Computer safety tips

Computers are an integral part of many peoples lives, because computers allow us to do our work much more efficiently, entertain ourselves in many different ways as well as learn without having to go to school or university. But weather you are using your computer for work or play, it is crucial for you to know how to protect your computer and therefore all the information that you have on it from outside intrusions.

Install protective software

The first and probably the most important thing to have in order to effectively protect your computer from viruses, hacking and other security treats is to install protective software. Nowadays there are so many different antivirus and other protective programs, that you can download and use for free, and most of them are very efficient, too. But if you want something more sophisticated or you need computer security for your work computer systems, then you can buy computer safety software or even hire computer security companies to keep your data and your computer safe from intrusions.

Back up your files

Another way how you can keep your computer security high and make sure, that even if something happens to your computer, you still have all your important data and files, is to regularly back up your machine. Experts suggest to keep at least a couple of months of the newest data backed up on either special back up systems or even the cloud. This way you can be sure that all new information, that you have on your device, will have a copy and will be available to you even the original of the data is gone.

Have strong passwords

If you have been using a computer for quite some time or have any training in computer security, then this probably doesn’t need to be said, but since many people still use passwords that are way to simple, then I will say it again, make sure your passwords are strong and consist of letters, numbers and even some special characters like exclamation points and such. These types of passwords actually aren’t that hard to memorize, if you create them as acronyms or even if you just memorize the mental image of the password or the path of the password on your keyboard. So don’t put down something that is easy to crack, because a good password can make sure that your email and other accounts are securely protected.

Keep protective software up to date

And lastly I would advise you to keep your protective software up to date and either enable the automatic updates or check for updates manually on weekly bases. These updates usually contain the protective capabilities of the latest computer viruses and other security threats, so if your software won’t be up to date with them, it also won’t be able to protect your computer and your data from them. Make sure your computer’s security has no vulnerabilities, just like you would with h security system for your house or office.

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Types of Computers

Personal computers

Basing on construction, power, and usage, computers can be divided in several groups, but the most common type of computer is personal computer. Personal computer or so called PC is a computer that is meant for general and individual usage. It is used in many spheres of live for various works, for example, at home, in the office, in trading, etc. Range of works that can be done with a computer is very wide, starting with creating of simple text document and finishing with management of manufacturing process.

Personal computers can be divided in two groups – desktop computers and portable computers. Desktop computers are designed to be placed on the table or on the other suitable, stationary location. Desktop computers usually consist of several interconnected devices, and they are designed to operate indoors, for example, at home or in the office. Portable computers are mainly used by people who need to move and work on the computer, regardless of its location.

Examples of portable computers are tablets, notebooks / laptops, and personal digital assistants:

  • Tablets or, in other words, tablet personal computers usually have a touch screen. In order to keep the computer in your hand as a tablet, it has special programs for input and processing of handwriting and drawing. Tablets can be used in places where the usage of notebooks is inconvenient or they do not provide the necessary functionality. For example, tablets are easier to use if the data input has to be done while standing or walking. They can be used in education, health care, agriculture, etc. There are several types of tablets – booklet PC, slates, and convertibles. Booklet PC can be used for surfing in the Internet, as a digital planner, for e-book reading, for watching TV and videos, for music playback, etc. In the case of slates, data input is done by the screen, but convertibles have both the screen and the keyboard.
  • Notebooks or, in other words, laptops are lightweight, portable personal computers, which have a folding, flat display. All the notebook devices are integrated into a single corps, but it is also possible to connect the same external devices that are used for desktop computers.
  • Personal digital assistants are palm-sized computers for recording of personal information by using a special pencil. They can be used for recording of different notes or as a scheduler. Personal digital assistants are also small format programs for text processing and calculations. For information update personal digital assistants can be connected to desktop computers or notebooks as well.

Mainframe computers

For storing and processing of data large companies are using mainframe computers – special computers that are bigger and more powerful. Capacity of information, which can be stored in mainframe computers, can be several hundred or thousand times larger than the information capacity in personal computers. Usually mainframe computers accumulate, store, and process large databases, for example, registers of residents, hospital patients, and bank customers. Very big and powerful computers are known as supercomputers. Sometimes supercomputers are created by connecting many individual computers for solving of common problem.

