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Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.

1. We’re Not Kidding When We Say “Turn it Off and On Again.”

Yes, we’re aware that this advice has become the go-to punchline for any jokes at IT’s expense. However, we’re also aware that this is the case because we do offer this advice a lot, and that’s because it works. A surprising amount of issues can be resolved through a simple reboot. You know how refreshing a nap can be for someone? A reboot can work similarly for a computer, as it gets rid of all the extra data that can otherwise bog it down. This is a simplified way of describing the process, of course… the important thing is that you know we aren’t just asking that question to sound smart.

As silly as it admittedly sounds, a quick reboot is effective often enough to make it worthwhile to ask right off the bat.

However, it is important to remember that a reboot requires more than just turning your monitor on and off, or just logging out and in again. You need to actually restart your computer - and not by pressing the physical power button on your device, as this could cause worse problems. Instead, use the Restart option - found in the Start menu, under the Power icon. Furthermore, you also need to remember that locking your computer is a different process entirely, but still should be done whenever you leave your computer unattended. All you have to do is press WINDOWS+L.

2. Don’t Rush Your Computer

Anyone who has sat at a computer and had to wait for a process to complete understands how irritating this wait can be. There’s a real feeling that almost seems like helplessness - so it’s only natural that we have the urge to do one of the few things we can do… click on what we wanted to do, over and over and over and over…

There are a few problems to this approach. First, there’s probably some reason that the computer seems not to be completing its action. Second, your computer isn’t ignoring any of these additional clicks. As a result, if/when your computer makes it past whatever it is that is causing the holdup, it’s going to take all those clicks seriously. You won’t just open one instance of whatever file or program you were trying to access, you’ll open the application however many times you clicked on the shortcut. This will be annoying. Naturally, the same can be said for trying to print something out, or really any other action you were trying to complete. Doing so can even slow your computer down further.

Try to be patient… but, if the problem persists, reach out to IT for assistance.

3. Exercise Password Caution

It’s hard to overstate the importance of your passwords and their impact on your security overall. This means you have to be careful about how you remember them, as well as where and how you input them. Take your Caps Lock key, for instance. It won’t matter if you spell you password correctly if Caps Lock is activated unnecessarily, because it’ll still be wrong.

In terms of your security, you need to also consider the consequences of how you and your team stores your passwords. Let’s say that one of your employees is trying to cover up some corporate espionage. If another employee keeps their passwords written on a sticky note somewhere around their workspace (stuck to their monitor, for instance), that gives the insider threat a great way to pin their activities on someone else. This is why it is so important that every computer is locked when left unattended, as we discussed above, especially if the browser or other applications have their access credentials ‘remembered’ by your device.

If you’re seeking a simpler way to remember all the passwords you need to keep in mind, you’d be better off utilizing a password manager.

4. Talk to IT

Regardless of whether you have an internal IT team or you have a managed services agreement with a provider like Washington Works, you need to make sure you are communicating your issue to them in clear detail - chances are, they’ll assume that you have some kind of computer-related issue if you’re reaching out to them. Make sure you provide as much detail as you can, like what your error message says specifically, or a screenshot of your issue, if possible. This makes their job much easier, which leads to quicker resolution times. Hopefully, it goes without saying that you should remain available to IT to ask any questions of you once you reach out to them.

If your business needs more help with its information technology, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We can help your operations by providing the IT solutions and services necessary to remain competitive today. Call 301-571-5040 to learn more.

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