Protect Your Pc in a ThunderstormMarch 30th, 2010 | Posted by in Computer Protection
The Earth has 100 lightning strikes per second – 3.6 trillion per year. It’s an unfortunate fact that someone, somewhere is going to have their computer fried by a lightning strike. Read on to find out how you can protect yourself.
- Unplug everything from both the mains and telephone lines.
- The best way to protect your computer from lightning is to use a good surge protector. Don’t be confused. A power strip, which is a simple strip of outlets, is not necessarily a surge protector. A surge protector may look like a simple strip of outlets, but it has built-in protection against power surges. When your home receives a power spike, the surge protector takes this spike and pushes it away from the computer.
- When buying a good surge protector (in French: protection contre les surtensions) look for the following features
- The surge protector should cover lightning strikes. Some do not.
- If required, look for a surge protector that offers insurance to cover the loss of properly attached equipment.
- If you have a regular modem or a router, buy a surge protector with a telephone socket where you can plug in your telephone line.
- Many people fail to understand they need a surge protector for their telephone line. Phone lines are used to connect computers to the Internet through their modems and routers. It is widely believed that power cords are the source of all damaging surges to the computer; that’s simply not true. Only thirty percent of damage caused by lightning enters through the mains cable. Phone lines carry the majority of surges to your computer.
- Take lightning strikes seriously. Even if your computer appears to be working you should still give it a check over in case the hit has left it in a dangerous state that might result in electric shock or fire. If you think that your computer has been hit by lightning, the first thing you need to do is to see if anything else has been damaged.
- Check the phone and other electrical items for damage. If a phone is damaged then assume that the lightning has entered your PC through the modem or affected your router. If other electrical items in your home have been damaged then assume the strike has entered your computer through the power supply.
- Unplug the computer (Very important!) and check the outside of the case for signs of smoke or burn marks (especially around the power supply at the back)
- Check the electric, telephone and network cables for signs of burning (this is why it’s very important to unplug before checking – you don’t want to be electrocuted by a damaged mains lead).
- Use your sense of smell. If you can smell acrid smoke from your computer or router that’s not a good sign. If you can tick any of the above boxes then it’s pretty evident your computer has taken a hit and will need to be repaired or replaced. If your computer wasn’t running at the time it’s quite probable that your hard drive is recoverable, thereby preserving any important document, photos, etc. Then again you do have backups, don’t you?