Assuming a person sleeps at night, here are some automated tasks you should have your PC do to keep it safe and secure. In a perfect world you could do a virus scan at 1:00am, a backup at 2:00am and shut down the PC at 3:00am, all automatically.
1. Run a scheduled virus check
I like using different virus scanners for different machines to see how they work and what kind of report is provided. Here are some scanners I use and they all come in a free version. These can be found at MajorGeeks.com.
Make sure you review the report the next day to make sure everything looks good.
2. Back it up
Take the time in 2009 – to backup.
- Good old copy and paste works just fine if you don’t have a lot to backup. Copy directories to an external drive. External drives are coming pretty darn inexpensive now a days.Check out Buy.com for external hard drives. Western Digital is just one brand that you can find at office supply stores as well as Target and Walmart stores. If you have an 80GB hard drive on your laptop, Western Digital has 160GB USB hard drives that will do the trick.
- Windows software includes: GoodSync, Cobian Backup, SyncBack, AceBackup, Comodo
- Want to backup to the cloud (Internet)? You can backup stuff from your computer to another location, which is great because you not only get things backed up but they are also off-site (your home or office), that way if you have a fire you’ll be safe knowing your backups are not in the house or office where the fire was. Check out the following: Mozy, Jungle Disk, steekR
Again, review the report the next day to make sure everything is getting backed up that you think is getting backed up. Look for errors in the report as well.
3. Shut it down automatically
You can use the built in scheduler in Windows XP and Windows Vista to schedule your PC to shut down automagically.
There is a program on both operating systems called shutdown.exe located in the system32 folder. You can use the scheduler to run this program at any time you’d like.
To make the program shut down automatically setup a task in scheduled tasks and when it asks you what you want to run, browse to the shut.exe program.
To run the command shutdown.exe use the following prarameters:
C:\Windows\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 60 -c “Daily Shutdown” -f
C:\Windows\system32\shutdown.exe /s for Vista
A couple other guidelines to keep in mind:
- Use Windows Defender for Anti-Spyware support if you don’t have an Anti-Spyware solution for your Windows PC. This will keep you safe from bad websites.
- Don’t send your login ID and password over the Internet via email or any other way that you don’t absolutely trust. You might have a banking account but make sure you browse directly to that account and not by clicking a link in an email. Some emails look as authentic as a trusted source and they ask you to reset your account or some other way to get you to send your login id and password. This is called phishing.
That’s it for now. Let me know if you need any help setting up your PC security tasks. Leave a comment if you have questions or use the contact form. If you like this article subscribe to my blog for future articles on security.