Ok, Lets be honest. A lot of people buy a computer, get it connected to the internet and use it until something goes horribly wrong (i.e. virus attack, computer malfunction, new device doesn't work etc.). At which point they are forced to find a technician (I can't tell you how many times friends have asked me to fix their computers) or ,more likely out of frustration, just go out and buy a new computer. This costly decision can be avoided most of the time. It doesn't take much to keep your computer lean and mean. In fact some of the best solutions are free and take little to no time as long as they are done prior to the problems that plague computers today.
One of the most overlooked features on computers today is the built in ability to automatically update software. Keeping your operating system up-to-date is vital for a healthy computer in todays environment. Software manufactures are constantly fixing software bugs, updating driver for new devises, and making improvements on the software that you use everyday. While this may not sound like its that big of a deal - it is. Most of the time an up-to-date operating system will improve the reliability, security and speed of your computer greatly. Not to mention that new iPod or iTouch you just got, won't work with Widows XP Sevice Pack 2.Its As Easy AsIf you are running a Windows based machine (i.e. PC, DELL, HP, ACER etc.) make sure you have automatic updating turned on by going to Start > Control Panel > Automatic Updating . Choose an appropriate time of day to check the Microsoft site for software updates. You may have to authenticate your installation of Windows. Just follow the on screen instructions. Its pretty painless.
If you are running Mac OS X on an Apple Computer you should turn the Automatic Update on by going to the "Apple Menu" (icon of an apple at the top left of your screen) and select Software Update . Under the Scheduled Check tab make sure that both Check for Updates and Download Updates Automatically are both selected. Then schedule your automatic updates for an appropriate time.
Mac users tend to not have to worry about viruses so much. While not immune to attack Mac viruses are very rare. This is partially do to the shear numbers of users using Windows vs Mac OS. Viruses are usually written by people that want to affect the largest audiences as possible and only about 10% of all computers are Macs. They are increasing in popularity but still a very small percentage. There are several options out there for Mac Virus protection most are yearly subscriptions. If you feel the need for antivirus software on your mac - start at http://www.apple.com/downloads and search for anitvirus apple offers free demo downloads (at the time of this article ProtectMac AntiVirus 1.1.1 is the latest and greatest)
PC users on the other hand... an Aint-Virus software package is a necessity. In my experience pay services not necessarily the best solution, especially for the average user. There are several free antivirus applications out there such as Avira, Pandas Cloud Antivirus, AVG and more. There is no excuse not to virus protection on your PC. Keeping them up-to-date is vital. Remember: those who write viruses tend to target the individuals who do not update their virus definitions. Most antivirus software now has the built in option to "auto update". It is as important to stay up-to-date as it is to actually have the antivirus software itself.
Staying informed and updated just makes sense - and saves you money in the long run. If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, you should update your system immediately. Gone are the days of "It is too difficult to update my computer". Manufactures and developers are making it easy to keep your computer & software running smoothly. For your privacy, security, and computer reliability update your system today.