One of the most underrated and overlooked features of a computer is its hygiene – whether it is the organizational system or it’s physical aspects. Computers are sensitive electronics that need regular care to keep them in top shape. A dirty computer can suffer from performance issues and overheating, or it can even stop working, which in turn affects office productivity. Outdated software and compromised cyber integrity can create many problems with you and your client’s files and information.
Computer hygiene can be divided two categories — Cyber Hygiene and Physical Hygiene. Where each aspect cares for a different set of features. Cyber Hygiene, being the soul of your computer, would include the software and Apps that you use in your work routines, and think of Physical Hygiene being the body of your computer, which includes everything you touch and physical components.
Cyber hygiene relates to the practices and precautions users take with the aim of keeping sensitive data organized, safe, and secure from theft and outside attacks. Cyber hygiene practices can keep data safe and well-protected and this aids in maintaining properly functioning devices by protecting them from outside attacks, such as malware, which can hinder functionality.
Cyber hygiene is regularly conducted to ward off natural deterioration and common threats and having a procedure in place for your computers and software is beneficial for maintaining its peak efficiency and security to protect from all sorts of threats, like ransomware, brute force attacks and other types of malware.
The best Cyber Hygiene practice start with a routine. One should create a list of all hardware, software and online applications to document them and keep track of what you have and what needs maintenance or what needs to be updated, among other things. Creating a Cyber Hygiene which is enforced to everyone that uses the network can also minimize risks and keep the network organized.
Developing comprehensive cyber hygiene procedures is a must for today’s enterprises and its practices aid in maintaining a sound security posture for modern organizations.
The physical hygiene of your computer is just as important as making sure your computer’s up-to-date and virus-free and is also vital for your own health – the bonus part is that your IT tech will have a nice place to work whenever you need help.
One of the main benefits of keeping a good physical hygiene of your computer is saving money. If your computer is always clean, hefty maintenance bills and repairs will be minimal and will be less likely to cause downtime.
To know how often you should clean your computer, you need to evaluate what type of environment you’re working with. If you have pet’s or smoke around your computer, you may need to clean your computer more often. If you maintain good hygiene around your computer, your computer internals should still receive a good dust release every once-in-a- while to prevent overheating.
Here are some tools that can help you maintain a healthy workstation:
Compressed air in a can – The inside of your computer can have a lot of dust buildup and simply brushing it off just won’t do.
Screwdriver (if you know your way around computer parts, you may need this)– You’ll be taking apart some of the components of the PC and the best way to go on about it is with the use of a handy screwdriver.
Cleaning Cloth – Using a cloth is a nice finishing touch after you’ve gotten everything out of the way.
Soft brush –This will help you brush off dust on the surface.
Q-Tips – If you’re not going to get a can with compressed air, then Q-tips is your best bet.
Screen Cleaning Wipes / Microfiber Cloth – Don’t use any ordinary cloth for cleaning screens if you want them to remain scratch-free and clean.
A keyboard and monitor are also an important part of your overall system, and there for should be cleaned regularly as well. Use a moistened cloth and compressed air to remove any dirt and debris on the keyboard. You can remove individual keys and wipe them down if they are sticky or not pushing down well and try not to eat over or around it.
The mouse doesn't need to be cleaned frequently unless there are performance issues. Wipe the top of the mouse with a moist cloth if necessary. The monitor should be cleaned as well. Unplug the monitor from the outlet and wipe it with a water-moistened cotton cloth. Never spray anything directly onto the screen and only use water for cleaning.
The most important thing to consider when cleaning your case is that we want to make it possible for cool, fresh air to get into the case and hot air to get out. If dust filters are clogged or there's excess dust collected around the heat sinks, that's not going to be possible and your system could overheat.
Don’t forget to Wear a dust mask or respirator if you want to avoid breathing in any of the dust and dirt you remove from your case and turn off your PC and unplug the power cable from the rear. If you want to be extra safe, unplug everything.