Tip of the Week: 3 PC Best Practices You Need to Know


b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_practices_400.jpgSometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is return to the basics. For example, you can know all of the keyboard shortcuts in the world, but that doesn’t help you properly shut down your computer. Here are three tips for every computer user who wants to make sure that they’re using PC best practices.

How to Properly Shut Down Your PC
The important thing to note about shutting down your PC is that there’s only one legitimate way to do it. Simply click on the Start Menu and go to Shut down. There’s no way around it. The reason we feel we need to bring this up here is because some folks like to think that turning off a PC is no different from any other appliance or device. Contrary to popular belief, holding the power button is not the proper way to shut down your PC. This kind of abrupt shut-off procedure is exactly the kind of move that leads to potential data loss and file damage, as applications aren’t being given the time needed to shut down properly.

Again, the only way you should be shutting down your PC is by using Start Menu > Shut down. Don’t even think about unplugging it or flipping the switch on the power strip it’s plugged into. A sudden power outage, even if it’s intentional, can be enough to result in file corruption and even data loss. This is why you want to invest in an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) device for your organization’s workstations. If the device detects a sudden loss of power, it will keep your machines functioning long enough to save your work and properly shut down all hardware involved.

Get a Grasp of Your File Storage
One of the simplest ways you can make your computing process easier is by knowing where you’re storing all of your files. Most people know how to save a document that they’re working on, and they know it’s important to click “save” often. Sure, you know how to save your files, but this does nothing to help you find them afterward. Knowing where your files are stored is a common-sense practice that helps your organization share files with other users on your network.

If you’re not intentional about keeping track of where your files are stored, it could clutter up your network with different versions of the same files, stored all over the place. For example, storing some of your files locally on your hard drive, some on the network, and some on the cloud, is just asking for trouble. It can make locating individual files troublesome and time-consuming. You can solve this problem by putting a policy in place for where you want all files saved to.

Tip: One way to find out exactly where your file is being stored is to right click the file and go to properties. From here, go to the General tab and find the file path listed under Location.

Keep in mind that most businesses that utilize a data backup solution are only backing up the data that’s stored in centrally managed locations on their network. If you’re keeping important files locally on your workstation, it complicates matters for two reasons: 1) You’re making it more difficult for others to access them, and 2) You’ll be held accountable if the files are lost during an unexpected power outage or other disaster, and they aren’t backed up properly.

Always Update Your Software and Antivirus Definitions
If your computer rarely experiences technical hiccups, it’s easy to think that there’s nothing wrong with it. However, these slight hiccups might be hints that there are underlying problems that need to be addressed, like those that are resolved in the latest patches and security updates. These preventative measures are designed to keep your computers running well, so you don’t have to guess whether or not your systems are vulnerable to hacking attacks. Likewise, it’s important that you’re updating your virus definitions so you know that your systems are protected from the latest threat actors. Running the latest versions of all of your mission-critical software also helps to keep hackers at bay, as they won’t be able to take advantage of deprecated features that are riddled with security holes.

If you’re always trying to update multiple workstations with the latest versions of multiple pieces of software, it’s easy to see how you can lose track of what needs to be done. This is why Symmetric IT Group offers remote monitoring and maintenance solutions designed to remotely deploy patches and security updates to your business’s units. This takes the pain out of constantly updating your technology, and you can use the time saved to concentrate on other, more profitable aspects of your business.

These three tips are pretty basic, but their importance is not to be underestimated. Don’t neglect these best practices, for if you do, it can make working with your technology vastly more painful than it needs to be. Subscribe to Symmetric IT Group’s blog for more great tech tips.

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