reaching people. Set your cookie security level. For PCs run IE 6 and set your cookie privacy to medium high Do not install shareware, nothing in this world is truly free, shareware is loaded with spyware that tracks your internet usage and sends you targeted advertising! Download and install a spyware removal tool such as: Spy Sweeper 3.0 ( AdAware (

19 Spyware Removal Tools

20 Protecting Against Theft Theres no point in taking all of the above steps if you dont have a computer to implement them on. Here are a few tips to ensure that your computer, stays remains YOUR computer: Always lock your door, especially during parties or times when large groups of non-Murray residents are present. Laptops are easy prey for someone poking their head in your room. At the airport, never take your eye off of you baggage as it goes through the X-ray machine. Laptop bags are easy to spot, and its easy for someone to mistakenly pick up your laptop while your busy emptying your pockets of all of your change… Purchase a security cable for you laptop or flat panel display. Virtually all laptops manufactured in the last 4 or 5 years include a security port that is compatible with a security cable. Cables can be purchased from Frys electronics or online for about $15-30 Belkin ( Kensington (

21 Questions?

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