Some questions from our customers
to help you get the most out of your technology. While that usually
means computer repairs, we also often get to educate and provide
information to help people maximise the benefits of their home
computers. In this week’s article, we answer some of the questions that
we have been recently asked…
Q: Do I damage my battery if I leave my laptop plugged in all day?
We get this question all the time. It is quite easy to leave your
laptop plugged in for longer than necessary. In the old days, we used
to use Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries in our laptops, and those would
suffer if they were overcharged. However, these days, we use Lithium
Ion (LiIon) batteries, and these can be left plugged safely. The
batteries have a circuit that detect when the battery is charged, and
after that point, even if you are plugged in, the battery does not try
to charge anymore, hence avoiding any overcharging problems.
So how do you know if you have NiCad or LiIon batteries? The easiest
way is to turn your computer over, and take a look at the battery.
Usually it will be indicated somewhere on the battery. If still unsure,
contact your laptop manufacturer. Generally, and laptop bought in the
last 3 years will have LiIon batteries.
Q: Do I need to completely drain my laptop battery before charging
Another common question. Once again, this depends on the type of
battery. If you have NiCad batteries, then you do indeed need to drain
the battery before charging, in order to maximise your battery life. If
you have a LiIon battery, draining it all the time will actually be
worse for the battery, so feel free to charge this whenever you want to.
Q: What’s the best way to secure my computer?
There is a lot of personal information on your computer, and it is
natural that you should worry about the wrong person getting their
grubby hands on your computer. There are several options available to
secure your computer – some are easily performed by the average user,
while others require expert support.
The simplest (and most obvious) option is to make sure that you
password-protect your computer. Every time you turn on (or wake up)
your computer, your system should prompt you for a password. Likewise,
if you are away from your computer for a while, your computer should
automatically lock itself, and require a password when you come back to
Of course passwords work fine,
but are easily hacked. Most modern laptops include fingerprint
recognition. With a few easy steps, you can swipe your finger across
the sensor, and your computer will log you back in. It’s more secure,
and a also a lot easier than having to remember, and type in, your
password every time.
Some laptops even include face recognition, and will automatically
detect your identity when you face your computer, and log you in.
Of course, a really technical thief could still access your data, by
removing your hard disk and accessing the data directly. In order to
prevent this, you can also choose to encrypt the contents of your hard
drive. This will make it virtually impossible for somebody to get to
your data. Of course, setting up and maintaining your encrypted drive
is usually out of the scope (and interest) of the average user, so you
may need to get help to set this up.
Q: If I post information on my Facebook page, will everybody be
able to see it?
Facebook is a wonderful way for you to share information with your
friends. It has got several privacy settings to control who can see
your information. However, most users do not manage their privacy
settings, and as a result can be potentially exposed to identity fraud.
careful who you ‘friend’ – since by default all your friends can
see what you post, why not taking a bit of thought into who you
actually allow to be your friend? Do you really want to have that
person you met once at a party be able to see all your information? Do
you really want random acquaintances to have access to your intimate
details? Limit your circle of friends to people who you really trust
and have a relationship with, and you will minimise your risks
- Think before you post – even
after you have culled your friends list to a meaningful size, think
carefully about what you post. There are always possibilities that your
account may be hacked one day, or that somebody who is your friend
today may not be so friendly in the future. Our general rule – only
post things that you would be perfectly happy for your
family/work/government to see, and that way you will be safe.
Still need help?
We hope that this article was useful. If you require more information,
or have other questions, give our friendly techs a call on 1300 600 670,
or request help at our website at www.itsfixed.com.au.
We make computer repairs