Sunday, October 15

What should you do before you call IT service?

In the eWeek, one article is talking about How to Stay in Your Help Desk's Good Graces:
  1. You should know how to save and back up your work.
  2. You and you alone are responsible for knowing your password.
  3. You should know how to email effectively, securely and efficiently.
  4. Do your part to secure your workstation.
  5. You should troubleshoot before calling for help.
It is too complicate, and some might say the technology is so difficult. The thing is, those "difficult technologies" are becoming common sence, and IT professonals have something more difficult to do. The expectation from IT professionals to users is becoming higher, anyway.

The first one is reasonalble. You should know how to save and back up your work. Back up your work regularly, so when bad things happen, you are not that nervous. The computer is vulnerable. It is extremely vulnerable. Don't rely on it. This is the word from an old IT professional, please take it.

The second advice is to make sure you know your own password, and don't let others have it. Although you might not have anything important in your computer, you don't care too much about your password. But what if some people log in the system using your account? How will you get yourself out of the mess if the system log says you are the one who accidently deleted an important company file?

The next advice is about email. I would add "Internet" as well. Spam email, Phishing website, Trojan horse are common sense for Internet users. If you are not familiar with any of these three concepts, you should take some time to read some security articles. At least you should read the related pages in the wikipedia. Deleting useless email will release hard drive space of server, relieve the anxiety of the IT department; It actually give you more space to save useful email.

The forth advice is to do your part to secure your computer. The previous advices tell you to be serious of security. While the responsibility for securing the corporation's network falls predominantly on the IT department, there are something the employees can do to ensure that their computers are not the stations that wave the bad guys in.
Among these, not opening risky attachments or downloading unknown software from the crazy Internet are near the top of the list. If in your work you desperately need some software which is introduced by a friend, talk to the IT guys, ask them to make an accessment, get their approval before you install it. They will be only too happy to do that, because they have the chance to check it first before a rampant virus is controling the network. Creating a strong (enough) password, and locking your computer when you leave it, are the rest of things you can do. It's not too difficult, isn it?

The last advice, troubleshooting before you call for help, is to show your respect to the IT guys' work. You don't want them to come over only to press the "Reset" button. Give them some challenging job, please. You can press the "Reset" button by yourself, you can check the plug of the computer/printer, and check the paper tray if it is empty. The biggest secrete in Microsoft's Windows system is: When you get error message now and then, save your work and reboot your computer. Mostly your computer returns to normal after a reboot.
Another meaning of troubleshooting is to find out "How to repeatreproduce the error message." Then you can communicate with IT guys in and effective way. This is the best way to Stay in Your Help Desk's Good Graces.

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