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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best Practices for Maintaining Your Computer

1.Install all updates required by your IT department. Not installing updates as required by your IT department can expose your company to viruses and other security risks. Some companies even prevent computers from accessing the network if patches aren't installed after a set date. Also, find out if the IT department wants you to install updates on Office Update and Microsoft Update. If they do, make it a habit of checking those sites regularly. You'll save yourself the hassle of the IT department forcing you to install updates when it's not convenient for you.

2.Install only licensed programs. Make sure you or your company has a license for any software you install on your work computer. Your company can get sued for having software without a license installed on its machines. For example, installing a program your friend bought could present some problems. Software that you've bought a license for is probably fine, but double-check the license to make sure. Sometimes, software licenses bought for home use can not be installed at work as well.

3.Don't install different versions of software. Even if you prefer the version of software you use at home rather than work, don't install it on your work computer. You could have incompatibility problems with co-workers and your specific line of business applications. Your IT department may also not be able to make any required updates or provide technical support.

4.Let IT know when hardware isn't working. Fixing a broken computer yourself could just cause more problems. Your fixes, for example, could make the computer incompatible with the corporate network. Most IT departments have a helpdesk or technical assistance program designed for this type of work. The IT department may have already seen the same problem and have a known fix. Helping your IT department track common computer problems can also help them decide which brand and make of computer to order in the future.

5.Let IT know when you need something. Giving the IT department reasonable requests and adequate time for planning can help them respond to your needs. Otherwise, you may end up with computer software or hardware you didn't want—which can hinder how effective you are at work.

6.Don't download programs from Internet sites you don't trust. By downloading programs that may not be secure, you put all the computers on the network at risk.

7.Be aware of suspicious e-mails. Viruses introduced though e-mail may be disguised as a downloadable file. If an e-mail you receive is from someone you don't know, has strange text, or otherwise looks suspicious, contact your IT department. If you open it, you could potentially cause problems for you and you co-workers. If it is a virus, the IT department can ask other employees in the organization to look for similar e-mails.

8.Use online support resources. Many IT departments have created online internal help sites that could provide an answer to your computer problem. Each day, Help desks typically receive many questions that are already answered at these sites. The Gartner Group, which provides research and analysis on the IT industry, predicts that by 2005 support calls will be cut in half. Instead, employees will use self-help options—such as frequently asked questions (FAQ) and online how-to guides—to help solve problems. For help effectively using Microsoft products, you can also use the following resources:

•Microsoft Office Online Assistance Center
•Microsoft Knowledge Base
•Microsoft Windows XP Support Center


Articles source : http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/getstarted/maintain.mspx

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