By Bruce Penson, Managing Director of Pro Drive IT
Here are 5 remote working tips to help your IT last longer, whether you’re at home or moving between sites.
If you adopt some good habits as routine, you’re more likely to have happy tech.
Q: First things first: how long do you expect your tech to last?
A: We know we’ve added a slightly humorous picture to this article but it’s a contentious issue! It depends who you ask – the average man in the street may well say that when you’ve spent a small fortune on a computer you want it to last ‘forever’. Tech geeks might prefer to ditch their kit as soon as it’s superseded by the next release – or when it won’t run the latest software.
The reality, as most suppliers should tell you, is that if your computer hardware is three – four years old and getting creaky, it’s time to save yourself time, pain and money and get a replacement.
So, it’s a bit of a ‘throwaway culture’ when it comes to most IT hardware. And, since more of us are remote working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are the additional risks from moving equipment around. Even the most robust of laptops will only take so many knocks before they break – you may have found this out already!
Here are 5 remote working tips to help you stay in business:
1. Don’t leave it all to chance
Insure your equipment. If you use Warranties that’s a good start. But even if you have an extended Warranty the ‘wrong’ bit of the computer could break, so it pays to get insurance.
2. Use a robust case if you’re carrying your equipment around
Don’t be tempted to shove it in a carrier bag just because you’re running late!
Don’t give cyber criminals a helping hand by leaving the door to your apps and online accounts wide open. At the very least invest in reputable cyber protection software on your home computers (hopefully your office should have this already!). You pay for what you get so don’t pick a free one (some of these are actually scams anyway – avoid!). If you want to ensure you have reasonable protection look at leading brands. Better still, if you’re using your computer for business you should consider more rigorous security like Cyber Essentials. Some companies which handle sensitive data and financial accounts, such as law firms and accountants, should have this but ensure it’s extended for use wherever you’re working.
4. Keep up with your computer updates: yes, they can be a right pain but don’t ignore software updates because they help your devices last longer
They’ll provide fixes for some performance issues and possible bugs. Mostly you can opt to schedule them for when you’re not using your devices. A word of warning: be careful that it’s a real update – there have been some cyber attackers using very convincing update messages that look like they’ve come from Microsoft, for example. Don’t click on links without checking they’re genuine first and don’t download apps unless you know they’ve come from a safe source.
5. Be careful where you use your computers
Unfortunately, we know of several people who have smashed screens or spilt their hot drink over their laptops, rendering them useless. This is even more likely now that users are working at home. Generally, computers don’t like damp, cold or extremely hot environments either.
For further ideas, take a look at our website; we regularly update information about cyber security and cloud services for example.