Andy's Technical Notes Main Security Page

Shutting down for safety

Why you should shut down your PC over night or other long periods of not using the system

There are many reasons, some more important to corporate end users, some more applicable to home users, but the do all apply to all at some level

- End user operating systems are not designed for long up times, so giving your system regular (daily) fresh startups help keep your computer running effectively. This gives your system its chance to do its internal upkeep as most end user applications only do so at their startup and shutdown.

- Leaving open files risks their integrity. If the computer comes down for some reason (blackout, software crash, pets or other animals) they can easily be corrupted causing your data to be lost. Backup systems also tend to have issues backing up open files possibly preventing your files from being properly backed up preventing their restore in the case of your open file being corrupted by coming down improperly.

- You impact the maintenance of any other systems yours is connected to. Before doing any maintenance (scheduled or emergency), system administrators have to make some effort to deal with the connections to their systems, therefore increasing the costs of providing their services. You also annoy the administrators of those systems therefore reducing the likelihood of fast and friendly service when you need it.

- Leaving systems on when unused is a significant security problem. Someone could sit down at it and pretend to 'work' as you, perhaps even sending your boss a very angry resignation or claim to the police that you are the pervert assaulting young kids in the neighborhood. If you have your personal banking on the system, you could lose your entire net worth or be put you in debt for far worse. Even if you are protected by a firewall and are patched to the most current levels, there will still be brand new hacks that might be able to get into your system for the same hostile purposes.

- Saves costs, both in direct electrical costs, in cooling costs, and wear & tear on systems

Last updated 2003-11-18