Office pc’s and laptops are often robust pieces of IT equipment and can withstand many of the knocks and scratches they might be subjected to during their working life. Like us, they might slow down a bit as they get older but if they are looked after, you can extend their life and maintain functionality.
Jeff Skinner - Head of IT provides his five basic tips that every company can implement to keep their computers in prime condition.
Give it a Rest and Turn It Off
You would be very surprised by the number of businesses who instruct their employees to leave their pc’s on constantly. Some will say they need to be left on to perform software and security updates and that turning them on and off on a daily basis will damage them.
From an environmental perspective, leaving a pc on isn’t a good choice. The hard drive and processor will continue to work in the background generating heat which requires the cooling system to operate. It is unlikely to happen, but should the cooling system fail, your computer will overheat with potentially more serious implications.
Turning your computer off completely allows it to close down and essentially reset itself. It will give the computer a chance to sort out old and new data and generally clear up its memory. This will help its performance and will not prevent it being updated as these will just take place when you turn it on again.
Control the Power
What would happen if there was a power cut or a sudden surge of electricity to your office? Computers are pretty robust but like any other electrical product they can be susceptible to erratic power supplies.
Providing protection from power surges can be relatively simple to implement. You can buy uninterruptible power supply (UPS) strips to guard against these although if you find yourself in the middle of a lightning storm, it would be good practice to turn the computer off at the wall.
Security is Provided for a Reason
You would be amazed how many people choose really obvious passwords such as ‘password’ and ‘admin’. This in my opinion is asking for trouble. Choose a password that is unique to you and one that utilises a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and don’t forget to change it at least twice a year.
If you are unsure of the source of an email don’t open it and please don’t open any attachments that are sent with it. This is a favourite for hackers and the most common way for viruses to be spread.
Banner ads aren’t always from the sources they appear to be sent from – be vigilant when clicking on these.
Stay Safe and Keep Virus Protections Updated
Anti-virus software is nearly always installed on new computers and the majority of companies will often have their own systems in place.
Make sure all your computers are protected by reputable anti-virus software and the settings allow them to automatically update.
Do not run multiple anti-virus software on one computer. If you purchase market leading software this will provide you with all the protection you need and will not slow down your computer’s performance which will be the case when running more than one.
Leave the Advanced Setting Alone, Unless You Know What You Are Doing!
There have been multiple occasions when we have been asked to provide our assistance for computers where the user has ventured into the advanced settings to try to rectify a problem or improve the performance of their pc. If you know what you are doing this can work but if you don’t have the skills and knowledge you could cause damage to the pc.
Always seek the expertise of an IT professional when making changes to the internal workings of your computer.
If you require any further information about any of the above, please get in touch and we will be very happy to discuss any IT concerns or requirements your company might have.
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