Security, Tip

7 Most important things your users need to know

Here are some tips to pass along to users that will prevent some headaches for them:
1. Reboot before calling for help – By now, most users have probably heard this fundamental law of PC troubleshooting. But enough aren’t aware, or often let it slip their mind, that it’s worth reminding people to restart their machines before they call IT.
2. Craft secure, yet memorable passwords – A common task tech staffers waste a lot of time on: resetting passwords for users who’ve forgotten them. Password creation requires a fine balance — you don’t want users protecting sensitive information with something as easy to crack as “12345,” but tech staffers also don’t want to be bother constantly with password reset requests. One tip for users: Think of a phrase that means something to you, and replace certain letters with similar looking numbers or symbols (for example, @ for a, 3 for E, etc.).
3. Keep your work backed up – IT also spends a lot time recovering work that’s been lost, often due to preventable issues. Teach users to save their work often, show them what server folders are regularly backed up, and offer other tips on how to prevent lost work and other data.
4. Don’t install unauthorized programs – Some users with company-owned laptops see no problem with installing software while they’re home, as long as they removed before they get back to the office. However, that practice greatly increases the odds of installing viruses or spyware, or cause conflicts that hurt a machine’s performance.
5. Don’t keep your disk too full — Some people never throw anything away. That includes stuff on their computers — many users will never delete anything until they get a message that their machine is out of space.
6. Report problems the right way – Users often have their own idea of how to best get help from the IT department, whether it’s by going directly to the staffer they know the best or some other method. However, it’s important to stress that following your normal reporting procedures will help you resolve their problems sooner. Also, tell users what information they should include when they report their problems.
7. Policies are there for a reason – It’s not enough to just educate users about what your policies are. It also helps to explain the reasons the rules are in place. Not knowing the point is once reasons a lot of users ignore IT policies. One point it helps to make: Following the rules makes your computer less likely to malfunction.
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