Computer User Hygiene

Intro and Tip #1: Computer User Hygiene

Friends, clients, and any guest visitors – Welcome! Here’s a short intro, and then we’ll move on to our first tip. Cool!

Intro: I asked my clients if they would read a website for computer tips by me, and they (likely, “you”), said “Yes”. So – here we are! I hope you’ll have a lot of fun reading these tips, and maybe even learn something useful too.

Your feedback will be appreciated, and will effect the content of this site.

I thought Health Related Tips would be a good topic for the first few tips (things like hygiene, posture, etc). I’ll be adding more tips as we go.

Let’s start!

Tip #1: Computer User Hygiene

Short version: Wash your hands, before and after using computers, and clean your keyboard and mouse every now and then (see below for cleaning instructions). Note: The picture on the right is NOT my office.

Long version: A group of british scientists did a little experiment recently (Click here for the article). After checking out some samples, they found out that the tested offices’ keyboards had more bacteria on them than – can you guess? – the tested toilets in the same offices. (See bottom for links to cited articles).

I have also heard a reasonable theory: possibly a lot of computer related eye distress is caused not by the glaring of the screen, but rather by people rubbing their eyes (before/after typing), not knowing their hands are actually dirty.

The above mentioned scientists reckoned that food bits on the keyboard are the #1 reason for the bacteria (I know *you* would never eat at your computer, and never-ever-ever leave food bits there, right?). Top reason #2 was, presumably, people not washing hands after bathroom breaks. I would add #3 – a few users on one pc, especially if they tend to rub their eyes (or not just their eyes), or has a flu, etc.

So enough with the paranoia! What to do we do!?

Apart from the obvious – wash your hands here and there – here is the “how-to”:

Keep your keyboard nice and clean:

1. Turn off the computer (so you are free to press down letters during cleaning).

2. Crumbs: Flip your keyboard upside down and give it a light shake if there are any crumbs there…

3. Wiping: Use alcohol-based (or just plain soap-based) wipes, tissue or rag. Wipe down the keys and keyboard surface (Not if you have stick-on letters!!!). I recommend you use a damp rag after this. Make sure your wipe is damp, but not drippy. If you get water in your keyboard, it isn’t the end of the world. Just unplug it and leave it upside down a day or two to dry, and it should be fine.

4. New Keyboard: If your keyboard looks like it is “beyond cleanable” (see picture above…), remember that a new one goes for around 50-100 Shekels.

5. Washable keyboards: There are silicone keyboard covers, and even washable keyboards. The silicone keyboards are a bit strange to type on at first, and they stay flat on the table (not raised at an angle) – but – they are handy for those of you have a laptop, and want an external keyboard that can be rolled up and stowed away. They’re also 50-100 Shekels.

5 and a half: There are also high-end dishwasher-safe keyboards, a bit costly, but also useful.

OK, that’s all about keyboard hygiene for now. Next up will be: Posture (so that we can keep our bones and muscles happy as we work).

Wishing you healthy computing!

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