It’s difficult to overstate how important your work computer is. Depending on your position, you may have vital information about your business stored on your computer. Anything inhibiting the device’s ability to function is something you’re going to want to avoid.

It makes sense, then, that taking care of your work computer would be a top priority for any employee who uses one. It’s easier than you might think. The following are just a few of the simple steps that you can take to keep your machine in good condition.

Use antivirus software

Perhaps the most obvious computer maintenance step is using antivirus software to defend against viruses, spyware and malware. Computer infections are a significant malady, costing households in the United States about $4.55 billion annually.

Furthermore, malware development has been on the rise ever since 2005, posing a greater threat to all computers. Running regular virus scans can mitigate the risks. Complementing those with a comprehensive plan for network security can help protect your work computer even further.

Be wary of links

Phishing is still one of the most popular methods for hackers and scammers to gain access to computer systems. How Stuff Works has a great article that breaks down the details. Here’s the short version. You need to be careful about the links you use. Some are authentic and safe. Others are misleading, fraudulent and harmful.

For example, cybercriminals have been known to impersonate a trusted site or contact to fool you into downloading malicious software or giving away personal details. Remember, even a single data breach can have far-reaching implications.

Stay sharp. Keep on the lookout for red flags that could indicate a possible scheme.

Keep software up-to-date

They might seem like a continual annoyance, but those regular software updates are critical to work computer maintenance. Keeping software up-to-date ensures that your software has the latest fixes for bugs and glitches.

Many updates also include patches for security vulnerabilities. These will help keep your computer more secure from potential external threats. In some cases, making use of cloud services for your software needs can help facilitate the ease of updates greatly.

Backup your important information

It’s unfortunate, but computer failures can be both sudden and catastrophic. Wear and aging on computer systems, severe weather or even deliberate attacks could be responsible for destroying important data.

External hard drives offer a basic solution, but having an offsite method for backing up important information is critical because it nullifies the possibility of one event wiping out all your stored data. Consider working with an IT provider that can help implement the best solutions for preserving your information.

Keep your work computer clean

Virus scanning isn’t the only kind of cleaning you’ll need to do to keep your work computer running properly. Physical cleaning is also an important maintenance task since dust can clog vents and decrease airflow, which increases the potential for overheating.

Watch your temperatures

Moderate temperatures (around 68-71 degrees Fahrenheit) help computers function optimally. If things get too hot, you could damage the internal components of your work computer.

Place your computer on a cool, hard surface with plenty of airflow. If your work computer is a laptop, consider using a cooling pad or a laptop fan to increase airflow and keep it running smoothly.