Let’s face it, you almost need a PC in order to run a small business these days. From communicating with clients in email to managing your books, a computer is a necessary evil. Yes I called it an evil because your computer lives in a very hostile environment- the Internet. A computer basically does what it is told and unfortunately thousands of unscrupulous people are telling it to do bad things. How do you keep it safe? There are many ways, but I’m going to focus on one area- the web browser.

There are a handful to chose from but they pretty much do the same thing- allow you to surf the web. And what you have to be careful of are the multitude of add-ons and plug-ins and tool bars available. There are some that I would consider a necessity: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Java, Microsoft Silverlight to name a few. These allow you to access the content on almost any web page you visit.

For your business PC this should be good enough. But alas, there are tool bars for almost every search engine, plug-ins that let you play games or stream music, plug-ins which offer to optimize your PC or Internet connection. These are not required in a business environment, so don’t install them! Not only could they slow your PC down, they could also cause conflicts with other programs or even be malicious. I have been called several times to help friends and family that somehow have downloaded viruses or spyware. They usually masquerade as anti-virus programs or toolbars that will make searching easier. If you are running your business from a PC it’s best to keep it lean and mean and only run the software you require.

Phillip Grandsard  is a Software Developer at PagePath Technologies. PagePath was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Plano, Illinois. PagePath’s MyOrderDesk is an eCommerce solution that combines, Web-to-Print, automated proofing, pricing, reordering and more. It seamlessly integrates into a printing organization’s existing website or can be used as a standalone site. MyOrderDesk is known throughout the printing industry as the leader in Web-to-Print software.