Computers are highly useful and incredible tools for allowing us to get lots more work done more quickly. Technically speaking they are examples of 'force multipliers' meaning that they can take the amount of effort and time you put in and greatly magnify the output. In fact, computers are so useful to businesses as productivity tools, communications devices and as organisers, that we have become somewhat dependent on them and are incapable of working without them.
And for all their power computers to have a tendency to go wrong and usually this is at the most inopportune times possible. This is of course why there is such a big market for IT repair companies! but we should try not to rely on then too much either.
Better then is of course to try and avoid letting things go wrong in the first place and to this end there are many good practises we can observe to keep things working well. Here we will look at some of those.
Use Virus Software
Virus software isn't just hype - it really does work and it really is important to keep you safe from numerous viruses. While computers are generally more secure than they once were, having a virus protector is still recommended for any business.
The best antivirus software in the world though is little use unless you keep it up to date. virus scanners work by comparing the files on your machine with a database of known viruses and of course as new viruses come out this database can run the risk of becoming outdated. Make sure this doesn't catch you out by letting the software run all recommended updates. Meanwhile you should also update all other software on your computers when it asks you too as this will ensure that your defences are as up to date as they can be.
There are countless software packages available that allow you to filter content online, block sites altogether and generally restrict browsing. Using these may come off as a little too 'Big Brother's for your liking, but it can be a good way to ensure that your staff avoid sites that could feasibly host viruses. Of course you could also just request they don't use the computers for personal browsing which will help to create an environment of trust.
Generally keeping computers organised and not storing too many unneeded files can help them to stay faster and cleaner and to operate more smoothly. Encourage your staff to do this then, and consider investing in courses to help them learn the best practises. At the same time you should make sure that they are all aware that it's office policy to delete files when they're not being used and you should allot some time for them to clear their system up – just as you might provide time for them to clean and organize their desktop. Of course using the right software in the first place can also help this tremendously.
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Lane Kramer works at Tech Seek, for more information about their products and services click here
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