9 Ways to Show Your Computer You Care

Forrrrrr optimal kyboard prforrrrrmanc, you must kp the kys clan.

If you can’t understand the above sentence, it’s not you. It’s me. I neglected to keep my keyboard clean and that resulted in the “e” and “r” keys not functioning. But, you know, I’m just kidding. (That’s why I can write these sentences.) It was all to make a point.  In all seriousness, there are things you can do and not do to care for your keyboard, computer, and mouse (plural “mice?”) to keep them running smoothly.

1. Clean Your Computer Properly

Clean your laptop and desktop, keyboard, mouse ports, and all crevices with a damp, lint-free cloth, and use a compressed air canister for the hard-to-reach areas. Dust your monitor with a microfiber cloth, using an LCD screen cleaner for tougher stains. Don’t spray water nor glass cleaners with ammonia directly onto any of your computer parts. Avoid sipping and slurping while you type (as I sip and slurp.) But seriously, know this: volumes of liquid can indeed penetrate the device’s casing and ruin the internal components. A spill can kill a keyboard.  

2. Organize Your Computer Wires

If you have an active home office, you may have a mess of cords, power strips, and random accessories on the floor and/or tucked somewhere on your desk amidst some hard-to-reach dust. This jumbled ball of wires is unsightly and may even present an electrocution risk. Depending on how loaded-up your power strips and outlets are, you could also be vulnerable to a fire hazard. To fix this issue, unplug, detangle, and reorient cords into one or two power strips. I like this one from Amazon.  Then, use twist-ties or cable organizers ($6 to $14, depending on the type) to hold everything together. 

3. Preserve Your Computer’s Battery Life

When possible, charge your laptop only when the battery gets below 20%. Never keep your portable device plugged in for a prolonged time, for doing so will not only increase your energy bills but will also harm your device’s battery. Unnecessary charging retards batteries’ regenerative capabilities, reducing their ability to hold a charge.

4. Keep Vents Clear

Like people, desktops and laptops need to breathe. (Your cue to take a deep breath.) In order to function properly, the insides of the units must remain cool. If you have a desktop, keep the tower clear of any obstructions, like cabinets or walls. Laptops are best off on a workspace clear from clutter that obstructs airflow. And, just like us, computers do their best at reasonable temperatures.

5. Beware of Fatal Attraction

Your hard drive is incredibly sensitive to magnetic fields of any strength, so keep your home office and devices away from all types of magnets.

6. Don’t Be Open to the Public

Even if you are frantic for WiFi, be wary of unfamiliar, unsecured WiFi networks. Without basic network security, your computer is vulnerable to a cyber-criminal who can send a malware package your way. When in doubt, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your connection and repel attacks. A VPN can easily help protect you against all the hazards that can try to reach your precious data.

7. Protect Your Screen

Use a screen protector to resist scratches on your desktop and laptop, such as this one for the laptop from Amazon.

8. Shut Down Properly Every Night

Shutting down your computer and laptop at the end of the day will prolong the lives of these machines by months, even years!  But before you do, know this: How you shut down your computer matters. It is much better to close it by using the operating system’s shutdown button than by “cold booting” (holding the power button until the system shuts itself off.) Use the latter method for emergencies only because it stresses the hardware and software.

9. Purchase a Warranty

Another way computers are similar to humans is that computers get sick. When you or someone you love isn’t feeling well, you usually run to a pharmacy or doctor to get the proper care. Since our desk and laptops have become as close (in some cases, closer) as relatives,  it makes sense to have a healthcare provider for them as well. Enter CYA. Cover Your Assets, the extended warranty company that provides white-glove care for a variety of your belongings. CYA has monthly coverage, cancellable at any time, and a call center to set up the right service for a broken item with an authorized repair person using only original parts. Plus, they’ll even contact you later to make sure all is in great working condition! Click here for more information on how to get your precious valuables covered under an extended warranty.

Who We Are

Cover Your Assets (CYA) is a leader and disruptive innovator in the field of service plans. The company offers extended warranty coverage for virtually all types of consumer purchases ranging from high-end consumer electronics to computers, major appliances, power tools, lawn & garden equipment, and much more. All plans are backed by an A.M. Best Rating of “A-” (Excellent) Insurance carrier. Learn more about CYA by visiting www.cya.insure.

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