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5 Guaranteed Ways to Mess Up Your Computer

Want to ruin your computer? Like really give yourself an unnecessary crisis that you’ll throw over to the tech-savviest member of your family? Then follow these simple instructions and watch your very expensive machine become a doorstop.

Ignore Software Updates

Just let those update notifications pile up. How important can they be?

Real Advice: Make sure you regularly update your software. It’s important to update your programs, it’s very important to update your operating system, and it’s critically important to install any security updates you receive. Here’s how you can keep your computer software well maintained.

Don’t Back Up Your Files

After all, what are the chances something bad might happen to your computer? And what are the chances you have anything important on there?

Real Advice: Back up your files regularly. In fact, it’s a good idea to have more than one backup method. Read more on backups here.

Install Every Toolbar You Come Across

Isn’t that nice? This website is offering a free browser toolbar. May as well install it, right? After all, it’s free.

Real Advice: Not only are additional toolbars unnecessary, many of them track your browsing, invade your privacy, and sometimes come with other hidden software. Don’t install random toolbars.

Reuse the Same Password All the Time

Remembering passwords is hard, there’s like a dozen or so things that need passwords anyway, and what are the chances that a password can get cracked anyway?

Real Advice: Use unique passwords for all your important accounts. Let’s say your email provider gets hacked. Do you really want the hackers to then be able to access your Amazon account, bank account, and who knows what else? You can always ask a Yahoo user what that feels like; it happened to them last year. And again this year. Here are some thoughts on what makes a good password.

Don’t Invest in Any Anti-Virus Software

Doesn’t your system come with anti-virus? And aren’t Macs immune to viruses? And aren’t viruses just something you have to worry about if you play a lot of games or download a lot of stuff?

Real Advice: Every computer is susceptible to viruses and every computer needs to be protected. Aside from viruses, there are Trojans, spyware, and ransomware to worry about. Protect yourself with some software ASAP.

Download Whatever You Want

Hey, there’s lots of free music, movies, programs, and video games out there. What’s the harm, right?

Real Advice: It is very easy to accidentally download malware. Or you may get some “foistware”, which is when software is downloaded to your computer without your knowledge and installs hidden programs onto your computer. To bad and illegal ends, of course. Be very, very careful about what you (and your kids) download.

The Bottom Line

Like any tool, your computer requires maintenance and care. Some simple software and hardware maintenance should keep things running properly, but it’s also important to be very careful about what you put on your machine. Be very discriminating when it comes to installing software, choosing downloads, and otherwise adding to your computer.