You Can Get More Out of Your Older Computer – Here’s How

By George Otte

Is your older computer showing its age? Before disposing of it and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a newer model, consider whether your workflow and budget might be better served by keeping it running.

With proper care and maintenance, your computer can outlast its life expectancy by a considerable margin. Start with these straightforward strategies, and do not hesitate to turn to a computer maintenance expert for guidance if you run into any unexpected issues.

Periodically Delete Unwanted Files and Programs

Regular system maintenance includes periodic deletion of unwanted or unnecessary files and programs. This requires an unsentimental, unsparing approach to your system’s contents: Like an old attic, basement, or storage unit, your computer most likely has a significant store of files and programs that you no longer need (or never really needed). Deleting those unnecessary files and programs frees up space and may increase processing speed and performance.

Keep Your Operating Systems and Key Software Up to Date

The latest versions of your operating system platform and key software programs not only contain useful, user-friendly features.


“They may also contain “patches” that address known vulnerabilities, boosting system security.” — George Otte


Un-patched operating systems can be exploited by attackers, with potentially negative consequences.

Use a Reputable Anti-Malware Program and Make Regular Scans

Another way to protect your older computer against malicious attack is to use a reputable, regularly updated anti-malware suite capable of defending against a host of threats. Choose a system that identifies and removes unwanted programs that you may not even be aware of, such as spyware and other forms of grayware.

Use Cloud-Based Storage and External Drives to Reduce the Load on Your System

For a variety of reasons, older computers are more vulnerable to data loss than fresh-out-of-the-box devices. The surest way to protect against unexpected and potentially disruptive data loss is to regularly back up your system’s files to an external location, ideally a secure cloud storage platform and an external hard drive used in conjunction.

Add More RAM

If you wish to extend your computer’s operating life significantly while noticeably improving performance, installing more RAM may be a cost-effective alternative to replacing the device altogether. Speak with a computer expert about the proper amount of RAM to add and the pros and cons of doing so.

Keep Your Computer Clean and Dust-Free

Keeping your computer’s physical casing clean, cool, and well-ventilated may extend its life and improve its performance. Be particularly mindful of excessive dust near fans and ports, as foreign particles may interfere with normal performance.

Protect Data With an Uninterruptible Power Supply and Power Surge Protector

Even if you consistently back up your data to a secure external repository, further protection may be warranted. Use an uninterruptible power supply in conjunction with a surge protector to mitigate the impact of an unexpected loss or surge of power, both of which can damage your system and permanently wipe some or all of its data.

What are you doing to squeeze more mileage out of your older computer? Are you thinking about replacing your old computer with a newer model instead?


George Otte is a Miami-based entrepreneur and executive with more than 15 years of multifaceted business operations experience.

6 Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe from Attack This Year

By George Otte

Sadly, the digital world is filled with security threats.

These threats take many forms:

  • Viruses: Just like a biological virus, this type of malware replicates itself inside infected host systems, then moves on to uninfected systems and repeats the process.
  • Trojans: Trojans mimic seemingly legitimate programs, tricking the victim into downloading or installing the malicious software.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware programs lock users out of their own systems unless and until they pay a cryptocurrency ransom.
  • Phishing and Spearphishing: These email- and social media-based attacks mimic seemingly legitimate messages. Usually, the message convinces the user to click a link and enter sensitive information, such as a password or bank account number.
  • Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: These attacks use a silent intermediary to intercept information sent by the user, including sensitive details such as passwords and financial information.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. New, novel threats arise just as quickly as cyber security professionals can address them.

In this high-stakes environment, totally failsafe protection is impossible to achieve. A truly motivated, highly capable attacker backed by the full resources of an adversarial nation-state will compromise your computer system if it wishes to do so.


“Fortunately, nation-state attacks rarely target individuals. Corporate users with access to substantial financial reserves or valuable intellectual property are more commonly targeted by such actors.” — George Otte


Follow these six tips to protect your home computer system against unwanted attack or intrusion by those who wish to do you harm.

1. Complete Recommended or Required Updates in Timely Fashion

Do not put off recommended system and software updates longer than necessary. It’s best to address these action items as soon as you become aware of them, as they’re likely to get lost in your to-do pile with undue delay.

2. Keep Your Firewall On

Under normal circumstances, your operating system’s firewall should always be running. Don’t turn it off without first consulting a computer maintenance professional or your operating system’s developer.

3. Don’t Click Suspicious Links in Email, Even If You Know the Sender

Fight phishing and spearphishing attacks by avoiding suspicious links in emails and direct social media messages. Even if you know the sender, it’s always wise to send a separate email to inquire about the link; their account may be compromised.

4. Regularly Back Up Your Data

Use a cloud-based storage system that regularly, automatically backs up your data to a secure location outside your system. Alternatively, use an external hard drive as a backup. This will come in handy if and when your system is compromised by ransomware or otherwise crippled by attackers.

5. Install a Leading Anti-Virus Suite

Use a reputable, up-to-date anti-malware program that automatically scans your system for threats. Supplement these automatic scans with thorough manual scans as well.

6. Use a Virtual Private Network, Especially When Browsing on Public WiFi Networks

Avoid attacks on public WiFi by using a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you’re away from your home network. VPNs encrypt your device’s outbound traffic, obscuring sensitive data from snoopers.

What are you doing to keep your computer safe from attack this year? Have you tried any of the tips on this checklist?


George Otte is a Miami-based entrepreneur and executive with more than 15 years of multifaceted business operations experience.