My computer causes me anxiety. This mundane fear is quite prevalent, and has actually been clinically diagnosed with this definition: “Computer anxiety is the individual fear or apprehension of using a computer directly or the anticipation of having to use it.”

Many computer users fear using their computer. Not only are all of your important files and data saved on the hard drive, but the cost and complexity of the computer make its safekeeping very important. This fear mostly strikes an older generation of people who didn’t grow up with computers in their crib. They remember the rampant days of computer viruses, unsecure internet transactions, and faulty computers. Still the anxiety persists.

Nowadays, the millennial generation has grown up with computers. They feel confident torrenting legal downloads, exchanging one graphic card for another, and keeping their computer running optimally. So what’s the difference between the two mentalities? Information! The more information you have and understand about the hardware and software in your computer, the more capable you will feel at the keyboard.

This article will cover different possible reasons you might get computer anxiety. The good news is that there are proactive solutions. By understanding these aspects, and by doing a few easy steps, you can solve your computer anxiety.

Computer Hardware

Hardware Components

The first thing to know about is the hardware components of your computer. The CPU (central processing unit) calculates and controls the system’s performance.

Next is the internal memory storage of your computer: RAM and ROM. Random Access Memory (RAM) stores data that can be read and written on. Read Only Memory (ROM) is read-only data such as boot information. The contents cannot be changed on ROM.

Your internal hard drive is where data is stored long term, when you are not actively working on it. Then, you have the video and sound card.

The Operating System

The operating system (OS) is the baseline system software that manages your computer hardware, and presents it in an interactive interface. The dominant desktop and mobile OS is Microsoft 83% and Android 87% respectively, while Apple OS is used at 11% and 12%. Linux is most popular for servers and super-servers.

Software

Softwares are a series of programmed computer instructions, tasked to run certain programs. Software can be simple computer programs such as a calculator or a calendar. iTunes is a kind of library software, while Adobe Illustrator and GarageBand are creative softwares that give you specific creative capacities.

You can install and uninstall softwares to your computer. But be cautious of downloading harmful softwares called malware that can disable your computer. If you are being careful, and have malware protection, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Computer Anxiety

Now, you have the fundamental overview of your computer. Hopefully you understand how the hardware, software, and operating system combine to run actions on your computer. But anxiety comes from loss or changes that could potentially occur. Let’s look at the different ways your computer can fail or stop working, and how to proactively solve the problems.

The first step to curing your anxiety is to have a backup of your data. Backups are a replicated copy of your hard drive information. Backups come in different styles but, in general, they are fail-safes against data loss scenarios. A good backup program is the most important software you can have.

Easy Data Backup

Try Data Backup Mac from Prosoft Engineering. The software is user-friendly, and can easily automate your backup schedule. We are even introducing a Data Backup PC for Windows in the coming months. You can sign up for our newsletter for information on the upcoming early access discount. If you have a successfully installed and running backup program, most of your computer anxiety should be gone.

Hard Drive Crash

The time when computer users get the most anxious is during a data loss scenario. There are multiple reasons a drive can fail or data gets lost. Some reasons are easily recoverable, such as accidentally deleting files and losing folders. Unfortunately, a reformatted hard drive and overwritten data is unrecoverable. Corrupted data might alter or deface your files and folders. For any scenario, the best data recovery software on the market is Data Rescue.

There are many reasons why your data might go missing, or your hard drive might stop working. Visit our hard drive recovery page for more information on logical and physical hard drive failure. Logical data loss results from errors in the logic of the hard drive, or from a user mistake. Nearly every computer user has experienced some form of logical data loss.

Physical Hard Drive Recovery Service

Physical data loss refers to a case where the drive fails because of a physical hardware problem. This can happen because of symptoms from age and wear, effects of dust, heat and power outages, and faulty internal components. If your hard drive exhibits a physical problem, such as a clicking or grinding noise, or a failure to mount, you can contact the Data Rescue Center for a free recovery appraisal. Be warned, physical hard drive recovery is expensive, ranging from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. But again, a hard drive crash is saved by having redundant backups.

External Threats

The next part of the equation is protecting your computer against external threats. External threats can come from viruses, environmental issues, and people. For more information on external threats to your computer, read this companion blog: Protecting Your Hard Drive From The Elements Of Life. But for a quick run-through, watch out for these issues:

  • Dust
  • Electrical Shortages, Outages
  • Water Damage
  • Freezing and Burning Temperatures
  • Traveling Hazards
  • Theft
  • Viruses

For an all-in-one Mac protection software, look no further than Drive Genius 5. Drive Genius automates the consistency check of your hard drive, looking for hard drive errors such as fragmentation and corruption. The newest feature is the Malware Scan. Drive Genius automatically scans all new downloads and old files for malware. The known malware database is constantly updated to keep your computer protected against the latest threats.

You have to watch out for people. Theft can happen from anymore, including family members, friends, colleagues, or random strangers. You also need to watch out for identity theft. Skilled thieves can use data recovery techniques on thrown away hard drives. The proper way to dispose of your hard drive is by wiping the data over with 0’s and 1’s, making the data unrecoverable. Check out this blog for more information on identity theft.

Psychological Concerns

Nowadays, if you are a novice computer user, there are no buttons you can press or places you can go within your computer that will make your data magically disappear. There are fail-safe options protecting the user against creating massive errors.

Just like any other skill, the more time you spend on the computer, the better you will get. Focus first on the fundamentals of typing: your speed and accuracy will increase the more you type. Start to understand all the tools your computer has. Then start exploring the internet beyond your mail server by using Google searches for your favorite topics.

Computers give so much to society. They spread the wealth of information collected. They make working and living easier. Don’t fear the Terminator-esque future, where computers take over the world, or something more akin to Wall-E, where humans become lazy addicts. The truth is that computers are here to stay for the long term.

Tackle your computer anxiety head on by having proper backups in place, knowing who to call when you run into a problem, and learning to use your computer more efficiently. If you can do this, modern computers really will make life easier for you.