Becoming an experienced computer user is a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but even if you’re only starting your way in exploring the opportunities and powers that come with owning a PC, you can still avoid a few mistakes that can either be just annoying or even damage your computer. Keep an eye out for the following 7 mistakes and become a pro computer user in no time!
1. Not saving your progress
When you’re typing a document, composing music, editing photos or a video, sudden crash of the software often means that hours of your hard work disappear and you have to start over. This situation can be easily avoided. First, you can set up the program to automatically save your progress every 5 or 10 minutes into the original file. Second, if the software doesn’t support automatic saves, try and remember to save the work manually after completing a large part of the assignment.
2. Falling for internet scams
There are so many online scams these days that even experienced users sometimes fall victims to them. The most common frauds are spam messages, phishing websites, and various scams that are aimed at stealing your money. Identifying a scam might be quite a challenge, because scammers are getting better with time, but it’s better to be cautious all the time and not trusting everyone you meet online than losing your possessions because of the scammers.
3. Not backing up your files
Most of today’s computer users have been in the following situation at least once: the computer is filled with important documents, then the system unexpectedly crashes, or the hard drive breaks down, and all of these important files disappear for good, which may include text documents, your favourite music and videos, family photos, and much more. But it doesn’t have to be like that: by buying and using an external hard drive and backing up your files regularly you will never lose any important documents again. As an alternative you can also use an online cloud solution for backing up the files.
Find 4 more mistakes on page 2
4. Shutting down the PC the wrong way
The only right way to turn off your computer is to close all open programs and shut the PC down using the Start button or by pressing Alt+F4. All other methods, including pressing the on/off button on the computer and unplugging the computer from the electricity are actually very harmful for your PC, especially for its hard drive – if you keep doing it, the hard drive can deteriorate and your essential documents will be under threat of disappearing. No matter how much in a hurry you are, there are always a couple of minutes you can spare on proper shutting down of your precious computer.
5. Not updating your operating system
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Windows or an Apple computer – both of these operating systems are set up to be regularly updated. Updates help the OS become better, faster, more up-to-date and more protected against various digital threats. Failing to update your computer can result in slower running of the operating system, constant freezing of the computer, and less protection against viruses and other malware. Don’t forget to update your PC regularly and most problems with the operating system can be avoided.
6. Clicking OK without reading first
A typical computer user downloads and installs various programs almost every day. While the installation of the software is usually a rather easy task, special attention must be paid to what you’re agreeing to. Many free programs will also install additional programs, toolbars and search engines for your browser, and other software you wouldn’t normally get. Being stuck with annoying software can be avoided by paying attention when you’re clicking Next or OK while installing the program, and aborting the installation once you notice something suspicious.
7. Using easy passwords
One of the most common mistakes for computer beginners is using the same password for every website they use – it makes it very easy for criminals and scammers to steal your data if they know a password to the websites you frequently use. Another common problem is using a password that is too easy, like “1234” or “password”. These passwords don’t give you any real protection and can be easily guessed, so it’s better to use something more complex.