Watch the bugs don't bite There are thousands of computer viruses around with hundreds of new ones every week. Some do very little damage but others can cause the inconvenience of protracted down-time and the expense of cleaning systems. Make sure you are using quality antivirus software and it is being updated every fortnight as a minimum.

Put your eggs in more than one basket Back up your files regularly on to a disk or server. Keeping the original files in one central place makes copying easier and quicker. Test your backups to check that things can be restored if necessary.

Keep a tidy house Remove files and applications that are no longer required and store files in an orderly system. This makes it easier and quicker to retrieve files, making your computers run faster and last longer before an upgrade is required. Too often, users think their computer needs to be upgraded when in fact it's choked with old files.

Keep abreast of bug news Most software manufacturers bring out free updates to their software to solve bugs and glitches that have been found since its release. Updates are usually available from the company's website – check from time to time.

Even a bit of knowledge is power A small amount of training for users can save lots of time. The better a software package is understood, the more chance the user will have of dealing with a problem unassisted.