It’s National Clean Out Your Computer Day, and I want to help you celebrate it by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. It’s a perfect time to get organized and do some cleaning. Unlike other holidays, this one can actually make your life easier. New Year’s celebration has passed, Spring is around the corner, so what’s a better way to greet a new season? I’m sharing a few simple tips that will help your PC to run faster and last longer:
1. Update your software and apps
Sometimes we forget, or, admit it, we just feel too lazy to update our programs regularly. But why? Both you and your computer would be happier if you’d take better care of your devices and applications in it. Especially if we’re talking about security apps — outdated software is vulnerable to viruses. The creators try protecting against any newly discovered security threats in the latest versions, so when we don’t update our apps — we keep our devices unprotected. And it can slow down your computer!
2. Delete old files
Go through your applications and get rid of unnecessary apps that came preinstalled or the ones you’ve downloaded but never used (like those jeans you’re keeping for when you lose ten pounds). Forget them, they take space on your hard drive and might even interfere with the software you do want to keep. You’ll make some free space on your computer and at the same time, it will run faster. Sounds good, right? There are many programs for cleaning junk and stored cookies, but it’s not enough. It’s best to clean out manually so you don’t accidentally delete something important. I’m pretty sure you’ll find some pointless PowerPoint presentations from 2012 or useless wallpaper photos. I doubt that you need them. By the way, pay attention to the downloads folder which easily fills up over time.
3. Organize your folders and desktop
Organizing your documents and folders will save you a bunch of time and in general, will make your life easier. Make sure you know where your files go and manually place where they belong. How would you find anything if every folder would be labeled ‘My Documents’? Name your folders based on the content in them and create subfolders. Don’t forget your desktop. Are you one of those people that keep their desktop cluttered with hundreds of different files? Even the thought of that gives me anxiety. Delete what you don’t need and place the other files where they belong. It will definitely speed up your computer’s startup process. Less is better here!
"The people who are doing that are getting a lot of money and are doing that [full time]." Dubbed "AirHopper" by the researchers at Cyber Security Labs at Ben Gurion University , the proof-of-concept technique allows hackers and spies to surreptitiously siphon passwords and other data from an infected computer using radio signals generated and transmitted by the computer and received by a mobile phone.
4. Clean out your email inbox.
Are you the type of person who doesn’t delete emails? Actually, many of us are guilty of keeping their inboxes so full, that we don’t even bother reading the emails anymore. Look at the type of emails you’re getting, is it mostly spam? Block those senders. And if you feel like you’re getting too much advertising emails from companies — don’t forget to unsubscribe. When the time passes, your inbox will start looking better, I promise.
5. Run a virus scan and protect your security online
How to Prevent Spyware
A virus can infect your computer, so don’t forget to do a deep virus scan. However, sometimes anti-virus software can slow down your PC, but that’s the price of it, right? If we’re already talking about privacy, I’d suggest looking into VPNs, they secure and encrypt your online traffic and some of them even have built-in ad blockers. Choose the one with strict no logs policy, so you can be sure that it doesn’t monitor your browsing history and personal data (even your ISP won’t see what you’re doing online). My recommendations:
- NordVPN (3-year subscription for only $2.99/month, 75% discount)
- ExpressVPN (15 months for $6.67/month, 49% discount)
- IPVanish (1-year subscription for $6.49/month, 46% discount)
- Surfshark (2-year subscription for $1.99/month, 83% discount)
6. Tackle the dust — clean your computer’s hardware
Dust inside your computer is probably the worst thing for its health, so you need to clean it very carefully at least twice a year. Just be sure to turn off your device and unplug everything before cleaning. Wipe down your computer’s screen, keyboard and disinfect it. If you’re using your PC every day, do you imagine how much bacteria it has? Another important part is your computer’s fan. The dirt can clog up and impede airflow, causing it to overheat. Just don’t forget to be very careful with the inside of your PC, you don’t want any liquid getting in there.
Privacy Devices Resource Page
7. Restart your device once in a while
Everyone knows that you should restart your pc at least once a week, especially if you use it a lot. Shutting down all your applications that run in the background from time to time is a must. Have you noticed that your PC started to work quite strange? The speed seems slower than before? Then you definitely need to restart your device, it’s just like putting it down for a nap, everyone needs to rest sometimes.