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Techie Talk

You know who you are. You spend hours working on your computer without giving it a break. You have an unlimited text messaging plan on your phone and you’ve used T9 so much the letters on your keys have worn off. You treat your tech with disrespect and are mostly unappreciative of what your devices do for you. This is a call to everyone who disrespects technology, and unfortunately that’s most of you. It’s time to start showing some appreciation, so this week I’m offering five ways to help you treat tech with respect.

Always have an antivirus

Leaving your Windows PC without the protection of full antivirus is perhaps the worst offense I’ve seen. The Internet is a scary place for a computer, and sending it out to roam the World Wide Web without protection is simply unforgivable. Fortunately, there are a slew of antivirus software applications out there that will keep you safe. The ITS Solution Center on campus recommends installing Avast!, SuperAntiSpyware, and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, and they’ll even install them for you if you’d like. Their campus office is in the Frances Frazier Comstock Theatre building.

Backup your data

You load up your computer with documents, pictures, music, and a dozen other things, only to have your hard drive fail. Inevitably you lose everything. You blame the computer, but really its your own fault. It’s time to start backing up your important documents reguarly on an external hard drive. They’re a cheap and simple way to save data. Of course, you don’t need to backup everything, just the things you want to keep.

Protect your electronics

You wouldn’t ride a motorcycle without a helmet would you? So why are you leaving your electronics unprotected? Always carry your laptop in a bag that protects it in transit and protect your cell phone with a case and screen protector. That way, when you drop, scratch, and generally wear them down, the damage will be lessened. Also, don’t leave your electronics in your cold car; the batteries in your devices will run low quickly and their lifespan will be much less.

Keep your computer clean

Don’t let your computer resemble your dorm room at the end of spring semester. Dust bunnies infiltrate your computers fans, crumbs settle underneath your keyboard, fingerprints smudge your monitor. You change the oil in your car every few thousand miles, right? Get yourself a can of compressed air and some monitor wipes to clean things up. Keeping your dust vents clean is especially important because dust trapped in the fans will eventually cause your computer to slow down and become too hot to run.

Keep your passwords safe

We store all kinds of information online, and usually the only protection against somebody else gaining access to it is a username and password. Do your data a favor and choose strong passwords, changing them frequently. Never save your account information in an email or even worse, written on a post-it note by your computer.

So, there you have it, five ways to treat your tech with respect. Join me in taking the time to mend the fences you’ve created with your gadgets. They’ve always served you well, and the way you treat them should reflect that. Certainly with just a few simple changes, we can put an end to the devaluation of devices.

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