Computers are an integral part of modern life and productivity. We use them to gather information, stay connected, and work efficiently. Having a functioning computer is nearly a necessity for every adult in the modern world. However, they can be significant financial investments. In particular, failing to take good care of your machine can decrease its lifespan and greatly increase the chance of it failing prematurely. Here are a few tips to help you prolong your computers functionality for as long as possible.
Pay attention to the hardware. The first tip of computer ownership is fairly intuitive. Just like all of the other items we own, a computer should be stored and used in conditions which protect it from damage. Keep it away from dust and in a well ventilated area. Failure to do these can result in the buildup of dirt and dust inside the machine, leading to overheating. The calculations done by a computer release energy in the form of heat, and too much of this heat can destroy and damage components. This is why computers all have a fan, finding ways to remove heat from the computer is critical to ensuring continued operation. So keep your computer clean, inside and out (if you are not confident opening your machine, find someone who will from time to time). Additionally, powering off the computer when you will not be using it for a period of time can decrease its up time, meaning less wear on its components.
Secondly, the software you run on a machine can have a large impact on its life. Not only can malware damage your computer and decrease its lifespan, but using programs which are inefficient and strain your computer will also hurt your machine. To this end, always ensure that your computer is not running any superfluous or dangerous programs. Protecting yourself from malware should be a given, but I’ll reiterate a few things here about how to do that.
Always ensure that you have antivirus programs which are reputable and functioning. Additionally, practice responsible usage of the internet and communications. Be aware of common phishing methods, and stay away disreputable websites. All of these are vectors for malware infection.
Finally, make sure that your computer is free from bloatware, programs which are often inadvertently downloaded, or come preloaded onto a computer, prior to your purchase. These often include toolbars, advertisements, and other programs which may not be trying to steal your data or hijack your machine, but still could be slowing it down and making it use resources inefficiently.