Spring Cleaning for Your Computer

Imagine an object in your house that gets touched by the germy hands of every member of the family; that's sneezed and coughed on, covered in crumbs, and occasionally doused in coffee. It's your computer—and it might just be one of the grubbiest things you own. And then there's the matter of what's actually stored on your computer. Over time, your desktop can get cluttered, your files can fall into disarray, and before you know it, your computer needs a spring cleaning inside and out.

Let's start with the outside. Get some screen cleaning and a special screen-cleaning cloth that won't leave streaks or lint behind. If you have a separate keyboard, turn it over and give it a good shake. A few puffs with a can of compressed air can't hurt, either. Be careful about caked-on food or spills—you can't just use water to dissolve the muck. A cotton swab with rubbing alcohol will remove the crusties, and is precise enough that you don't have to worry about getting liquids in your electronics.

The internal cleanup will involve several steps. The easy (if time-consuming) part is identifying and disposing of old or duplicate files. Put them in the trash folder and then empty the folder. If you're not ready to take that dramatic a step, put all your junk files into a single folder so they're at least in one place. If you have Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security, you can use the Secure Erase feature to securely shred computer files with sensitive information.

Next, run a defragmenting or disk cleanup program. Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security's System Tuner can help you recover disk space and optimize your computer performance. Dump your old temp files, and while you're at it, go into your Web browser and clean out your cache.

Now it's time to perform any software updates you've been putting off (including your antivirus subscription, if it doesn't update automatically). This is a good time to change any passwords that you haven't changed in a while, too. Frequent changes to passwords are one of the best ways you can defend your accounts against intrusion.

With your computer cleaned inside and out, you're ready for another season of online activities—without all the clutter. And if you don't have time for a complete spring cleaning, you can always use our free clean-up tools to scan your computer for any unseen infections or suspicious activities that may be lurking inside.

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