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Tips To Making Your Computer More Efficient

Back up your data
In order to protect your important files – photos, music, videos, and work documents – it's vital that you back up your data on a regular basis. Some great ways to back up your files include cloud storage programs like Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, and iCloud. If you'd rather have a physical copy of your files, other ways to save data include USB flash drives and external hard drives. As a general rule, you should back up your data on a weekly basis.

Delete unnecessary files
If you're like most people, you may have a whole slew of files and programs on your computer that you no longer need or want. It might take a chunk out of your day, but turn on some tunes and take the time to delete these files. Your computer will thank you for it since you'll also have more space and a speedier PC as a result.

Organize files
Once you've deleted all of your unnecessary files, try sorting through the ones you have left and organizing them by year. This way, you'll be able to find important photos and files much more quickly and easily.

Clean out your inbox
Email inboxes can easily become cluttered and disorganized. In addition to cleaning out files on a computer, cleaning out unnecessary emails should also be on your to-do list. If you're using Gmail, you can easily create filters and organize emails into folders. For example, you can create a filter for anything shopping related and have those emails automatically added to your Shopping folder when they arrive. The same goes for work emails, personal emails, emails from your running group, etc.

Consolidate and delete old email addresses
If you have multiple email addresses, it may be a good idea to combine them. If you have a Gmail account, but also a Yahoo, AOL, and Hotmail account, you can either set up Gmail's POP Mail Fetcher feature, which will grab your emails via Post Office Protocol (POP) and add them to your other Gmail messages; or you can go into each account and forward the emails to your Gmail address.

Protect your computer against viruses
There's always a chance your computer will get infected with a virus, which is why it's important to install – and use – anti-malware software. Not only will this software protect your computer against viruses, it also protects your computer or laptop against potential hackers, spyware, and malicious phishing attempts. You should update this your antivirus software, as well as your operating system, Web browsers, and other crucial software, regularly.

Change your bank account password
Online banking is a convenient time saver, but it also opens up your bank account to hackers. You should consider changing your banking password at least once a year. Though many banks offer two-step verification, sending you a separate email or text to verify you as the correct user, you also need to make sure your password isn't easy to hack.

Make sure your wireless network is secure
Nowadays, we often take wireless Internet for granted. However, you should take the time to make sure that your wireless network is indeed secure. Why? Hackers can easily infiltrate an unsecure network and gain access to your bank account and other confidential information. Make sure the password for your router is hard to crack. For example, don't make it your last name and house number. Also, some outdated routers are easier to hack into, so check out our wireless routing guide for more info on buying a secure router.

Keep your computer cool
In order to help keep your computer running smoothly, it is essential to keep your computer cool. To do so, you should be sure that there is adequate ventilation around your computer. If you're using a laptop, you can use a special stand to keep air flowing, some of which come with built-in fans. As dust can keep your computer warm, you should periodically remove dust from your computer using a vacuum cleaner and/or a can of compressed air.

Avoid carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be serious and debilitating, but there are certain measures you can implement to prevent damage to your body while using the computer. For example, always remember to support your wrists when you are using a mouse, and hold the mouse loosely in order to minimize tension in your hand.

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