Computer’s Influence on Health

There are a lot of researches about computer’s influence on humans health. Special attention is paid to such problems as visual impairments, overload of certain parts of locomotor apparatus, and different psychological problems. Results of these researches show that the first complaints about health problems may occur as early as a few months after a person has begun to work on the computer. Serious illnesses, including occupational diseases, are usually detected after five or more years.

When working with the computer, the most part of working day is spent sitting. In such position the body reduces the energy consumption, the blood flow slows down, the back muscles relax, and the curvature of lower back reduces, forming so called flat back. As a result, the pressure on the intervertebral discs increases, causing back pain. In order to hold the body in a sitting position, musculature must be kept in tense position (the so called static load).

Muscles can withstand such static load only if it is small. In the case of static load, muscles, tendons, nerves, and joints are not sufficiently supplied with blood, causing metabolic disorders, pain, fatigue, tension, and other complaints (RSI – repetitive strain injuries). Static load affects arm muscles as well, for example, work with computer mouse causes enhanced fatigue, sharp and burning pain, and numbness in hands. These complaints are common in cases when computer users are working with different graphic programs and are using the mouse for more than 10 hours a week.

Work with the keyboard is connected with active movements in joints of wrists and fingers. The long term working and making of repeated and frequent movements can cause thickening of muscle tendons in the area of wrist joints. This thickening compresses nearby nerves and blood vessels, causing so called Carpal tunnel syndrome. The main complaints of this syndrome are weakness in the hands and wrists, numbness of fingers, and decrease of finger sensitivity. Pain and tingling appear mainly at night and disappear after a short period of moving.

One of the most typical compaints of computer users is visual discomfort, which is felt as irritation and tearing. Eyes quickly get tired, hurt, and often are red. Sometimes visual acuity can change as well. These complaints usually occur at the end of the working day. Normally people blink eyes up to 22 times per minute, but during working with the computer – about 3 times less frequently. As a result, eyeballs are not sufficiently moistened. This condition is known as dry eye syndrome. In the case of dry eye syndrome people complain about eye tearing, which is reflex response to irritation. Eye tearing is more characteristic for young people, but in this case tears are deficient. If dry eye syndrome is left untreated, defences against other eye diseases also lower, for example, against allergic or infectious inflammations.

Human vision physiologically changes with age. For humans after 40 years of age elasticity of eye lenses decreases, therefore they cannot clearly see objects that are placed closer than 30 – 40 cm. This is presbyopia. Visual load from the work with the computer encourages the early development of presbyopia. Vision is negatively affected by the other conditions where people have to greatly strain their eyes in order to see the image on the monitor. Some of these conditions can be prevented by people themselves, for example, by wiping the dust from the monitor, adjusting the monitor so that it does not glare, etc.

What to Do if Child’s Best Friend is Computer?

Kids love to entertain themselves on the computer – it excites them and drags away them to a completely different world and environment. Unfortunately, this passion is addictive and can cause big psychological and physical problems both for the child itself and for its relatives.

For children the usage of computer and social networks becomes addictive when it becomes the main entertainment of life, when their friends get lost, and they communicate much less in the reality. The computer starts to replace the eating and other forms of entertainment. The addiction can develop in the case of child’s loneliness, when it lacks an attention of its parents and friends. This situation is advantageous for parents because their child finds its own activities and entertainments, so its parents have more free time. The addiction may also develop because of getting in the company, where the computer is very important. In this case the feeling of loneliness and gregarious instinct are two main aspects why does a child dot submit to the addiction.

If parents do not pay attention to this problem timely, the consequences may be dramatic. It is like with any addiction. A child does not go to school, do not learn, do not meet its friends, lagging behind in its development. If the addiction is not prevented timely, a child can develop an aggressive behaviour against all the other people. Good relationships with friends, classmates, and parents may collapse. In the worst case, a child may end up in teenagers prison.

Parents are those who can uproot child’s desire to spend all day at the computer. It should be done as soon as the problem is detected. There should be strict boundaries, for example, to allow your child to spend only 20 minutes at the computer. Parents need to set their own rules and stick to them. At first children usually protest, but afterwards they accept and follow the rules.

