Question: Do you think a surge protector will keep your computer safe from a direct lightning strike? The answer is: maybe, maybe not. Quick story – A severe thunderstorm rolled through one day and zapped the apartment building where one of my friends lived. No big deal, right? It’s a building, after all. Well, the lightning traveled through the electrical wiring in the building and knocked out people’s TVs, computers and cable boxes. Some people were affected while others were not. Those who had their electronics zapped found that their toaster worked but their cable box in the other room was fried. My friend lost her computer even though it was plugged into a surge protector. Her neighbor’s computer was fine but their cable modem was pfffft!

Surge protectors are an absolute must where computer equipment is concerned because it protects your system from minor (compared to lightning strength) surges that flow into it, but remember: a direct lightning strike can very easily cause damage to your system even with a surge protector in place. Your best bet? Unplug your system when severe storms are in the area, and if you go on vacation unplug the system before you leave!