Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Basic computer setup question

Question: I use Avast for my anti-virus software and it has always served me well.  Is there anything else I need to install on my new WinXP comp to protect it?  Just wondering what you think.

The question isn't is there any software, but how important is your computer?  If its mission critical that's a different question than if its a basic home computer.

For most, the best and easiest way is to keep a folder on your desktop with important stuff in it.  Once a week copy that folder on to an external USB (thumb) drive that you store somewhere away from your laptop.  If your laptop is in your backpack, leave the USB at home or visa versa.  That's a pretty good way to keep things safe.

Other than that, Avast is great, use Firefox for web browsing and make sure that your computer has all the latest updates.  If you're not sure if Windows is automatically updating (a little yellow shield icon in the taskbar), use Internet Explorer to go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
 once a month or so.  That should take care of it.

If you just want to play around with something, you might like DropBox.  It will save stuff remotely and makes it real easy to share documents and files.  You can set it up to be that folder on your desktop mentioned above and its free up to 2 gigs.  Just watch the video tutorial on the site and if it looks cool give it a shot.

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