1. Search beyond Internet Explorer. Consider switching your Internet browser to either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Both browsers bring internet content to you faster than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and they have features that make surfing easier and more intuitive like one-click bookmarking, spell-check and session restore.
2. Keep your head (and your files!) in the clouds. “Cloud computing” is the latest in technology buzz words. This term refers to the use of web services like Flickr or Google Docs that allow you to perform the functions that were traditionally done with software installed on an individual computer. Why use these sites? They allow you to access your files from home, work or even from your phone. You can also share photos and documents with family and colleagues without clogging up their email inboxes with numerous file attachments. Best of all, they provide a back-up for your most important files should your computer be infected by the notorious e-gremlins.
3. Share the love and the files. If you need to access your files from multiple computers (e.g. work and home) it’s time to investigate your file-sharing options. Dropbox is a widely-recognized service that allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically. Once you set up a free account, a Dropbox icon will appear on your desktop. Drag and drop files onto that icon. A copy of your files is stored on Dropbox’s secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device.
4. A safe computer is a happy computer. You no longer need to spend $40 on antivirus software. There are free options available with the same core protection features as their costly cousins. If you are a Windows user, you should use Avast Free Antivirus. Mac lovers can download iAntiVirus Free Edition. Both programs work to protect you from a wide range of viruses, malware, and cyber threats.
You might check out these library books to learn more: The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook or Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution. But, if this all sounds more foreign than familiar, we’d love to see you at one of the free computer classes offered at our three library locations!