Tech support, computers, technology are usually one of the more frustrating topics for a business owner. There are viruses to watch out for, computers that crash and it always seems to cause more of an issue than it should. Here are a couple tips to help you run into less computer problems and help recover from them when they happen.
In businesses and tech support, software updates are usually ignored. This is a huge problem. Out of date software on your computer is a gaping security hole. Software by nature has flaws and is subject to exploitation by cyber criminals. Zero Day’s are a good example of this. A zero day is essentially a California style gold rush to suck as much cash out of businesses as possible before a security update is applied to fix a known software vulnerability.
It isn’t only about security though. Software updates fix bugs, performance issues and stability of the software. You could be cutting yourself out of a better performing system if you don’t update your software.
Some businesses embrace the cloud and some don’t. We recommend a hybrid approach to get the best of both worlds. This means backing up your data to a local storage device in the office and someone else’s data center (the cloud). The reason for both is that if you ever need to restore data from the cloud, it could take a very long time since you have to download it from the internet. With a local backup you get the benefit of a quick data restore but if your office ever floods, gets broken into or the janitor accidently knocks your backup device over cleaning- then you have a backup ion the cloud.
BONUS: Use an incremental backup software and make sure the data center you use will ship your data to you on a drive in the event of a disaster.
You may have purchased the coolest new Apple iMac or best in class Dell Optiplex this year, but those fancy computers won’t make anything run better if your network devices as are old as a fine scotch. Switches, firewalls, surge protectors and battery backups are the unsung heroes in the tech support world. If you update them regularly things will run faster, be more reliable and it will prevent pre-mature hardware issues on your critical devices.
Ever heard of ransomware? Anti virus and Spam filtering won’t guarantee you won’t get infected but it sure will help prevent it. Spam isn’t just unwanted solicitations from people anymore. Spam is now a large medium for virus and ransomware infections. This is a major tech support must have. The combination of spam filtering, anti virus and a proper backup will get you mostly protected.
When you buy software, whether it is a big or small purchase, document it. Stow it away in one central place. Chances are if you don’t do this, you’ll need to end up buying that software again. Ever had a computer crash, had to replace it only to find you can’t find the old software? It makes fixing issues much harder especially the more expensive the software is. We recommend keeping the receipt, the software, the CD and any additional license information that came with it.
Just like you should do with your taxes, accounting and contracts- it’s best practice to have a professional to look over the network to make sure you don’t have some huge issues or at least have a different set of eyes on things. Is you backup working properly? Is your network secure? Is your backup working? Are your computers on their last leg?