In the case where it is impossible to distract a child from the computer, and parents cannot cope with this situation, it is necessary to visit psychologists that are treating different addictions because they will be able to provide the necessary guidance and advices. It is important to offer your child other ways of interacting where it can get new acquaintances and new friends. Summer camps are usually very effective because they can distract a child from the virtual environment.

How to Take Care of Your Computer?

Monitor, keyboard, mouse – the dust can accumulate everywhere. It sometimes causes unpleasant moments because it seems that we cannot get them completely clean. How to clean your computer correctly, not damaging it? How to clean all the dust and what cleaning products to use?

Computer has to regularly be cleaned of dust and other dirt, which are accumulated on its corps. If your computer is full of dust, it not only looks bad, but also causes harm to the quality of its work. When the dirt has accumulated, activity of fan in your computer gets slower, and the computer has difficulties with cooling, so it heats up faster. Because of excess heat the entire internal system of computer may burn. In order to protect your computer and avoid unnecessary and large financial loss, pay more attention to the cleaning of your computer, trying to do it more often.

How to clean your computer?

Before you start the big cleaning, do not forget to disconnect the computer from the electrical system. Experts recommend to keep your computer disconnected from the electricity for about an hour and only then start the cleaning, as there is a possibility that the computer has accumulated an electricity. Computers certainly must be cleaned with cleaning products that are meant for this purpose. These products can be bought at any computer or electronics store, where you can also get the seller’s advice and guidance what and how to use in order to avoid computer damages.

At first, you have to thoroughly clean the dust from the computer’s corps and carefully clean the keyboard, which usually seems the most difficult task. Dirt from your fingers collects on the keyboard, but all kinds of debris can fall between the keys. Also the dust collects between the keys. In order to perform a quick cleaning of keyboard, it is sufficient to invert the keyboard upside down and blow out it with compressed air. You can clean the keys with some cleaning agent that is meant for plastic cleaning. Thorough cleaning is possible only then, when the plastic surfaces of keys are removed. For most keyboards it can be done by pulling the edge of the key. But before doing so, remember the right order of them because you will have to put them back. There are also keyboards where after the removal of key surface the spring pops up, which should not be lost. When all the keys are removed, the keyboard has to be cleaned with a cloth that is saturated with a cleaning agent. If the dirt is sticky, the cleaning can also be done with water, but before the keyboard is added back, make sure that it is completely dry. Keyboards of laptops have to be cleaned even more carefully, as under the keyboard the computer’s “brain” is located. Cleaning laptops, never use something that is too moist.

The monitor should be cleaned with a cloth of soft structure, which cannot scratch the screen, or with special cleaning wipes. In no case clean it with tissue paper because its fiber can easily scratch the screen. Remember that nothing should be sprayed directly on the screen, but if you need a cleaner – spray it on the cloth and then clean the monitor. The cleaning must be performed gently, not putting the pressure on the screen. Be careful to not to touch the screen with your fingernails, especially if you are cleaning the LCD monitor.

For fan cleaning better ask for the help of specialist, or at least turn to the specialist for its advice how to do it correctly. The fun cleaning should be done at least once in a year, but if you feel that its function decreases, clean it every six months.

Also the mouse should be cleaned every few months. If it has a rotating ball, it should be cleaned with a cloth both by and against the clockwise. These balls are also removable, so by removing it you will be able to clean it better. If your mouse does not have a rotating ball, carefully clean its bottom of the dirt. Mouse surface can be cleaned with special wipes.

If you will clean your computer timely and properly, it will definitely last for a longer period of time and will also look better.

Ergonomics Working with Computer

Learning basing principles of ergonomics – a science about providing of suitable work conditions and readjustment of work place for worker’s individual characteristics and abilities – it is possible to significantly reduce health problems. Taking into account these basic principles, prevent these inconveniences in your work place and work healthy!

1. Correct posture and back support

Perhaps it sounds tedious, but remember what your parents taught you: do not walk and do not sit with slouched back! If the back is bent, also the lower back is encumbered – these muscles are overstrained, tired, and they start to hurt and cause discomfort.

