7 Easy Ways to Avoid Office Technology Headaches

Aug 31, 2010

office technology headache

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  1. Save to the server, not the desktop

    Most employees save things to their C:\ drive at work because that’s what they do at home. In the work environment you DON’T want to do this for several reasons. Your desktop isn’t backed up so your data is vulnerable if you get a virus, your hard drive crashes, or your IT department decides to replace your computer over the weekend. Your server gets backed up on a regular basis (at least it should) so there is a backup of your most critical data.
  2. Backup your data and test it on a regular basis

    Your server should be backed up on a regular basis – ideally daily and no less than once a week. All of your company’s desktops should be programmed so users automatically save to the server as well – this ensures that all of your critical is in one place to make it easy to find and backup. Not only do you want to backup your data you also want to test your backups. We were doing a site assessment for a perspective client a little while ago and we looked at the log of their backups. For the last 9 months an error had occurred during the backup process –which meant there was no backup in place! This was an engineering firm so their data included designs that took days and weeks to make.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that traditional tape backups have a pretty high failure rate. One website, BusinessContinuityAdvice.com, says that the failure rate of tape backups is between 42% and 71% (though they don’t cite a source). Tapes are fragile – if you take a tape home with you and leave it in your car they could become overheated and become damaged (and they can become damaged in any number of ways). We recommend a duel-backup solution. We recommend that you have an on-site digital backup (like another server our one of our BCA) and an off-site digital backup. Having the data off-site is important in case something happens inside your office like a fire or a theft.

  3. Back up your website

    Websites are becoming more and more critical to your business. A good looking website makes your business look more legitimate to potential customers. Every now and then though something happens and your website goes down. That’s why it is critical to have a recent backup of your website. Some hosting companies, like HostGator, do backups for you. Others do not. Speaking from experience you want to make sure you have a backup – it will save you from suffering a heart attack.

  4. Run commercial grade anti-virus and malware software

    A home user, whose data has sentimental , can use free anti-virus software if they desire. A business, however, should use commercial grade software from one of the leading companies. The software is better and it is worth the money. Your business data is critical to running your business and making sure your people can feed and house their families.

  5. Backup your email on a monthly basis

    Outlook gives you the ability to backup your email whenever you wish. Your email should already be part of the backups run on the server but you can run a separate backup through Outlook by going to File > Import and Export > Export to a File > Personal Folder File. Select which folders you want to backup and then click on Finish. For more details visit: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/back-up-outlook-e-mail-messages-HA001103081.aspx

  6. Lock your workstation

    If you’re going to walk away from your computer for more than a few moments its best to lock your workstation. A significant portion of intellectual property is stolen by employees of the organization that owns the IP. Locking your workstations helps prevent employees from accessing files they aren’t authorized to access and helps protect your most precious data.

  7. Tough password

    This one is so important we dedicated an entire blog post to it. The longer and more complex your password the better. The password 719-442-6683 (our phone number) would take a low-end computer without sophisticated equipment about 8 hours to crack. The password argylesocks would take the computer 11 years to crack. Mixing numbers, letters, and special characters is the best. @rgy1eS0ckS (argyle socks with a mix of characters) would take around 1,000,000 years to crack.

What easy tips do you have? And have you learned them the hard way or the easy way?

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