Holiday Computer Madness

Every year for the last 7-8 years, I bring up a version of this tip to help save you time and money during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years visiting season. Please follow the advice. I can guarantee that it will save you and your computer lots of grief.

With all the traveling done during the holidays, family and friends will want to use your computer to check their email or play a game or two. Unlike the TV, a computer can be victimized, unintentionally, by all this attention. When everyone returns home, you may not recognize your computer or have problems with the way it runs.

If you like the way your computer is running now, set a few ground rules for the use of your computer (and please follow the same rules if you are the one doing the borrowing of a loved ones precious PC). In no particular order, here they are:

  1. Don’t add or subtract any programs from the computer without permission first.
  2. Don’t ‘fix’ anything unless asked by the owner.
  3. Don’t wander into the Control Panel and change display, sound, or other settings.
  4. Leave the desktop icons and wallpaper alone.
  5. If you set up an email account in Outlook, Outlook Express, etc. for checking during the holidays, remove the account and any email you downloaded before leaving for home.
  6. Respect the owner’s way of handling computing tasks. Although possibly different from yours, they are happy and comfortable with their methods.
  7. If you create any new documents, either print them and delete the files or copy them to a disk and delete them from the computer.
  8. Do not download free music or movies, ring tones, free games, screen savers, wallpaper or other computer freebies on your host’s computer.

Because constant monitoring of your guest’s Internet browsing is not possible. I highly recommend downloading and installing Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is an alternative browser that actually helps protect your computer from many of the spyware attacks so common in today’s Internet world. Read more about Firefox by clicking here for our Firefox tips.

If you are the one vacationing, remember that you can check your email from any computer in the world using just a normal web browser and any connection.  Check out our tip on how this is done by clicking here.