Five Top IT Tips: Good Working Practices

Five Top IT Tips: Good Working Practices

Five top tips: Good working practices in the office
There are so many easy things that you can do to ensure you keep good working practices either at home or in the office.

Here are our five top tips:

When to Restart your computer:

It is a well-known joke around the IT world, that support calls always begin with “have you tried restarting?" It may seem like a frivolous joke, but there is truth to the joke for good reason. Your computer performs important updates and resets during a restart, so restarting regularly keeps your computer functioning at its best.

During normal operations, the internal components of your computer heat up (especially laptops and micro/mini pcs), and most are not designed to handle these high temperatures for long. They are normally designed to stay warm for 8-10 hours per day. Machines that run for longer than that regularly often have a much shorter life, as internal components wear out quicker.

To restart your machine, press the windows icon on the screen (or the windows button on your keyboard), select the power icon, then restart.
Your computer should be restarted at least once per week. Restarting is a good habit as this ensures your computer is updated regularly and that your machine also gets the opportunity to cool down.

If you are not on a managed IT services contract where backups and updates often happen after hours, then we recommend shutting down your computer at the end of each shift, following the same procedure, but selecting Shut down instead of restart.

If you are on a managed IT services contract then perform a restart at the end of your shift and leave your machine logged out of your profile, as the updates and backups will use their own system profile. Screens can be turned off to save power.

Installing Apps, Yourself

During your working day, you may find the occasional time where you feel the need for a new application you don’t already have, to perform an additional function, or to improve on the application you currently use. New, and free, applications can be easily found on the internet, but these applications can be malicious, and it can be hard to tell which are and which aren’t. In addition, a malicious application can contain a virus or open a “back door” giving others access to your device without your knowledge.

We strongly recommend that you do not install applications on your machine without first vetting the application for safety. All the software you need to perform your job would normally be provided to you by your manager, so make sure you talk to your manager if you require additional software, so you can make a safe plan.
Alternatively, you can contact us here, your local IT Support Partner and we can help you decide if this is safe software to install.

What to do when you get an Antivirus Alert
Sometimes your computer will show you a scary looking virus alert. We often get calls from users who worry about these alerts and wonder what they should do about them. Good news! There is nothing to do. These alerts simply mean that your antivirus software is doing its job.

In the event you get an antivirus alert like this that means that the antivirus software has recognized malware or a virus on your computer, and that the software has done its job and protected you from the attack. You don’t need to do anything, except relax knowing you are being taken care of.

Of course, if you are still unsure, call or contact us and we can check it out for you.

My computer has an Error Message – what do I do?

Error messages can, but should not be, a regular occurrence on a computer. Error messages appear for a variety of reasons, but the top reasons are:
  • The application you are using has a problem.
  • Your operating system has internal issues with itself.
  • Hardware in your computer has issues.

  • If you get the occasional error message, then you can usually safely ignore the message, or close and reopen the offending application. Most of the time the error is temporary and will not appear again.

    However, if the error message keeps coming back, or you are getting a variety of different error messages, then this is an issue you should raise a support ticket for.

    If possible, take a screenshot of the error when it occurs, so you can send this to your technician. Alternatively, call your technician when the error occurs, so they can look at it immediately. Seeing the error message can hold some vital clues as to what is going wrong on your machine.

    Going away from Your Workstation

    Computer security is a big topic of conversation right now, but one discussion that is often not discussed is physical security. One critical piece of physical security that you are responsible for is how you leave your computer. Whenever you are away from your computer, it should be secured so that others cannot use your unlocked computer while you are not there. This can potentially give up sensitive information to malicious “guests” in your office or to other internal staff. To prevent this type of intrusion, whenever you are away from your computer you should lock your machine. You can do this by

    PRESS (on your keyboard):

    or PRESS (on your keyboard):

    Then, SELECT the “Lock” option on the screen

    You can also set your “Power and Sleep” settings so that your computer is automatically locked after a certain period of inactivity. WE recommend this be set to a maximum of 5 minutes. This means that if you leave your machine, and forget to lock your machine, then your machine is at worst unlocked for 5 minutes.

    If you require any more information on any of these practices, or how to increase your security in the office or at home, please reach out to CT Business Solutions, your local ITA member.

    This article was kindly written by our IT Alliance colleague Victoria McNoe from Decision1 in Dunedin

    IT Alliance Members:

    CT Business Solutions - Hamilton

    @Computer - Northland

    IT Live Auckland

    Technology Partners - Tauranga

    Vision Lab - Te Puke

    AdvancedIT - Rotorua

    BlackSANZ - New Plymouth

    GTB - Kapiti, Wellington

    Decision1 IT Solutions - Dunedin

    IT Centre - Wanaka

    Voicecom - Invercargill

    IT Alliance Website

    Last updated: 07/09/2022
    Tech Tips 2022

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