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How To Take Care Of Your Laptop Computer

As the proud owner of a laptop computer, you'll want to keep your machine in the best possible condition.

Aside from cleaning your screen and dusting the keyboard, however, you'll need to take a few extra steps to maintain your laptop's health:

-- Play it cool

A laptop computer generates a lot of heat, especially when running the latest high-powered software. Too much heat and you risk damaging the internal circuitry.

Always try to keep your laptop in a well-ventilated, cool environment. And ensure you don't block the fan grills on the sides, back, or bottom of the machine at any time.

-- Handle the screen carefully

Avoid touching or playing with your LCD screen.

Yes, it might be fun to watch the waves generated by your finger against the screen, but LCD displays are fragile devices that must be cared for.

Take care when cleaning the screen too, and use only approved cleaning materials.

You won't want to pay the money for screen repairs or, even worse - a new machine entirely.

-- Don't drop it

Whatever you do, don't drop your laptop computer! Keep it safe inside of a carrying case when moving around or traveling.

Don't leave it on the edge of a table or on an unstable support of some kind. One ill fated drop to the floor could spell death for your mobile office.

Try to make sure the rubber feet underneath are in good condition and are still attached. This will prevent the device from sliding around accidentally.

-- Be careful with those drinks...

If you need to have a drink while working or playing, be careful not to spill it.

Your laptop computer could suffer the consequences from just a few drops of liquid poured in the right places.

While you probably do eat and drink around it regardless, you will want to occasionally wipe down the edges, the keyboard, the touchpad, and maybe even wipe down the screen to keep any dirt from accumulating.

-- Just say no to viruses

Security wise, make sure you obtain an anti-virus program.

Secondly, keep it updated!

Buying an anti-virus one month and not updating it for the next six really negates it purpose. Your laptop computer could be exposed to hundreds and thousands of new viruses every month if you don't update your virus definitions.

Most anti-virus programs have automatic update methods, eliminating the need for you to have to remember to do it manually.

-- Avoid Popups

Pop-ups are particularly annoying on a laptop computer. Trying to close a bunch of windows without a regular mouse can be a nuisance.

You'll want a pop-up blocker, such as the Google Toolbar (located at, to prevent these pop- up ads.

Many intrusive forms of advertising, and even some viruses, can install software on your machine by using various forms of pop-ups. It's best to get yourself a blocker and avoid the situation entirely.

-- Use a firewall

Always utilize a firewall on your Internet or network- enabled laptop computer. Even if you use Windows XP's built- in firewall (or purchase one from such companies as Norton), your security will greatly benefit from it.

Blocking out all the unnecessary ports and closing all the loopholes will prevent a hacker or virus from freely entering your hard drive.

So there you go. Combine all of the above tactics and help your laptop enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle!

About The Author

Joe Chianese is a technical writer and frequent contributor to For advice on how to find the right laptop computer for you, visit our website.

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