Computers are essential tools in our lives, helping us stay connected, productive, and entertained. That’s why you want to make sure your computer is in good working order and lasts as long as possible. It turns out that many of the problems you experience with your computer are caused by your actions.
With that said, you might want to hit the escape key on these bad computing habits that could lead to poor performance and data breaches.
1. Using the same password on multiple accounts
Imagine having a single key to open the locker in your car, home, office or gym – you get the idea. You would lose everything if that key fell into the wrong hands. The same goes for your passwords.
You wouldn’t want to use the same password for all of your accounts, even though it’s easier to remember, as you’d be handing your details to cybercriminals on a silver platter if they manage to get the password.
Ideally, you should create a strong and easy-to-remember password for each account. This way, if one of your passwords were compromised, you wouldn’t lose sensitive information from other accounts. However, you probably have a hard time remembering a dozen complicated passwords, so you should consider using a password manager.
2. Always keep multiple tabs open
Browser tab clutter is a major productivity killer and puts unnecessary strain on your RAM. All those open tabs can slow down your computer, drain your battery faster, and distract you from your work. So, consider giving up this bad computing habit to get better performance from your device and increase your productivity.
You can manually close tabs you’re not using or use these Chrome tab managers to organize and sort your open tabs. Just like keeping numerous tabs open, you also want to avoid running too many applications simultaneously as it can consume too much of your computer’s memory resources.
Sometimes clicking that X might not be enough as apps might still be running in the background so you need to use Task Manager to end those processes.
3. Putting things on your computer
Putting things on your keyboard is a common mistake that can damage the laptop. Small items, such as paper clips, can easily get stuck in the keyboard and prevent you from pressing the keys. Food particles on your laptop can create a breeding ground for microbes, while spilling drinks on it can cause permanent damage.
Ideally, you’ll want to keep your workspace clean and free of food or drink, especially if you’re working from a laptop. If you must eat or drink at your desk, keep items away from your computer and its peripherals. You should also avoid putting pens or notebooks on your keyboard, as you can forget them when you close the lid and damage the screen.
4. Skip updates
Your computer’s operating system is the program that allows you to run applications, access files, and browse the Internet. Software updates are essential to ensure your computer runs optimally and safely, as they come with bug fixes, security patches, and other new features.
Although update notifications usually come at inconvenient times, it is essential to install them immediately or schedule the installation for a more appropriate time. This way, you’ll ensure that your system is up-to-date, protected against security vulnerabilities, and runs like a well-oiled machine.
5. Never turn off your computer
Most likely, it always puts your computer to sleep instead of shutting it down. Sure, this could save you a few minutes every day, allowing you to pick up where you left off faster than booting up the machine. However, it doesn’t give your computer a breather to cool down or drain its memory, which can decrease its performance and lifespan.
There are several reasons why you should turn off your computer every night, such as installing pending updates, fixing errors, stopping background processes, and allowing the system to cool down. All of this contributes to improving performance and extending the life of your laptop.
6. Downloading files from unknown sources
Downloading files or programs from unknown sources is a bad computing habit that can expose your system to malicious software. These malicious programs can slow down your laptop, steal sensitive information, or render it completely unusable. Therefore, you should be careful whenever you click on a link or download something from the web; make sure you trust the source.
There are several things you can check before downloading files online, including searching for official sources, searching for reviews, and checking the site’s SSL certificate. Also, you should make sure that you have updated the antivirus software installed on your computer. This will provide an additional layer of protection and help detect lurking malware.
7. Placing your laptop on non-ventilated surfaces
Raise your hand if you often place your laptop on your bed, sofa, or pillow. If you are guilty of this, then you should know that it can cause serious damage to your machine. This is because your laptop generates heat while in use and is designed to dissipate heat through its vents. These vents are usually located on the side or under the laptop.
When you place your laptop on a surface that blocks vents or prevents airflow, it won’t be able to dissipate heat properly, which can lead to overheating and permanent damage to internal components. Instead, place your laptop on a hard, flat surface, such as a desk or table, and make sure all vents remain clear.
You can improve the situation by investing in a laptop stand to improve air circulation. That way, you’ll ensure that your laptop continues to run smoothly for years to come.
8. Fill up your hard drive
All laptops come with limited storage space, so you can easily run out of space if you keep adding files and programs. When this happens, your laptop’s performance will suffer as it will take longer to run applications and open files.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, remove unnecessary or unused programs and files from your computer. You can also move files you don’t use regularly to an external drive or cloud storage. Also, it’s a good idea to back up important files to prevent data loss in case something happens to your computer.
9. Always running through the installation process
We bet you are guilty of clicking the “Next” button and speeding up the installation process without reading what you agree to. These prompts often contain information about the permissions you grant to programs. Accepting everything and clicking “Next” without reading could lead to security vulnerabilities and performance issues.
For example, you may inadvertently install an additional program, grant access to sensitive information, or allow the program to change some default settings. To avoid this, read all the prompts and uncheck any boxes that don’t seem right.
Press Esc on these bad computing habits
It’s time to hit the Escape key on these bad habits that are putting your computer at risk. Implementing good computing habits ensures that your laptop stays healthy and runs smoothly.
Following the tips above can improve your computer’s performance, extend its life, and protect it from malware.