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Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably


When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and youíre suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips thatíll keep you up and running smoothly.

Tip #1 -- Back up your computerís data no less than once a month.

Too often a small business is thrust back to infancy because it didnít take time to back up precious data; information that took hours upon hours to create. Information thatís irreplaceable, such as customer databases or employment contracts. Keep in mind youíll want to back up your written data as well as check books such as Quicken and email address books. If your computer has a CD writer, itís simple and quick to back up your data. Simply select the files and folders you want to back up and copy them to the writer.

Or if you have an older computer, copy your most important files to a floppy disk. Either way, donít stop there; now take the CD or disk and store it in a fire-safe box! To expedite the process, organize your files within folders so you can quickly grab and copy one or two folders.

Tip #2 Ė Donít turn off your computer every evening.

Too frequently computer users turn their computers off every evening. This is unnecessary and not recommended. A computerís components are at their most vulnerable when turned on and off. When a computer has to heat up [turn on] or cool down [turn off] itís at this precise moment components fail. Itís recommended you turn your computer off once or twice a week or only when necessary, such as from a power outage. However, donít do the opposite and never turn your computer off, since many anti-virus programs require a computer reboot be performed before new virus patches take effect.

Tip #3 -- Automate anti-virus software so it updates automatically no less than once a week.

Depending on your software, you may need to prompt it to update. Unfortunately, there are people with too much time on their hands who desire to attack and make your computer unusable. A computer user is not ultimately protected from viruses and spyware [pop-ups, cookies, etc.] unless you're using a combination of anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall, a piece of hardware that protects computers from being hacked. You must have all three pieces in order to ward off viruses, lurkers and attacks. Whatís more, most of the attacks are very quiet. You don't know someone is on your computer. Instead, they secretly store information, such as child pornography or music MP3s on your computer, since it's illegal, and redirect child-porno or MP3 seekers to your computer instead of theirs.

Tip #4 -- Install a firewall if you keep your computer constantly on.

Using a broadband or DSL connection dramatically increases your exposure to being hacked. It only takes an average of 15 minutes being online before a home-based computer is attacked. The only true way to protect a computer from a hacker is to install a hardware firewall. Itís a misconception that software-based firewalls ultimately defend computers. This is simply not true. Computers must have a hardware firewall for ultimate protection, such as a SonicWall or Netscreen firewall, a component installed between a home userís cable or DSL connection and their computer.

Sharron Senter is co-founder of http://www.VisitingGeeks.com - an on site computer repair, security and networking company that helps families, home power users and small businesses north of Boston, Southern NH and Maine. Visiting Geeksí technicians are crackerjacks at squashing viruses, pop-ups and securing and making computers perform faster. To reach Visiting Geeks call (978) 346-4087 or visit http://www.VisitingGeeks.com Sharronís also the author of, ďMake Money While Sleeping.Ē Learn more at http://www.sharronsenter.com/fs_increase_seo.shtml

Sharron Senter