Best Computer Practices Your Users Should Practice

Most people can understand and read English. Not everyone today can understand and use a computer proficiently though – a skill highly valuable in today’s rapidly growing technological world. Here are five best practices I’ve adapted from an article at TechRepublic to make sure the users at your company know how to do when working with computers.

computer best practices1. Reboot before going for help.

While rebooting may not solve every computer problem you experience, it oddly enough does often fix errors, software functionality problems and other oddities you sometimes experience when using a computer. I don’t know the science behind it, but more often than not, rebooting your computer will fix weird quirks you suddenly start experiencing, which can save you and your IT guys time before you run to help.

2. Think critically about the errors and problems you experience.

No matter what type of computer support you’re talking to, all technicians will want to know the answer to these questions:

– What were you doing when you received the error message or  first noticed the problem?

– What was the specific error number and message if you received an error?

– Can you reproduce the problem? (Meaning, was it a one-time thing or does it consistently happen to you?)

Many software programs have features that will capture a lot of this data automatically and allow you to send it to their support to be fixed. Not all programs do though, so it’s important to train your users to think with these questions in mind so that they can get any issues resolved quickly by giving support this information needed to replicate your problem.

3. Protect passwords. Period.

If – and I highly recommend it – your company uses security on the computers at your office, teach your users to keep their passwords safe, and by safe I don’t mean on a sticky note attached to the screen. When users make passwords available for anyone to find and access, it negates your security and data integrity.

4. Prevent data loss.

Backups of data aren’t automatic, so make sure your users understand that if they delete something within the software program and it wasn’t backed up, it may not be recoverable. See my previous post on why data matters.

5. Double-check before you click send.

Several times per month I receive emails accidentally sent to me by clients. Although the results are not always bad, e-mails you send for work often contain sensitive or confidential information which could lead to embarrassing or potential damaging results if the wrong person receives the info you are sending.

Make sure you double check the sender you’ve entered in your e-mails before you press send to make sure it’s who you intend to send the email to.

What do you think? What other best practices would you recommend for your users? Let me know what to add to this list.

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