Safe Computer Use Instruction Manual
Taking care of your computer and yourself are essential components to using a computer safely and effectively. It is important for students to keep different aspects in mind regarding personal health, as well as computer health. Exposing yourself to deliberate infliction can create possible damage that can be hard to overcome. Two major safety components to keep in mind would be the health of your body while using a computer, while the other would be the health of your computer systems.
Malware is software that has been created to intentionally damage or cause harm to computers and their systems. Malware can affect your computer and its systems by disrupting your computers normal operations. Software such as viruses, spyware, adware and others can cause vital information to be leaked to unwanted viewers causing current or future headaches such as identity theft. Ways in which you can best protect your computer from malware attacks would be to avoid opening emails or visiting websites that you do not know. Many methods used by malware software are to clone programs, websites or emails that fool the computer user to click or open, causing deployment of unwanted software to your computer systems. These are often done in the background and the user is unaware of the issues. More times than not, the software will cause your entire computer to shut off or freeze to where it renders your system useless. It is important to have protection on your computer system such as anti-virus software such as Norton Antivirus or Bitdefender Antivirus. These are two examples of paid-based software that gives your protection from viruses and malware. It also detects when you visit unsafe websites that could potentially cause harm to your computer system.
Taking care of your body is an essential component to healthy computer use. The ergonomics of your space effects your overall efficiency of being able to complete your work life tasks. Ergonomics is the way the workplace is arranged or designed to provide safe and comfortable use to the individual user.
Extended computer use for humans can cause many issues, such as cramping of the hands, legs, back or sudden vision changes. It is important to keep in mind that when you are using a computer for extended periods of time you are causing harm to your body. The side effects of using a computer could be vision changes such as blurry vision, eye fatigue, or the inability to focus on objects, or even headaches. Other issues that effect the human body would be weight loss (focusing too heavily on the work at hand versus nutrition) or weight gain (eating mindlessly while working on a task), carpal tunnel or tendonitis in the hands, backaches from lack of proper posture or back support, and headaches from long exposure to screen viewing.
Useful tips for new users on taking care of your workstation and computer system:
- Do not open emails from website or people and click or sign into website links of who you do not know.
- Do have a protection software on your computer that protects you from unwanted exposure to malware software such as Norton or Bitdefender Antivirus; (updated Windows devices have Windows Defender already built in).
- Do not visit websites that seem sketchy, or unverified. Your browser has upgraded technology that will warn you before accessing to protect you from malware.
- Perform regular software updates. Most updates are self-updating, allowing those to properly run can decrease your exposure to malware.
- Keep your device free of debris. Wipe away crumbs, keep the device from overheating by cleaning out air vents, keep things away from it to allow proper ventilation, do not use in extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
Useful tips for taking care of your body while using a computer:
- Keep your hips as far back as they can go in a chair.
- Adjust the back of your chair so that it sits at a 100⁰ or 110⁰ reclined angle
- Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are at or below your hips.
- Wrists should rest comfortably in a neutral position to avoid carpal tunnel or tendonitis symptoms.
- Avoiding slouching while in a seated position helps to diminish shoulder and back pain from occurring.