The head must be kept straight over the shoulders, the back should be straight, and it must be supported against the chair back (ideally if the curvature of lower spine is also supported against the chair back), knees must be slightly higher than the hips, but feet have to be based on the floor. A posture like this gives support for the spine. The pressure is put on the part of spine, which is meant for carrying of weight, therefore the vertebral discs, which can withstand the pressure for a short period of time, are not injured. If there is too much load on the vertebral discs, their liquid is squeezed out, and they become brittle, dramatically accelerating disruption of spine vertebrae.

Since every person has different body proportions, the more are opportunities to adapt the chair, the better, especially thinking about the length of human body and the position of its spine curvature. For people, who have short legs, footrests are very useful.

Experts believe that an opportunity to stop working every 20 – 30 minutes for about 5 minutes in order to take a walk is as important as the correct posture in the chair. Movements accelerate the circulation of blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, which have kept the body in the same position during working hours.

2. Keep your head, neck, and shoulders straight; eyes must be directed towards appropriate direction.

One of the most common mistakes, which computer users make, is that the body is not positioned at the right height and distance in relation to the computer. An objective is to easily work with the keyboard without bending and lifting your head.

Ideally if the chin is positioned around the centre of screen, and the screen is positioned 40 to 46 centimetres away from your eyes. This is a distance where the majority of people see well enough what is written on the screen without leaning forwards.

Leaning forwards or backwards puts pressure on discs of neck vertebrae. These discs, like discs of lower back, are the most vulnerable, as they are not protected by the ribs. Finding the appropriate distance from the screen and reducing its brightness also help to preserve eye muscles. There are no evidences that the usage of computer impairs the vision, but work with computer can fatigue eye muscles, cause irritation, and dryness in the eyes.

Reading materials should be placed in the holder next to the computer screen because constant head turning by more than 6 degrees in both directions fatigues musculature of neck and shoulders.

Another reason why do neck and shoulder muscles are strained is a phone. Avoid talking on the phone, holding it between the ear and the shoulder, as it strains the neck, causing pain of neck muscles and headache. Working at the computer it is better to use the phone with headset and microphone, rather than hand-held handset.

3. Keep your elbows along the sides, arms and wrists – straight

A neutral posture, where the arms and wrists, working with the keyboard, have the smallest load, is a posture, where the shoulders are relaxed, elbows are comfortably placed along the sides, and wrists are forming a straight line.

Wrists and fingers should be comfortably placed on the keyboard table so that wrists and fingers are not stretched, encumbering the musculature of wrists. The carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful nerve disease, which encumbers a grip, is the most serious consequences, which may be caused by prolonged physical load of fingers, wrists, and arms. The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is fatigue, numbness, or tingling in the fingers.

Experts believe that these problems can be prevented by the correct position of wrist pads, chair handles, and mouse. Also ergonomic keyboards and mouses can help to prevent these problems.

Computer and Vision

Human’s vision is not suitable for long lasting looking at the computer’s monitor. It can cause eye pain, blurred vision, and even headache. Among computer users complaints about eyes surpass complaints about pain in the wrist joints. Different researches show that approximately 70% of computer users suffer from vision impairment that is known as CVS or, in other words, Computer Vision Syndrome.

Overwork of Eye muscles

The most common symptoms of CVS are burning sensation in the eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. There may also be symptoms like tension and dryness in the eyes, slowed focus of image, discomfort during usage of contact lenses as well as pain of neck and back.

The cause of CVS is an excessive load and stress to your eyes. Closely looking at the monitor, muscle of vision focus is strained, and like any other muscle, also eye muscles hurt when they are overstrained. Because of long lasting looking at close objects, there may develop a condition that is known as spasm of accommodation. Consequences of this condition are impaired focus of image or even temporary myopia, which can last from few seconds to several hours.

Overwork of eye muscles may lead to such complaints of computer users as blurred vision after work or during driving a car. While such complaints may also be caused by reading and working with documents in the office, experts are sure that the computer monitor causes more harm to eyes.

When looking in the monitor, vision is more strained

The monitor causes greater effort of vision because the letters on the screen are not so clearly visible as they are on the paper. To make sure, look at the screen through the magnifying glass – the letter consists of pin-sized light flickering, and it does not have clear boundaries. Laptops with LCD screens are better for eyes because their image is sharper and thus clearer.

