Three More Things People Need to Know About Their Computer
Everyone Should Know…
A time ago I wrote a post called “Three Basic Computer Skills Everyone Needs to Know.” It received a lot of attention and questions. I almost feel guilty for making computers sound so simple, so I came up with three more things that everyone should know. Learn these three, and the previous three, and you’ll be in good shape.
How to Backup – It stands to reason that if you keep your information safely saved in an alternative location, you can’t lose it. I strongly recommend the “3-2-1 Backup” philosophy. That is, all of your important information should be in at least three different locations, on at least two different types of media (Say, a DVD and a thumb drive) and at least one of them should be stored in a different building from your computer. I like backup services such as Carbonite. I use DropBox as it gives me other features that I need. For our business customers we tend to rely on Dr. Backup. All are great services and have their advantages and disadvantages.
How to Protect Your Computer From Electricity – Electricity can be a finicky thing. As much as we try constrain it, electricity seems to have a mind of its’ own. This can be bad news for your computer, which suffers damage when the electricity it receives is above or below the voltage it expects. A good surge protector can help with over-voltage but it takes a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to help with under-voltage. A good UPS is under $100 and I believe everyone should have one on their computer and any other expensive electronics.
How to Search – I’ve said it before, search is a skill. The internet is an unending source of information, but few people know how to find what they want or need. You can get better at search by practicing, of course, but there are a few other tricks that you might find helpful. First, learn the shortcuts and operators that the search engines offer. I use Google, and have referred to this list of search tricks from time to time. Second, learn the language to use. Some words just don’t work well on the internet. For example, if you’re doing research on food, and want to find out the nutritional value of an apple, you might have a tough time. There are many websites on the internet devoted to Apple computer products that will get in your way. Lastly, try other search engines. There are always options out there besides Bing and Google. Trying the alternatives may help you find one that works better for your style of search.
And there you have it, three more things you really need to know about your computer. Questions? Put them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!