Preparing your computers for Christmas

Tips & Hints

Posted 19 December 2004

With many people going away over Christmas, most computers will spend a good part of the next month turned off. Even though they are off, your systems are still at risk. There's a number of things you should do before leaving your computer on it's own over the break.

1. Backup
Before shutting down for the holidays backup all your important data. Your backup should include favourites, mail, address books and documents. Some programs, such as accounting systems, have their own backup routines.

Store the backups away from the computer, preferably offsite. We recommend making two copies, leave one onsite for easy access and store one elsewhere. If something terrible happens to your home or office while you are away, your data is at least safe.

2. Turn EVERYTHING off .
Printers, modems, routers, should all be turned off and disconnected from power and communications lines. Most modern computer equipment still has power running through it even though it is turned off. Power surges from storms are common, so donít take chances.

If your computer is connected to a network, telephone line or cable connection then these should all be disconnected as well. Power surges are common on communications cables. Everything that connects your computer to the outside world should be turned off and unplugged.

3. Hide your equipment
Give thieves as little temptation as possible. Don't leave computers in full view. Lock away anything portable and draw the curtains or blinds in the room where your computer is kept.

4. When you return
Your computer is the very last thing you should turn on. Make sure modems, printers, external drives and networks are all running before turning your computer on. If you have a cable Internet connection, give it a few minutes to connect before trying to log on.

5. Update your system.
Before checking emails or surfing the net, update your anti-virus and check for any system updates. Run Windows Update and your anti-virus programís update program. New nasties will have come out while you are away and there's a good chance some of them may be waiting in your inbox.

Christmas and New Year are times when you should relax. By backing up your systems and taking some precautions you can relax that all your computers and data are safe as well.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
©Technology Publishing Australia, 2011