8 ways to help maintain your computer and devices at work
You most likely couldn't do your job without your computer and mobile
devices. Everyday you use them to work on files, connect with people,
and access resources. Keeping them running smoothly is important to
So how do you start?
At work your
computer and devices are part of a larger network. Keeping them running
means you have to work closely with your corporate IT department.
Working with them will save you time, save your company money, and help
keep the network secure. This article includes tips and best practices
for working with your corporate IT department to keep your computer and
devices up-to-date and functioning properly.
Who owns the computer?
You use a computer at work, you may take it home, and you might even
have a picture of your kids on the computer desktop. The computer,
though, isn't yours. It's important to realize that your company owns
that computer. They have the right to install patches and updates on a
regular basis. By doing so, they can make sure your computer and the
network run as smoothly as possible.
"It's common for IT
departments to get complaints about patches being put on computers,"
said Jim DuBois, a general manager for IT at Microsoft. "But it is the
best way for companies to make sure the network and computers remain
To further protect their computers, many companies
even prevent users from making changes to the settings or software
installed on the computer.
Best practices for maintaining your computer
Use these best practices to help maintain and protect the computer you
use at work. You should contact your IT department to determine their
- 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 whether the IT department
wants you to install updates on Microsoft Update .
If they do, make it a habit of checking Microsoft Update regularly.
You'll save yourself the hassle of the IT department forcing you to
install updates when it's not convenient for you.
- Install only licensed programs.
Make sure that you or your company have 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 computers. 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 bought for
home use can not be installed at work as well.
- 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 the software your co-workers are using
and with your specific line of business applications. Your IT
department may also not be able to make any required updates or provide
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be aware of suspicious e-mails.
A virus introduced though e-mail may be disguised as a downloadable
file. If an e-mail you receive is from someone you don't know, contains
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 does contain a virus, the IT department
can ask other employees in the organization to look for similar
- 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. For help effectively using Microsoft products, you can also use
the following resources: