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Grow Your Business Technology

For Most Businesses, Computer Maintenance Can Be a Scary Movie

Though most business owners think they're taking good care of their computers, the reality is that most fail to effectively perform routine maintenance, a new survey revealed. For most users, computer maintenance is just too scary, confusing or not a priority.

While technology is a critical part of our daily lives, many of us think we know more than we actually do when it comes to performing routine maintenance of high-tech devices such as computers, laptops and tablets , according to the Staples IT IQ Survey.

The survey revealed that most users were not performing some of the more important computer maintenance tasks such as backing up important files and applications. While almost everyone (97 percent) in business uses their computer on a daily basis, less than 40 percent back up their computers at least once a week. Even scarier, almost a third of users said they either back up their computers once a year or never.

A common misconception that came to light in the survey is that our computers are well-protected from the viruses, spyware and other malware that put personal information at risk and degrade computer performance. More than four out of five survey respondents said they are somewhat or very confident their computer is free of malware . But nearly half of all personal computers in the U.S. are compromised by rogue software, according to findings released by PandaLabs in February 2011.

In addition, our overconfidence in our ability to perform routine maintenance is not backed up by knowledge of best practices, the survey showed. Nearly half of respondents thought that restarting their computers or simply running an antivirus program would fix a slow computer. And fewer than half of respondents knew that the best hardware upgrade solution for a slow computer is upgrading its RAM.

“It’s clear that computer maintenance is tougher than we think,” said Jevin Eagle, a Staples marketing executive. “We see customers every day who are frustrated and nervous with the challenges of technology maintenance.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.