- Constantly save your work!
- Properly remove USB flash drives to avoid damage. Before removing double-click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the lower right corner your screen. When the window opens, click on the flash drive icon and then click the stop button. Wait for the OK-to-remove message.
- Protect your CDs and DVDs from damage. Store and carry them in plastic cases to protect them from scratches, grit, and contaminants that could make it impossible to successfully access your files.
- For PC users, if you use Windows XP, Vista, or 7, keep the System Restore feature turned on so that you will be able to return to an earlier restore point if a program stops working properly.
- Keep your operating systems and web browsers patched with the latest security fixes by downloading critical updates for your computer from the appropriate websites (i.e., Microsoft Windows Updates). Also, be sure your antivirus and antispyware software definitions are updated at least weekly.
- Don’t click on unexpected advertising pop-up windows. Instead, close it by pressing Alt+F4 on your PC keyboard (i.e., hold down the Alt key and tap the F4 key once) or Command+W on your Mac keyboard (i.e., hold down the Command key and tap the W key once) to make the pop-up disappear. Clicking anywhere on such a window may trigger installation of unwanted software on your computer.
- Don’t open e-mail attachments just because the subject looks official or intriguing. Watch out for “phishing” messages that try to steal your bank account numbers or passwords by directing you to genuine-appearing, but bogus, websites where you are asked to enter such information.
- Want to download music? Try the online music services such as Apple iTunes, Napster, and Musicmatch that let you legally stream or download and burn CDs for modest fees.