Commonly asked Questions and Answers (Q&A)

In this edition, we thought we’d answer a few of the most common questions that we get asked on a fairly frequent basis.  We hope this will help to answer any questions YOU may have, and fill in any informational gaps.  Let’s get started!

Q:  I just got another virus! I have a free anti-virus program on my computer, so what’s up with that?

A:  Well… first of all, it’s good you have some protection on your computer.  Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foolproof, and free antivirus programs even less so.  What you need is a combination of a solid, reliable, frequently updated retail anti-virus program, active malware/spyware protection AND modified online behaviour.  It’s fairly easy to avoid the most common places that viruses lurk.  Places like illegal music or movie download sites, sites that promote illegal or questionable activities, and of course porn sites.  Stay away from places like these, and your chances of getting a virus will be greatly reduced!

Q:  It’s about to get warmer outside.  How do I keep my computer from overheating?

A:  Good question!  With a desktop computer, it's easy.  Just make sure there is adequate airflow around the machine at all times.  Keep the air vents free of dust and debris.  Ensure that the fan is operating correctly.  If you are still having heat issues, you can add another fan or two to most cases.  If you’ve had your computer over a year, have the thermal paste (which protects the processor) replaced.  We covered how to keep your laptop cool previously. 

Q:  I keep getting an error message when I start my computer.  Should I ignore it?

A:  Absolutely not.  If you are getting an error message, that’s your computer telling you something is wrong.  Even if it seems to run ok, something isn’t right “behind the scenes” and could lead to a more serious issue later.  The best thing to do is to copy down (or take a picture) the error message and then call Us.  We will be able to determine if it's something minor or if he needs to further diagnose the error.

Q:  I keep getting requests to update my Flash or Java.  Should I update them?

A:  Yes.  BUT, only update from the original websites, not from any provided links by a game or other application.  These could be illegitimate and harbour viruses and malware. . Just make sure you untick any optional extras like Mcafee and or toolbars. 

Q:  I keep getting weird emails with links/attachments.  Should I click/open them?

A:  No!  Never open an attachment or click on a link in an email unless you are 1000% sure you know and trust the source of the email.  Doing so otherwise could potentially expose your computer to anything from viruses to identity theft to hijacking of your machine!  Never open or click on them.  Ever.

Q:  My computer is running super slow.  How do I speed it up?

A:  There are a lot of factors that could cause your computer to slow down.  But usually, most computers performance can be noticeably improved by one or both of the following solutions:

The simplest and usually the one that gets the most visible results is a RAM upgrade.  RAM doesn’t actually “speed up” your computer.  What it does is let your computer do more things at once, so things get done faster. The other most common solution is getting your computer a tune-up. 

Q:  I see a lot of these online “PC Optimizers” advertised on tv.  Do they really work?

A:  Well… like anything advertised on tv, there are good ones, and there are bad ones.  Unfortunately, in this case, even the “good” ones barely do anything beneficial for your computer.  You’d be better off taking your computer to an actual local computer professional, where you’ll get the service & support you need.  On the flip side, the “bad” ones are REALLY bad.  They can load your computer with malware, give someone access to your computer, and upload personal information!  Not to mention, that by then they also have your credit card information!  Not a good situation at all.  Chips Computers recommendation is to PASS on online “PC Optimizers”.

Q:  Ok. You guys keep telling me that I need to backup my computer.  So how do I do that?

A:  Glad you asked!  Backing up your data is not nearly as difficult as people imagine it is.  The point of having a backup is redundancy. The chances of you losing your data in multiple locations is remote.  The easiest backup scenario is an external hard drive.  You can set up your computer (using a 3rd party application) to automatically backup your data at a specific time every day (or night) so you don’t even have to think about it, and some online backup systems like we offer at chips computers will automatically backup all your data without you lifting a finger,  There are other methods to fit all types of setups.  Talk to Us, We will help you figure out the best method for you!

If you have any other questions feel free to send us an e-mail (you can reply directly to this) or give us a call on 01246200214

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