The desktop or laptop computers that you purchase for your business are more than just tools. It’s important that you start looking at them for what they are – a true investment in the future of your enterprise in every sense of the word. As a result, it’s important that you make an effort to care for this equipment on a regular basis, the same way you would take care of a copy machine, a company car or even your physical place of business itself.
Stay Up to Date
One of the best ways to make sure that you’re always properly caring for your computer involves keeping all software up to date. Software developers responsible for the business applications you use to your operating system and everything in between will regularly release updates, many of which can be downloaded for free. These are designed to not only improve performance (especially on older hardware), but also address certain issues customers have been having, increase security, provided patches and other bug fixes and more.
In the Microsoft Windows operating system, for example, you should run Microsoft's built-in Windows Update feature on a regular basis to download any bug fixes and security patches that are available. You can also set up to have updates download and install automatically in the future so that you don't have to worry about completing it manually. In the Mac OS X operating system, all updates are handled via the "App Store" application. You can also click the "Apple" icon in the upper left corner and select the "Software Update" feature to accomplish the same thing.
Virus Protection and Common Sense
Another one of the most important ways to take care of your computer involves the combination of adequate virus protection and good, old-fashioned common sense. Invest in a high quality antivirus and antimalware solution that not only protects individual computers from virtual harm, but your entire network as well. Modern day antivirus solutions will monitor traffic across your entire network, helping to identify suspicious activity so that you can ward off any unauthorized access attempts before they become very big (and very expensive) problems down the road.
Likewise, you should always make sure you’re staying up to date on all of the latest digital threats that you should be on the lookout for. One of the most common types of viruses these days worldwide, for example, is called ransomware. These are malicious files that are often downloaded accidentally by users who aren’t being careful enough that, when executed, will actually encrypt all of the files on a computer’s hard drive.
If you fall victim to a ransomware attack, you will literally be locked out of all of your important business documents and other files. The only way to get access back is to pay a ransom (that can sometimes be thousands of dollars) to attackers – and even then it isn’t a guarantee.
If you had just used a little common sense and made sure that you didn’t download any files that were suspicious, ran everything through your antivirus programme and didn’t open emails with attachments from senders you didn’t know ahead of time, however, the problem could have been avoided altogether.
Norton Security, AVG and Avast are all examples of high quality antivirus solutions that you can choose from to meet your needs. The Microsoft Windows operating system also has basic antivirus protection built-in that you can enable via the Control Panel. Note that while the Mac OS X operating system has always been incredibly resistant to viruses, this is quickly changing as the digital climate gets more and more dangerous. As a result, you should look into solutions like Avast for OS X to remain protected as well.
Backup, Backup, Backup
When it comes to your business computer equipment, the importance of creating a regular backup schedule cannot be overstated enough. An unfortunate fact of the matter is that regardless of how hard you try, your computers will eventually need to be replaced. Hardware WILL fail – it isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” When that day does unfortunately come (probably unexpectedly), backups will guarantee that you’re able to pick right back up where you left off without losing so much as a single kilobyte of data.
There are two types of backup solutions that you can choose from depending on your needs. Physical solutions can be both full network attached storage or a simple secondary hard drive plugged into the computer you use for work. Cloud-based backup options like Carbonite are also growing very popular as time goes on due to their flexibility and security.