Things Your IT Department Knows That You Should, Too

Our world is more computer-reliant than ever.

Companies use personal computers, smart-phones, and tablet computers for everything from intra-office communication to business-to-customer marketing. In such a pervasive computing environment, IT professionals often find themselves wishing their bosses and coworkers knew certain cautionary things, such as the following.

Laptops and Fabric Don’t Mix 

Whether it means business trips or working from home, today’s employees often use corporate laptops and other computing hardware away from the main office. Teach your employees that laptops should always be used on a hard, flat, stable surface – and that surface can go on your lap. Think TV Dinner trays. Laptops placed on fabric surfaces can easily fall off or even overheat, causing hundreds of dollars in damage.


Freebies Can Cause Trouble 

Users like to customize machines, and fast internet technologies such as fiber optic ethernet have made that a little too easy. While there’s usually nothing wrong with changing the wallpaper, free software such as toolbars and screen savers are high-risk offenders. They are invasive, use up system resources, and often come loaded with malware. Make and enforce strong offices policies about what can and cannot be installed on business-owned machines.

Keep Keyboards Clean  

Another important tip many IT professionals wish their coworkers knew is the importance of a clean keyboard. Keyboards (especially shared keyboards) are not only germ factories, they can collect dust, dirt and grime that can harm the underlying hardware. Gross keyboards also negatively impact office morale, so train employees to give them a wipe-down every few weeks – or after that bagel breakfast – with an electronics-safe wipe.

Updates Aren’t Suggestions 

Operating system updates and virus updates can be annoying, especially when they force computer restarts or otherwise get in the way of work. That’s why it’s important to teach users that updates are vital to maintaining a fast, stable and secure network. One way to do this is to, whenever possible, set updates to run during slow periods or after the end of the business day. You can also use fast internet technologies, such as fiber optic ethernet, to make updating less intrusive.

Backups Need Testing  

Another thing many IT pros wish their coworkers knew is the importance of testing back-ups. You probably already know the importance of baking up mission-critical data, but, according to InfoWorld, it’s equally important to make sure those backups work. Fortunately, that’s easier than ever. With fast internet technologies like fiber optic internet, combined with cloud computing, make testing backups as simple as clicking a button.

Many Security Problems Start in the Corner Office 

Finally, be aware that many security problems are the result of actions taken by corporate officers, not because these individuals are malicious, but because the pressures of business often leave them little time to stay up-to-date on threats. Since executives often listen more readily to other executives, it’s vital for CIOs to make sure their peers know enough about “how things work” and what not to click.