Computer ‘Viruses’ of an entirely different sort

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Nope, this blog entry is not about what you were initially thinking. I am talking about actual viruses, or at least germs.
With all the mindless panic about H1N1 and various other bugs going on out there I figured it would be an opportune time to mention something that most computer users think very little about.

We all talk about computer viruses and take precautions to avoid them, such as anti-virus software. However, very few computer users give even a second thought to actual, physical, cleanliness of a computer.

Did you know that the average computer keyboard generally has more active germs on it than the toilet in a public bathroom? Seriously.

Now that you’ve finished remembering what the inside of that local pub bathroom looked like that you were in last night and retching, here’s a few things you can do to help keep the level of germs down on your computer.

Keyboard: Remember that lunch break you had at your desk where you dribbled mayonaise on your keyboard?
A few things to do to clean a keyboard are to use plain Isopropyl, aka Rubbing, Alcohol and some cotton swabs to clean the keys and crevices between the keys. You can also purchase Disinfectant Sprays that are safe to spray on keyboards. I would strongly recommend cleaning your keyboard no less than once a month.

I would also recommend using alcohol to wipe down personal electronics, such as cell phones an MP3 players regularly.

Office printers are also a heavily touched device, as such they are a common place for a lot of germ activity. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe down the keypad area of printers especially.

Dust: Not only will dust build-up inside your computer case potentially cause fan failure, which can lead to overheating and possibly fry your processor, it is also a major allergen. You should regularly use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust inside your computer.

ALWAYS turn off your computer and pull the power cord before blowing the dust from the inside of a computer.

Another thing you should do, which few people know about, is physically hold the fans inside your computer ‘still’ when you blow out the dust from them. Fan motors are made to spin in one direction only.
If you spray compressed air on a fan without holding the blades from moving you can actually cause the fan motor to burn out by forcing it to spin in the wrong direction.

It is also a good idea to regularly wipe down your monitor with approved screen cleaners to keep the level of dust down.

If, like me, you work in an office environment you know full well that everyone shares their seasonal sicknesses. So, these few basic steps might help keep you healthy so you can continue to work those 12-14 hour days.

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