How to Survive the 17 Worst Mac Disasters

1. Stay Dry

Keep the beverages away from electronic devices—make it an unbreakable rule not to drink and compute. Ditto any watery activities: Leave the devices at home or buy a waterproof case.

2. Stay Up-To-Date

Mac owners can get blasé about keeping their software up-to-date, as they aren’t plagued with the plethora of PC viruses/spyware/hack attacks. But Apple software does have security holes, and it’s important to get those patches onto your machine. Ditto the fixes from outside vendors—even if the patches don’t address security issues, they do make programs more stable and efficient. To make sure that your machine is up to date, go to the Apple menu, choose Software Update, click the Check Now button, select the items you want to download, then click Install. Reboot and repeat, as some software will only be available if other software is installed. To keep your other applications in shape, drop by the vendor’s site once a month or so to see if there are any updates.

3. Stay Secure

Security always requires trade-offs in usability, but protecting your data from prying eyes is worth it. Don’t enable automatic login, and set password protection for key files by customizing the Account settings in System Preferences.

4. Stay Clean

Keep your Mac happy inside and out with a monthly cleanup, blow the gunk out of its innards (see #5), repair disk permissions, delete or archive old files because a less cluttered hard drive is a more efficient hard drive, purge your Desktop of everything that really doesn’t need to be there, and run those UNIX scripts 
(see #4).

5. Back Up. Period

Just do it—OK? We’ll buy you a pony. Backing up your data is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that you—and your precious files—will survive any technological trauma.