Researches show that dry burning sensation in the eyes is caused by the fact that, sitting at the computer, eyes are being blinked for about two-thirds less often than usually (usually eyes are being blinked for 21-22 times per minute, but when working with a computer – about 7 times per minute). In particular, it relates to users of contact lenses, therefore doctors recommend the use of natural tears, which are available at the pharmacy or optician’s shop.

The majority of doctors believe that too intensive work at the computer can cause only temporary eye ailments, for example, aching eyes, but some doctors believe that computer users are subject to more serious consequences as well, for example, to myopia. Although there are no clear evidences that computers form some changes in lenses or eye muscles, doctors warn that those, who have myopia in the family, have to be careful with the usage of computers.

Where to put the monitor?

CVS can also be caused by other reasons, for example, by the usage of inappropriate eye glasses or by wrong location of computer. People with inappropriate glasses are looking at the screen at the wrong angle. For example, users of bifocals often turn their head so that they can look at the screen through the lower edge of glasses, while myopic bend forwards, causing pain of neck, back, and shoulders muscles. The same is caused by the screen that is positioned too high or too low. The monitor should be placed at eye level, at arm’s length (about 80 cm).


  • Blink your eyes, as blinking protects your eyes from drying out;
  • Rest your eyes – draw away from the screen and look around or look out of the window; close your eyes time by time; it is not recommended to work with a computer without a break longer than 2 hours; make sure, that a break is at least 5 – 10 minutes long.
  • Place the monitor so that the light does not shine directly on the screen; if it is not possible, then cover it with a screen hood or some screen filter;
  • If possible, use a larger monitor;
  • The screen should be with dark letters and light background;
  • The screen should be placed no less than 80 cm from the eyes;
  • It is important to do a regular vision inspection; if you feel that your eyes hurt, dry, or blur, or your head aches, go to your eye doctor to prevent these symptoms.

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a program, which arbitrarily joins to other computer programs and during their action performs a variety of undesired actions: damages data, catalogues, computational results, deletes or pollutes a memory, and interferes computer’s performance in many other ways. Computer viruses usually multiply themselves by infecting disc data or system areas. If there is no anti-virus software in the computer, you can detect virus only then, when they have started an active performance.

A computer virus is a program, which spreads from one computer to other and interferes their performance. Computer viruses are often spread with attachments of e-mails, therefore never open an attachment if you do not know the sender or you do not wait for any attachment. Viruses may be hidden like attachments as funny pictures, greeting cards, audio files, or video files. Viruses also spread, downloading different files from the Internet – they may be hidden in some piracy software or in other files or programs, which you are downloading.

Computer viruses act similarly as biological viruses – they can be in the computer for long time without any evidence. Different viruses are activated differently, for example, there is a virus, which usually is activated, when 13th date falls on Friday. Also their expressions are different – there are viruses, which are pretty harmless, but there are also viruses, which can destroy all the data.

Signs, which distinguish viruses from programs:

  • Viruses are activated without user’s permission and are performing actions of programmer, not user;
  • They have ability to infect or change files or structure of discs;
  • By multiplying themselves they can spread to other files and systems;
  • Viruses are made by using the same programming languages, which are made by macros of such applications as Assembler, C, Visual Basic, Java, and others.

What is a Worm?

A worm is a computer code, which spreads without user’s knowledge. Worms are usually obtained with e-mail attachments – when they are opened, the computer is infected. Worms search for files, which contain e-mail addresses, for example, address books or temporary sites. Worms use these addresses to send infected e-mail messages and often imitate addresses of e-mail senders (pretending to be other sender), therefore it often seems that infected messages are known person’s messages. Then worms spread, using vulnerability of e-mail messages, networks, or operating systems, often taking over the system before the cause of problem is known. Worms not only harm computers, but also cause operational and stability problems of computer and network.

What is a Trojan Horse?

A Trojan horse is a malicious program, which hides in other programs. It gets in the computer, hiding in some legal program, for example, in some screensaver. Then it enters the code of operational system, providing hackers an access to the infected computer. Trojan horses usually do not spread themselves – they are spread by computer viruses, worms and downloaded software.