To be able to maintain a computer system you need to understand and be able to use software utilities to help the user maintain and manage the system. To explain the purpose of different software utilities in full detail you should become familiar with security and clean up tools along with drive formatting tools that are used to manage the system.
Security software utilities include virus protection and firewalls. Virus protection software is used to scan a computer systems and prevent computer viruses, worms and trojans from infecting the system. Viruses can corrupt a system to enable a hacker to take over your system and/or steal your data and personal detail. It is important to install anti virus software to protect against viruses and you should configure it to scan your system regularly to check for infections. You also need to update your virus protection software regularly as new viruses are being created by hackers all of the time. A firewall is a software utility used to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic on a computer system connected to a network. The firewall checks if the traffic is from a trusted source and blocks attempts to access your system from unwanted sources. By doing this a firewall will help prevent viruses and trojans getting installed on your system. Some computer operating systems come with built-in security facilities, for example Windows and the Windows Security Center.
To explain the purpose of different software utilities in more detail we must mention clean up tools. Clean up tools are used to keep your system in good working condition by ensuring unwanted files are deleted and your hard drive is organised for optimal performance. Operating systems often come with built in clean up tools eg. Windows Disk Cleanup. This can be used for removal of cookies that were downloaded when accessing websites. This will free up disk space so the system performs faster. Deleting internet history can also free up disk space and improve system performance. Clean up tools can also be used to remove unwanted program files and clear the recycle bin to permanently delete items from your hard drive. To maintain system performance you should perform scheduled defragmentation on a regular basis. Defragmenting your hard drive after removing unwanted files will arrange files on your hard drive so that they can be accessed as easily as possible. Think of defragmentation as organising paperwork on shelves to make everything that is linked together accessible by arranging them beside each other.
Drive formatting is used to completely wipe the data from a hard drive. If a company was going to sell their computers they would need to backup the information on the hard drives and then erase all of sensitive information on them. There are different levels of formatting – sometimes data can be retrieved again but for very sensitive information military level formatting is used to ensure the information can never be obtained again. Disk formatting tools can also be used to partition drives into different areas and they can be formatted in different file formats such as FAT32 or NTFS.