1. If your antivirus program has expired, renew it. Or install a free one, after uninstalling any OTHER antivirus/security programs. Do not wait for a more convenient time. Now is more convenient than dragging your computer back and forth to get cleaned out.
2. If you are tempted to click on something that pops up and says it's going to clean out the 127 viruses and trojans it just found on your computer, resist the urge. It is lying to you. If you're really not sure, call me, email me or text me before clicking.
3. If you think 256 or 512 MB is enough to run Windows XP in a satisfactory way, you are wrong. It was enough eight years ago. Today, with hundreds of Windows, Office, antivirus and security, Adobe and other updates your computer should have at least 1 GB of RAM. RAM is cheap. Your time (and mine) is not.
4. If you don't know how to back up your data, it's time to learn. And then do it regularly. Your data include documents, emails, pictures, addresses, music - anything you aren't willing to lose in a blink of an eye.
5. If you don't want to install updates on your computer when they pop up and tell you it's time, click it off. But do run the updates when you can, and within a couple days. Do not forget, and do not make excuses. Updates are usually not pretty new toys, they are fixing something that is wrong. Or something that makes your computer more vulnerable to that rogue antivirus program you so want to click on.
Important things bear repeating. And sometimes it takes a service job or two before we get the hang of the maintenance and self-defense routine. I'll leave the light on for you.