How to keep your work computer fit and healthy
Do you use a computer at work? Chances are, you probably do.
In 2015, approximately 83% of all UK businesses in 2015 had internet access. Those with their own work computer will know how difficult it can be to keep it up and running all the time. If you're not an IT professional it can be hard to determine how to fix certain issues.
We’ve put together a list of tips on how to help you keep your computer happy and healthy, without to resort to asking an IT professional.
Use antivirus and malware software
Many of you will have heard of antivirus software, perhaps even malware.
Antivirus software comes in many different forms, from free tools to paid versions. One of the most popular antivirus programs is AVG Antivirus. You can use this (or similar programs) basic free software or you can use the business version. Free versions are helpful if you only have one computer to protect or you barely use it, but it isn't the best solution when it comes to business.
The business version gives you much more in terms of security tools, including the ability to ‘shred’ files (deleting them forever) and protects against ransomware. Although this is going to appeal to some businesses, it's always better to invest in a security service that covers more than just virus protection. Only use AVG if your employer does not use or pay for more professional services. Because some protection is better than no protection, right?
Take care downloading files and images
Always be cautious when downloading anything on your work computer. If you do not have a scanner looking at the files, then it’s possible that you could be downloading viruses along with your files and images. Always check with your employer or manager before you download anything significant.
Any file can look innocent at first glance. Sometimes your computer or web browser will step in and warn you if it's not sure of a certain file. Heed this warning! Only download files from trusted sources and be especially careful when downloading images as there is the possibility they might have a virus attached. If you want an image and can’t find it from a trusted source, a handy workaround is to use a tool to screen grab it (such as Awesome Screenshot) or use print screen and edit/save the image in programs like Paint. Don’t right click and save a file unless you can be sure it's safe.
Remember your software updates and restarts
Have you ever wondered why your computer seems to be running a little slower than usual? This is mostly caused by incomplete system or software updates. If you can, set the computer and programs to automatically update. Otherwise, make sure notifications are on and that you manually update when you're given warning.
You also need to periodically turn your computer off or restart it. Leaving the computer on permanently can stop some updates from fully uploading and, just like us, computers need to pause for a moment too! Try turning it off over the weekend if you work Monday to Friday. Or give it a restart a couple of times a week to keep things running smoothly.
Check system storage and overloading
Your computer’s storage system can fill up in no time if you don’t keep an eye on it. This can slow the computer down, and it can also halt potentially important updates due to a lack of space.
Cloud storage could be the answer in this case. Services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox are free to use, or your employer could have a service like this already in place using either VPS or dedicated servers. It wouldn’t hurt to go through the computer and purge it of files that are no longer relevant or clogging up space unnecessarily too!
On top of this, make sure you're not overloading the computer while in use (e.g. have 15+ tabs open in Chrome or running a multitude of programs all at once). This point is especially aimed at those using two screens, because while you might feel you have more space, you'll still be using the same computer with the same specification. Try and remember to close programs and tabs when you're not using them.
Invest in managed IT support
For businesses with more than two computers we would highly recommend small business IT support. Having a managed IT service allows experts to keep an eye on your computers, so they can fix any issues the computer may have without you needing to lift a finger.
At Xenace, we offer business IT support all over the UK and are on hand 24/7 to make sure you're always up and running. We cover business with as little as three computers all the way to 100 (and more). We pride ourselves on our fantastic customer service and prompt support.
If you're an employee, and you believe managed IT support would benefit the business you work for, bring the idea to your employer and see how they feel. If they're uncertain, direct them to the IT support company you’ve chosen and they’ll be able to answer any and all questions.
Written by Jade Waddy for Xenace
0333 444 44 02