II. Computer Room Environment

A. Temperature

While a personal computer is somewhat insensitive to its environment, some attention to the environment will prolong the life and increase the safety of data stored in the machine. A rule of thumb to apply when considering the physical environment is, “If you are comfortable, the computer is comfortable.”

B. Foreign Materials

Establish and enforce firm, consistent policies regarding the presence of food, drink, smoke, and dust in the computer room.

C. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

All electronic equipment produce radiation and emanations of varying frequencies. Take care that the computer will operate in the environment that contains emanations from other electronic devices and that the computer will not interfere with other electronic devices.

If care is not taken, RFI may be received outside the computer facility and, by sophisticated means, be used to determine the nature of the data being processed by the computer.

D. Power Surges and Brownouts.

Computers are susceptible to sudden surges or drops in electrical line voltage. Depending on the importance of the data being processed, efforts should be made to shield the computer from these variations. Electronic devices ranging from inexpensive surge processors to uninterruptible power supplies are available to provide the level of protection required.

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