Becoming Your PC’s Best Friend
Whether you’re clicking on ads, opening unsafe files, experimenting with settings, or doing other potentially hazardous things to your PC, it’s easy to become your own worst enemy with your computer. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a little information and self control, you can stop the destructive behavior and set a good example for others in the work space. Utilizing my experience on the field working with hundreds of end users, I have groomed a short list of common sense computing tips or rules that, if you follow them, will save you time and money.
7 Computing Tips For The End User
1. Use strong passwords
Please, don’t use the word “password” as a password. Some users will also use their first name as a password, the company name or their birth date. It's bad practice to do any of these. Choose a password that is unrelated to you and don’t use sequential numbers or your address. Use special characters and update it as often as you can tolerate.
2. Sometime you just need to turn it off and on again
Sometimes it's just best to just reboot your PC. A reboot can be your best friend. In instances such as when the network connection on your PC is acting up, or when your printer has randomly stopped working a reboot could save you from placing a support call. Of course you want to make sure that reboot is always done correctly so that you don’t create other issues. Always save and close open applications before rebooting. Rebooting doesn’t always solve the problems you’re having but when it does you’ll have saved yourself some time and money.
3. Don't beat up your keyboard
When you’re at your desk and frustrated, it's easy to want to take it out on the keyboard, the mouse or the desk (everybody gets frustrated from time to time) but don’t do it. The next thing you know, you’ll be wasting your budget replacing keyboards, mice, desks or PCs. Next time something causes your blood to boil, step away from your desk and take a moment for yourself to breathe and calm down. Get back to the task at hand when you can look at your PC without the urge to smash something.
4. Close your applications
Don’t leave your applications open and running. When you leave at the end of the day close out of your applications. Some applications like Quickbooks, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer can suffer various issues when they are left open for long periods of time. When certain PCs go into hibernate, their network connections are turned off. Left open, applications that are network-dependent will have issues once the connection to the network is lost. Left open for extended periods, some software can end up with memory leaks. It’s important to save your work and close your applications when the work day is done.
5. If you’re unsure, don't
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you are stuck staring at your screen with an issue, and if you have even the slightest bit of doubt about taking action – you probably shouldn’t take that action. Even though this is uncommon, taking the wrong action can create catastrophic problems. To avoid creating additional problems, you should always call you IT support staff when you aren’t sure about what to do.
6. Electronics and liquid don’t mix
Spill a glass of water on your desktop or laptop and you’re going to have a bad day. What about a fresh cup of coffee, a can of soda or glass of wine? Even worse. Keep your drinks in secure containers (preferably) a safe distance away from your devices. Period. Consider the consequences of spilling your morning coffee over a desk full of expensive of electronics. Set a good example in your office by giving your electronics some safe distance when you’re holding a beverage.
7. Computers don’t live forever
In your office how often do you hear or say, "But this computer is only five years old!"? You need to fully understand that computers have a limited lifespan and that various moving parts and devices such as fans or hard drives wear out. Once you understand this idea, you’ll see the importance of backups and keeping your data safely filed away. As part of your business planning think about the lifespan of the devices that make up your infrastructure and build a road map for upgrading hardware once it’s reached the end of it’s life cycle.
Everyone has needs and skill levels that are unique to them but, when it comes to the technology we use everyone should follows these seven basic computing tips or rules. We work closely with our clients to help them build a better understanding of the technology that their businesses rely on. Having a better grasp on your technology will empower you and your employees.
To discover what Shenandoah Valley IT can do to help improve and optimize your business technology, contact us by phone (540) 346-4250 or email.