Computer Upkeep Recommendations for Remote Workers
The last couple years have given rise to some major trends in the workforce, and one of these is the increase in remote workers. The pandemic caused many companies to utilize remote workers, and many found that this practice was applicable and effective for them long-term. For those working remotely, there are a few important areas to keep an eye on, and one of these is basic computer and tech maintenance.
At PC Laptops, we happily provide desktop and laptop repair services to clients throughout Utah, and we also have seen an increase in repair needs among those who work remotely over the last couple years. What are some of the top recommendations we offer to such clients on how to maintain their machines and avoid the need for major repairs or even replacement of their devices, even while at home and without the assistance of your company's tech support specialists in-person? Here are several basics.
One of the single most important concepts to understand when it comes to computer maintenance for remote users is that computers can break down often, and even if you do everything right, your computer could still experience an issue. To protect yourself from these issues, always be sure to back up all of your important data regularly, whether through cloud storage or by storing copies off-site on a hard drive or other device.
You might be shocked, even in the year 2022, to learn how many people still do not regularly back up their data, and when they experience a catastrophic computer failure, they lose everything. If you work remotely and rely on your computer for your livelihood, this is simply unacceptable - make sure to set aside time each week to ensure that all of your important files are backed up in at least two places.
No one is saying you have to become a tech support expert overnight, but there are certain basic concepts that every remote worker should understand when it comes to their computer. These include understanding how to update your operating system and software applications, how to install security patches, and other common areas.
If you aren't sure where to start in this education process, we recommend taking a look at some online resources or even attending a local computer class at a community college or other institution. It's worth taking the time to ensure that you understand these basics, as it can save you a lot of headache - and money - down the road.
Another often-overlooked aspect of computer maintenance is regular cleaning, both of the physical machine itself and of the software. For the physical machine, you should be dusting it off regularly and ensuring that all of the ports and other areas are clear of debris. Naturally, you should avoid liquid sprays or other cleaning agents that could damage your machine.
You should also be regularly cleaning up your software environment, including removing old files and applications that you no longer use, as well as uninstalling any unnecessary browser extensions. Not only will this keep your computer running more quickly, but it also helps reduce the risk of security issues and malware.
If you regularly work outside the home using a laptop, it's important to avoid public Wi-Fi whenever possible. Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure, and it's all too easy for someone with malicious intent to gain access to your device and any sensitive data that you have stored on it.
If you absolutely must use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use a VPN service to encrypt your traffic and keep your data secure. However, most remote workers will find it far more convenient to simply avoid public Wi-Fi networks altogether and use a wired connection or their cellular data instead.
If the time has come for you to update or even replace your computer, be sure to do your research and make informed choices about the new device you're choosing. For example, if your laptop is simply getting old or broken in some areas and you need a new one, opting for a Windows machine over a Mac might not be the best choice.
Instead, consider carefully why you want this update and what you'll be using your new machine for. If you're a graphic designer, for instance, you might want to ensure that you get a machine with a powerful graphics card. Conversely, if you primarily use your computer for simple tasks like browsing the web and checking email, spending extra on a high-end machine isn't necessary.
This is a process where tech support employees from your company should definitely be involved, especially if the company is covering the cost of your new machine. After all, they will be the ones dealing with any issues that arise and will need to ensure that your machine meets their requirements.
Especially if your work involves any kind of sensitive or private data, you should always be encrypting your files and other data where possible. For example, many operating systems now come with built-in encryption software that can be used to protect your important files.
Additionally, there are a number of third-party applications that offer powerful encryption capabilities for different devices. Whether this is a full hard drive encryption, messaging encryption, or something else, taking the extra time to set this up can go a long way in protecting your data.
Overall, there are a number of important areas you should be focusing on as a remote worker when it comes to computer and tech upkeep. By putting these tips into practice on a regular basis and investing some time and effort into keeping your machine in good shape, you can avoid many common issues and keep your work environment running smoothly.
For more on this, or to learn about our computer repair services or other solutions, speak to the team at PC Laptops today.