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Three steps to better PC maintenance

(ARA) – Have you tested your IT IQ lately? While technology is a critical part of your daily life, many people think they know more than they actually do when it comes to performing routine maintenance on high-tech devices such as computers, laptops and tablets.

Most people claim to be comfortable with performing their own maintenance on computers, but the reality is that they fail to effectively perform or even have the knowledge to perform routine maintenance, according to the Staples IT IQ Survey conducted by Zogby International. For many, computer maintenance is just too scary, confusing or not a priority, but here are a few guidelines to keep your computer up and running.

  1. Back up your data – More than 60 percent of respondents backed up their computers less than once a week and a third did it once a year or never. If you’re not backing up and protecting your important files and applications, you may consider using a USB flash drive or external hard drive to back up your materials.
  2. Run spyware scans and virus checks regularly – One common misconception is that people falsely presume their computers are well-protected from the viruses, spyware, and other malware that put personal information at risk and decrease performance. Eighty-three percent of the survey respondents stated they are somewhat or very confident their computer is free of malware, but that is not necessarily the case. To protect your computer, run virus checks regularly to keep your antivirus software up-to-date or for more assistance talk to a certified Staples EasyTech associate.
  3. Remove unnecessary programs from your start-up routine – When you turn on your computer, does it take awhile before you can actually do anything? That’s because you have a number of programs that are automatically loaded every time you start up. This slows your computer’s response time and takes up a lot of memory. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents knew the best fix for a slow computer is to stop programs from running during the computer’s start-up.

If you don’t have the time or patience to perform these routine checks, consider having an expert do it for you. For example, Staples EasyTech associates are highly trained and able to assist customers with a wide range of technology services that include basic setups of new PC’s, software and hardware installations, as well as more advanced PC diagnostics and repair. To learn more, visit a Staples store or