Computers have made an impact in virtually all areas of our lives. They have changed the way things are done by increasing accuracy and speed. We no longer need to rely on manpower to execute repetitive and tedious work that can be automated by computers. They have also drastically brought down the cost of doing business. Today, computers are a staple in most disciplines including medicine, accounting, education, engineering and others. Despite all the merits of computers, they also have their downsides. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of a computer.
Advantages of Computers
Speed Up Work Efficiency
This is by far the biggest advantage of using computers. They have replaced the use of manpower in carrying out tedious and repetitive work. Work that can take days to complete manually can be done in a few minutes using a computer. This is made possible by the fact that data, instructions and information move very fast in the electric circuits of computers. They process trillions of instructions within a second.
Large and Reliable Storage Capacity
Computers can store huge volumes of data. To put this into perspective, physical files that can fill a whole room can be stored in one computer once they are digitized. Better yet, access to the stored information is super-fast. It takes micro-seconds for data to be transferred from storage to memory in a computer. The same cannot be said for the retrieval of physical files. With a computer, you can store videos, games, applications, documents etc. that you can access whenever required. Better yet, storage can be backed up fast and efficiently.
Connection with Internet
The Internet is probably the most outstanding invention in history. Computers allow you to connect to the Internet and access this global repository of knowledge. With the Internet, you can communicate faster with people across the globe. You can send email, hold voice and video calls or use IM services. The Internet also allows for instant sharing of files. You can also connect with friends and family on social networks and even learn a new language online. The Internet is a great educational resource where you can find information on virtually anything.
One of the biggest breakthroughs on the Internet is probably ecommerce. You can actually shop in the convenience of your home and have the items delivered to your doorstep.
You always get the same result for the same process when using a computer. For example if you created a document on one computer, you can open it on another without making any special adjustments. This consistency makes it possible to save and edit a document from different computers in different parts of the world. Collaboration is therefore easier.
Whatever job you need done, you can always rest assured that the computer will get it just right. There will be no variations in results achieved from the same process. This makes computers ideal for doing tedious and repetitive work.
Disadvantages of Computers
Improper and prolonged use of a computer might lead to disorders or injuries of the elbows, wrist, neck, back, and eyes. As a computer user you can avoid these injuries by working in a workplace that is well designed, using a good sitting position and taking proper work breaks. Technology load and computer addiction are the major behavioral health risks. Addiction comes when you are obsessed with a computer. Technology overload comes when you are over loaded with computer and mobile phones. Both technology overload and computer addiction are avoidable if the habits are noted and a follow up is done.
Violation of Privacy
When using the Internet on your computer, you run the risk of leaking your private information. This is especially so if you happen to download malicious software into your computer. Trojans and Malware can infiltrate your system and give identity thieves access to your personal information. Of particular interest to identity thieves are your bank and credit card details. Make sure to install reliable antivirus software to keep malware and Trojans at bay. You should also avoid clicking on suspicious looking links when using the Internet.
Impact on Environment
Manufacturing process of computers and computer waste are harmful to the environment. When computer junk is discarded in open grounds, they release harmful chemicals like lead and mercury to the environment. Mercury can result in cancer and lead can cause radiation diseases when exposed to the environment. Disposed computers could also cause fire.
This is one of the most controversial aspects of computers today. The safety and integrity of data is key for any business. However, data stored in a computer can be lost or compromised in a number of ways. There are instances where the computer could crash wiping out all data that had been stored therein. Hackers could also gain access into your computer and compromise the integrity of your data. This is why you should always have a backup. Moreover, you should put measures in place to keep your data safe from hackers.