JTech Solutions Blog

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Best Practices

Power settings

Leave your computer powered on. By default, your windows updates and antivirus software are scheduled to scan and update at around 3am. This is done for several reasons.

  1. First, you want to have programs closed when they are being updated so they can update properly.
  2. If updates are happening in the background while you are using your computer, you would be likely that your computer performance would suffer, and you would experience a mush slower computer during those times.

As a “power savings” default, your computer is set to sleep after 20-30 minutes of inactivity, causing your computer miss the scheduled tasks at night. In most cases, it will try to resume those activities as soon as you turn it on to begin your work. Causing a considerable slowdown in computer performance. Here is a list of the critical events that need to happen on a regular basis, but are probably not happening (properly) due to the sleeping state of your computer.

  • Windows updates
    • By default, windows updates are set to occur at 3am, when you are least likely to be using your computer. This is why you should be sure to leave your computer on at night. This leaves the computer free to do what it needs to do, while you are away. Closing programs, or even rebooting if necessary.
  • Virus definitions
    • Another risk of a sleeping computer is that your virus definitions and scans are not happening while you are away. So they too will try to carry out their duty while you are on the machine, impacting computer performance even more.
  • Security Patch Installation
    • Security patches are released by 3rd party app/program developers to patch or eliminate a known vulnerability in to your computer.
    • In a lot of cases, a computer reboot needs to happen in order to complete the installation of security patches. By default, your computer will not initiate a system reboot on its own.


Antivirus software

  • Never install more than one antivirus solution on a computer.
    • When installing antivirus software, your current antivirus software will actually prevent parts of the new software from installing.
    • Each piece of antivirus software will cancel one another features out, trying to be the dominant security provider.
  • Free antivirus software in most cases does not offer live/real time protection.
  • Antivirus software purchased and downloaded online often comes bundled with additional software that will only slow down your computer. Be careful during the installation process.
  • Antivirus software is 50% of the battle. Viruses are now installed as programs on your computer, and can easily go undetected by any software you have. Meanwhile they silently collect your data and keystrokes, and send it to off-site servers, for the purpose of sales or hacking.


Tune ups

  • 3rd party programs, like Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Skype, Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, all of these need to updated independently of Windows Updates.
    • Having an outdated browser on your computer, even if you do not use it, still acts as a vulnerability in to your computer from intruders. You do not need to use a program in order for it to be a threat, it just needs to be installed on your computer.
    • Installations like Java and several others will not remove old versions during the installation of updates. Those need to be manually removed, and until they are, they pose as a vulnerability in to your computer by intruders, regardless of your use of them.
  • Hardware drivers
    • Hardware on your computer is often a widely overlooked vulnerability in to your computer by intruders.
    • Hardware developers are constantly on the move to patch weak points in their products, and push them out in the form of driver updates. In most cases, these are not bundled in with any updates that you would automatically received, and therefor you would need to address these manually as well.


Recommendations

  • Leave your computer on, always.
    • There is no harm in turning it off from time to time, and we advise regular reboots.
  • If you suspect a virus of any kind, contact a professional for further consultation.
  • Schedule 6 month tune ups. We can send you a reminder every six months if you like.
    • Cost is $30
  • We are partnered BitDefender to offer you top-class antivirus protection with **free unlimited virus removal.
    • Cost is $89/yr for up to 3 computers.
    • ** Free virus removal only valid within six months of last tune up.
  • The best practice is not to rid your computer of infections and performance problems, but to prevent them in the first place.
    • Under our care, we can predict most computer problems before they impact your day to day operations. We can take proactive measures to keep your data safe, and your computer running at it’s best.

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