At 5PM, when you are getting ready to call it quits for the day, do you turn off your work computer? If so, you are like many others. In my opinion, it is better leave your computer ON! Why? Very simple.

1. You can set your antivirus to scan at night when you are not using the computer.

2. Microsoft sends out patches and updates that are mostly done at night

3. If your computer is off, it may kick off an anitvirus scan when you start it up, causing you to be slow for sometimes as long as an hour.

4. Stress on the processor – turning the computer off an on everyday can put stress on the CPU. It tends to get hot and expand, then cool down. The stress from expanding and contracting every day can eventually damage the hardware.

What is the Risk?

Some users may turn off the computer because they think it will protect it from power surges, but this is not actually the case. Even when turned off, the machine is still vulnerable as long as it is plugged in.

Turning a computer off at night can also decrease wear on certain parts of the hardware, like the fan and monitor. Since these parts are generally on when the computer is on, long-term, continuous use can cause them to wear out.

Any Advantages to Leaving it On?

Turning the computer off at night offers a small, temporary increase in security. When a computer is completely off, it is not susceptible to attacks from the Internet or unauthorized electronic access. Shutting the device off can also protect it from being accessed by onsite intruders simply because accessing a computer that is not already powered on takes longer. If you do decide to turn your computer off at night, then it’s important to make sure that any operating system and virus software updates are completed before doing so, since turning it off could disrupt the update and leave you vulnerable to attacks.

The Verdict

For your work PC, I would say it is better to leave your computer on. For your home PC, I would say it is up to you. Everyone has a different opinion on this, and both have valid reasons