How to Avoid 5 Common Computing Mistakes


The careless users guide to avoiding & fixing common computing mistakes.–PC Pitstop.

How to Avoid 5 Common Computing Mistakes

by Bob Rankin

I hate to sound unsympathetic, but most computer problems are caused by careless users. There are a few basic steps you can take to avoid malware infections, data loss, and performance issues. Too often, people try to save time or money by cutting corners, and they end up paying the price. Check out my list of common computing mistakes, and how to fix (or even better, avoid) them. Read on…

Here are five of the most common computing mistakes, and some tips on corrective action you can take today.

SECURITY: Failure to use anti-malware and firewall protection is like leaving your door open and your wallet on the table. Viruses, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, rootkits and other malware are ubiquitous, and they can enter a computer through many different channels. The damage that malware can do ranges from minor annoyance to data loss to identity theft. The latter can take years to remedy and cost thousands of dollars.

It’s been shown that a computer left unprotected can be infected within minutes after going online! Protecting yourself against malware should be a high priority. There really is no excuse for not using an effective anti-malware program. I have reviewed many of them here, and all are available in free versions.


HOW TO FIX IT:
See Free Anti-Virus Programs
HOW TO FIX IT: See Free Firewall Protection

OPERATING SYSTEM: Keeping Windows up to date is also a critical security chore, and one that too many users skip. Hackers discover new vulnerabilities in the world’s most popular operating system every month, and Microsoft issues critical security updates of Windows and other MS applications as fast they’re fixed. Obtaining this free protection is as easy as enabling Automatic Updates in Windows; just set it and forget it.

HOW TO FIX IT: See Microsoft Windows Update Website

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10 thoughts on “How to Avoid 5 Common Computing Mistakes

  1. YES I ADMIT I M CARELESS USER. I ENJOY PLAY WITH PC AND END UP WITH U WHAT — BUT THEN I KNOW I HAVE U ON MY SIDE SO TO FIX IT ,THANKS HAHAHAHAAAAA

  2. Isn’t this why I have PCMatic? I’m tech-duh, so I’m relying on PCMatic to deal with this. So what should I check with that, then?

  3. Bob

    Your 5 points are quite clear. It’s just that “some” people require daily reminders.

    Thanks for the reminder……Alan

  4. Question: land line phones connected via (like comcast)running thru the computer -can bad guys use a phone call / or ? as access? thx , D.M.

  5. The only dumb question is the unasked one, Ed. You’ll back up the virus, too. Run your antivirus software daily, and do your best to keep.them out. That means downloading updates to your Antivirus software regularly. Virus writers have the upper hand. It’s an ambush. The best way to handle an ambush is to charge it, take the momentum away from the enemy. The virus wars are only going to get worse. Be agressive. Clean up, back up, take the time to run scans, download the latest signatures.

  6. I am with Bob up to the point of automatic updates. Too often it happens that a person leaves a computer, comes back to it and it doesn’t work anymore. Hours are spent trying to fix this only to discover that it was a Windows update which did it and rolling that back fixes the issue.
    You want to know when something like updates occur. Set it to give a notification of available updates but do not let them install automatically because after a few days you will have forgotten that this happens and when trouble surfaces you will not remember.

  7. This may sound like a dumb question but…if I have a virus on my computer and do a complete back-up, what keeps the virus from getting backed-up too?

    • The point is to have the back-up made BEFORE the infection. Once the computer is infected a back-up will maintain the infection as well.

      Do a complete virus and malware scan. Remove anything found to be bad. Then do the back-up.

      While Windows itself, or other programs installed on your computer may do periodic back-ups, they won’t know if the system is already infected.

      That is why you have to do your own periodic scans and back-ups.

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