PC Storm Protection 101

Monsoon season is upon us here in the Valley of the Sun, and while this is a particular experience for those of us here in the desert southwest, inclement weather will undoubtedly hit everyone as the year progresses. So, to help keep your PC protected through all the turbulence Mother Nature is planning to throw everyone’s way, we here at MIT have put together this handy guide to assist you in weathering any storm that may come your way.

Maintaining Your UPS

Keep your computer storm-ready in 5 easy steps:

  1. Unplug, unplug, unplug! Unplugging your devices before the storm hits is going to be the only surefire way to protect them from potential damage. Even if your devices are turned off, they are still at risk of being damaged if they’re still plugged into an outlet. Safety note: DO NOT UNPLUG DEVICES DURING A STORM. Unplugging a cord from an outlet during a storm puts you in danger of being electrocuted. If you don’t manage to get the devices unplugged before the storm has hit then it is best to just leave them plugged in – it’s better that your device gets zapped, rather than yourself.
  2. Buy a quality surge protector, and be sure you replace it every few years. Nowadays, you can get surge protectors for as little as $4.00. While this may seem like a steal of a deal, these surge protectors aren’t going to offer you much protection in the event of a lightning storm. The most important thing to remember when buying a surge protector is to make sure it has a rating for lightning strikes! People often make the mistake of assuming that all surge protectors guard against a lightning strike, but that is certainly not the case. Also, surge protectors don’t last forever. If your surge protector is more than a few years old, chances are that it’s no longer functioning as it should and is due to be replaced.
  3. UPS devices go that extra mile. While surge protectors help guard against devices damages incurred from a power surge, a UPS will keep your device running in the event of a power outage. UPS stands for “Universal Power Supply,” and it’s definitely much more than a simple surge protector. Think of a UPS as a backup generator that turns on in the event of a power outage. It’s got a limited battery life that allots you an opportunity to properly shut down your device without risk of data loss or system damage. A UPS with a quality surge protector is the ideal combination in the event of an unexpected or severe power outage.
  4. Backup that data. After you take all the possible precautions to ensure your system is safe in the event of a severe storm, it’s still a good idea to backup your data on an external drive. Keep your backups in a safe, dry environment to ensure their longevity. Forms of reliable backups include external hard drives, flash drives, and cloud storage. Saving a copy of the files on your PC or laptop onto an alternate drive is recommended even beyond the stormy seasons as system failures can happen at any time of the year!

Regardless of whether you’re storm-readying your personal or home office PC, our technicians here at MTI are available 24/7/365 to answer any questions you may have about the process.