10 Computer Tips for PC Users
Save a lot of time on the long run and make your computer use more efficient and enjoyable!
- Make your life easier.
- Increase your productivity.
- Make your internet environment safer.
- Backup and synchronize your data.
This advice is going to involve some Google applications for the simple reason that Google is committed to making internet use easier and faster.
Use Gmail as your preferred email.
- Seamless integration with smartphones and pads.
- You can install Gmail offline locally on your computer. That way you have a copy on your computer and a backup in the cloud (on Google's servers).
- You can receive all your old email accounts in this Gmail account.
- Gmail will open just about any attachment that is sent to you. No need to have the original program.
- For many services (Picasa, Google Calendar etc.) you need a Google account. Use your Gmail account to access all the other Google services.
Use Google Chrome as your preferred browser. Log in with a Gmail account and you will be able to synchronize your bookmarks if you are using more than one computer. When you buy a new computer you just log in with your Gmail account and synchronize and Google Chrome will be the same as before.
- Faster and safer web surfing.
- Automatic updates.
- Synchronizes easily with your smartphone and other devices.
- You can set up alerts, appointments, birthdays etc.
- You can schedule recurring events (like bills and birthdays) once and they will forever automatically reappear.
I strongly recommend cloud backups. If you make a backup of your work on an extrenal drive or other storage medium, what will happen if there is a theft, a fire or a flood? If your backup sits next to your computer then you may lose it together with the original. A cloud backup solution such as Dropbox will give you a safe alternative.
Download Dropbox and set up a folder where you store your documents (up to 3 GB free). Whenever you are online it will synchronize automatically with the cloud and also with other computers that you have installed Dropbox on. Great for automatic backup, travel, working on multiple computers. Get someone else to download Dropbox and you (and your friend) get 500MB free extra, up to a maximum of 16GB.
Download Picasa or Flickr and let it find all the pictures on your computer and then you can upload them to the Picasa website. This is a good way to back up your photos and share them with others. You can set who can view your photos. Picasa works with your Gmail account. Flickr needs a Yahoo account.
Picasa gives 1 GB free. Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage!
With a Flickr account, you can upload 2 videos and 300MB worth of photos each calendar month for free.
Use File Shredder to make files unrecoverable. Deleting alone is not enough. Right-click on a file or folder and choose "File Shredder" and then "Secure delete files". When you get rid of your computer, File Shredder can go through the unused space of drives and make all (regularly) deleted files unrecoverable.
Microsoft Security Essentials is Microsoft's free anti-virus program. It works as well or better than any other free anti-virus program and it is seamlessly integrated in the Window experience. It does not slow your computer down like the paid anti-virus programs do.
Voice over internet (VOIP) telephone calls and video conferencing. Call free to other Skype users and cheap to telephone lines.
To protect your sensitive data you need an encryption program. It will create a virtual disk space on your drive where you can store files and folders so they can only be accessed with a password.