Our PC overlords are sending out safety tips, and we're beginning to feel a little left out! Hence, some computer safety tips from your ICT committee (Josh, Ron & Katie, and the volunteer formerly known as Morogoro Beth):
1) Have the most up to date and fashionable software. Update your OS, update your antivirus. It might cost you some town time and several elfu for the downloads if you haven't updated in a while, but it's worth the investment if you use the internet ever. If you have a Windows machine and you are running without antivirus, stop it! You can get MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) for free, and you can also find some programs (Avast and Panda) in the ICT toolbox.
2) Imagine every flash disk is a hypodermic needle wielded by an evil genius in a lair. Don't put that into your innocent and pure computer unless you are absolutely sure your magical flash drive scanning anti-virus will be able to foil the evil genius. If you have a Mac or a Linux machine, be a hero and scan other people's flash drives and remove the viruses for them.
3) Internet cafes are pernicious dens of thieves and thieving thievery. Don't do your online banking on their computers, and if you enter any passwords (email, facebook) remember to LOG OUT at the end of the session and if you can, delete the browser's history, cookies and all, for the past hour or however long you were using the computer. If at all possible, bring your own computer to the cafe and use that. You can also ask if the cafe has any Linux computers you can use.
4) Do not plug your computer directly into the wall. That way lies madness and sparkage, followed by the sorrow. Get an AVR or an AVS, or else only charge your computer while it is turned off.
5) Unless you have and use a Mac, don't restore your ipod on a Mac. I've had several people complain to me that they are having some sort of ipod problem after doing this. If you need to use the itunes restore to factory setting on your ipod, if you do that with a Mac, Mac will install some magical special proprietary format on the ipod, that is not guaranteed to play nicely with other computers.
6) If you need help, remember that while the tech savvy volunteers are friendly and delightful people, except for the volunteer formerly known as Morogoro Beth who should never be asked for help, we also have work to do, and the general frustrations of life to deal with same as you. We're more than happy to help with work-related issues, but if you decide to call asking for help for your personal tech, greet thoroughly, call only at reasonable hours, and offer bribes.