A few years back someone came up with this holiday for more tech savvy youth to help their less techie parents to update their browsers. We like this idea (many of our parents still struggle with technology). But we recommend doing more than just running updates on the browser. Here are a few things you should do for your parents (and grandparents or elderly neighbors and friends) as well as your own computers and this seems like the perfect day to do it.
Update the Browser: Many browsers update automatically now but you might want to check to see how many unwanted plugins have been installed and change their home page for them. You should probably also show them how to bookmark favorites and practice safe browsing.
Defrag the Hard Drive: This is something well beyond many baby boomers.
Check for Viruses and Malware using programs like Trend Micro’s free HouseCall (Black Friday annually)
Check for Dust: Open up the case and check for dust. Use canned air to clean the inside components. You may also need to clean the keyboard and mouse.
Purge Records: This includes temporary files, log files, and items in the recycle bin as well as downloads. You may use the Disk Clean-up Utility for this.
Check for Updates: Some computers and operating systems may not be setup for automated updates. Check Windows and other popular applications and ensure they are up to date. If they are using older operating systems, consider upgrading them to the latest versions but understand that some upgrades will require retraining such as the move from Windows 7 (or earlier) to Windows 10 (or later).
Uninstall Software: Many people install applications and forget (or don’t know how) to delete them. Review installed programs and uninstall those that are no longer used.
Create a Restore Point: Create a system restore point after you’ve finished these tasks and show your parents how to do so periodically. It’s ok to set a reminder for them in their calendar.