We can also use this day to delete stuff we no longer need and de-fragment our hard drive(s) to keep our machine lean and clean - if you know what I mean.
Windows guide to defragmenting
Mac users don't have to defragment, apparently.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.
Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.
Computer Virus Effect Remover
Computer Virus Effect Remover is a helpful software program for the Windows operating system after an infection with malicious software like a virus, trojan or worm has occurred. It can be used to remove various effects of those malicious programs.
The Open Source software can aid the user in removing effects from the Windows file system and the Windows Registry. One of the main functions of it is that it can re-enable access to the Windows Taskmanager, Registry Editor, MSconfig and the Process List.Link
A reminder about Matt's simple and effective back-up:
"I have never been able to get the hang of proper backup software and procedures. I always end up getting into a complete pickle about the various full backups, interim backups and how the bloody hell I'd back everything up if my hard-drive became shot with the backup software on it. So these days I just have a complete clone of My Documents on a portable drive and use Microsoft's Synctoy to keep the files up to date."
However I would suggest backing up your entire Documents and Settings folder and not just the My Documents part of it as it which would include emails and favourites/bookmarks. This link has more details.
I asked Lee about the Mac equivalent:
"Things like emails, bookmarks, fonts, templates, RSS feeds, Applescripts - anything used by an application, but not created by it when you hit Save - are kept in your Home folder, in the Library. In Mac speak, that's ~/Library. Apple apps such as Mail, Safari, and iTunes may have their own folders. Non-Apple apps like NetNewsWire, Montage, Final Draft, Scrivener etc, will keep all their stuff in ~/Library/Application Support. The truly paranoid might want to back up their preference files as well. I know I do. These are in ~/Library/Prefences.
For safety's sake, back up the entire Library folder, it's probably only a few hundred megs."
Jason Sutton added:
"Backing up Macs is impossibly easy. Buy an external hard drive and use Time Machine. It's built in to OS X. The best back-ups are the ones you don't have to think about. Brilliant application."
Thank you Matt and Lee and Jason!
Don't delay, do it today. It's Back Up Your Data Day, hooray!