Kim Komando: Try 5 easy computer-fix solutions
BY KIM KOMANDO
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 3:59 AM
A good number of computer users think the answer to the tech problems they encounter is to ignore the symptoms, upgrade to fancier software or buy a new computer.
Let me help. Here are five tips to keep your computer running fast, make you more productive and save you tons of frustration.
Work faster using keyboard shortcuts. The great thing about computers is that they can work much faster than you can. But telling them what to do is often a slow process. There's a fix for that.
Say you're ready to print a document. Instead of using the mouse to move a cursor around the screen and selecting "Print" from a drop-down menu, just hit Control+P on your keyboard.
There are dozens of keyboard shortcuts like this, from pressing Ctrl+S to instantly save the file you're working on, to pressing Ctrl+Z to undo a boo-boo.
Protect yourself from viruses and spyware. It's critical that you keep your security software current. New viruses are unleashed daily. If your software is out of date, you aren't protected. Malware can destabilize your computer, destroy files and steal personal information. Every computer you own should have an antivirus program, a firewall and an anti-spyware program.
Another huge threat right now is security holes in Java, a programming language used by Web browsers to run interactive content. When a vulnerable version of Java is active in a Web browser, visiting a compromised website is all it takes for crooks to sneak malware on to your computer. In most cases, you won't even know the site is compromised until it's too late. To stay safe, stop using Java - or stay on top of the upgrades and use Java a lot more guardedly.
Share large files the easy way. Sending large files through email is slow, can hit attachment size limits or fill up recipient inboxes. Fortunately, there are easier ways to share large files. These three popular sites will get the job done for you: Dropbox, WikiSend and Senduit.
Fix Wi-Fi problems. First, double-check that the Internet speed you're getting is as fast as what you are paying for. Try Speedtest.net.
Make sure your wireless network is encrypted. A sudden drop-off in wireless network speed could be a sign that your neighbors are using your open connection.
If parts of your home are Wi-Fi dead spots or get very weak signals, try placing the router in an open, central location - away from walls and obstructions.
You could also try the trusty beer-can hack. This involves cutting a beer or soda can open with a utility knife to make a parabolic antenna out of it ( tulsaworld.com/canantenna). This offbeat trick can boost your network by two bars or more.
Perform regular maintenance and make backups. Keep your software up to date. Updates fix bugs and improve the stability of your operating system and programs.
If you spend more than two minutes a day looking for files on your hard drive, it's time to organize your files and clear out old stuff. Freebies like PC Decrapifier and Ccleaner can help you. Keeping a block of free space on your hard drive will also give a speed boost to your operating system.
Original Print Headline: Try 5 easy computer fix solutions
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Listen to her show from 1-4 p.m. each Sunday on KRMG am740 or fm102.3. To receive her newsletters, go to tulsaworld.com/komandonewsletters.