Most common IT mistakes – a view from our helpdesk

At Dynamic Edge, we’ve been supporting clients with their IT for over a decade and in that time we’ve come across and helped to solve countless problems – from five minute fixes to longer, strategic projects. This fact got the team here thinking, what are the most common IT mistakes made by the clients we support? We asked our helpdesk and wrote this helpful list to prevent you from running into the same issues.

1. I can’t login to my computer

An issue as old as the IT industry itself, hardly a day goes by without a request around gaining access to a user’s device. Most of the time it’s simple issues like a password being forgotten and requiring to be reset, or the device itself is lacking a network connection. In these circumstances there are some simple things you can do to overcome this all-too-common support case:

  • Use password hints to jog your memory
  • Make your password strong but not forgettable, a common approach is a mix of words, capital letters and “special” characters such as “Lamp-Hammer-Dynamic”
  • Check your device’s connectivity – if it’s a smartphone or tablet, check for Wi-Fi, if it’s a PC or laptop, ensure the network cable is attached

 

Of course, there are many situations where login issues can be more complicated than those quick fixes mentioned above, and that’s where an expert IT support company can assist you and your workforce when addressing login issues.

2. I’ve accidentally deleted this really important file(s)

Another super common support request comes from users who have managed to misplace or lose files on their business device. It happens to the best of us! Some of the reasons related to unintentional file loss include:

  • Not saving the file! Get into the habit of saving a file once you open it, especially if it’s going to be a lot of work to recreate the file – such as the annual budget or board report! Once you hit that “save” button the file is saved onto your IT network and can likely be recovered even if you forget where you left it.
  • Poor folder structure – we all know that user who saves everything to desktop! Make sure you organise your personal folders and those you are responsible for on your network in a logical and well-structured manner. This will greatly reduce the risk of you losing files as you’ll already be halfway there when trying to remember where you saved it – e.g. your budget file will most likely be filed in the “Finance” folder.
  • Corrupted files – with the emergence of cloud technology this issue is not as common as it once was, however files can still become corrupted if not handled in the right way. Examples of this would be when you remove a USB stick before a file has transferred from one device to another, or cut the power to your PC before saving your work.

The good news with this type of problem is that a lot of the time lost files can be recovered by your IT support team – this is especially true if you make sure you don’t fall into some of the traps outlined above.

3. My phone is not working…

Making or receiving calls is of course essential in business, and that’s why not being able to do this is one of our most common IT support requests. Reasons for phone-related support cases are numerous but there are some things to check before involving your IT team:

  • Do you have network coverage? Even in the 5G world we live in today, there are still areas all over the UK that struggle to receive a decent quality phone signal. Sometimes this can be a blip, sometimes a bigger issue where you may need to assess your network provider of choice and review the options open to you.
  • Is the line connected? For traditional PBX and even VoIP desk phones, you (obviously) require a line in to the device to make and receive calls. Although this sounds like a silly mistake, it can sometimes be one of those things that is overlooked. We receive more of these types of cases after large scale office moves where phone equipment has been relocated for a large amount of users and therefore it’s easy to forget to connect (and/or check) one or two devices.
  • Did you recently change your password? If you are on a corporate network and using common multi-application services such as Microsoft’s Office 365, you’ll have a shared login across all your devices including your smartphone. Your IT team will have a password policy that requires you to periodically update your password, and when you do this on one device such as your PC, you’ll also need to do it on your other devices such as your business smartphone. Updating the password will give you access to your apps such as email and calendar once again.

4. My computer is running (so) slowly!

Feel like throwing your device out the office window? You’re not alone. At Dynamic Edge we’re hardened veterans when it comes to dealing with PC speed issues from clients. Here are some of the common resolutions:

  • Close applications that are not in use – computers like humans have a capacity to handle multiple tasks at once, but this is sadly not unlimited. Depending on some hardware factors such as processing (CPU) power and memory (RAM), your computer may struggle if trying to perform too many tasks at the same time. One easy way to speed up your PC is to close the applications that are demanding most of your CPU / RAM. Most common culprits are media creation software or too many website browser tabs.
  • Run a disk cleanup. This simple function can rid your device of unnecessary files that are clogging up your device and utilising memory and storage space. Things like temporary internet files, downloads and a full recycle bin can all be optimised by running a disk cleanup on your device.
  • Turn it off and on again! Did you really think we’d be able to write an article about most common IT advice and not utter the IT support line 101?! In reality this piece of advice comes with a lot of benefit and there’s a reason it’s often provided by first line support to clients. When your PC restarts it can for example install important updates and patches, reboot startup programs and ditch any RAM-thirsty applications that are running at the time.

In some cases the causes behind poorly performing devices can be more fundamental on a hardware or application level. That’s where an IT support company such as Dynamic Edge come into their own and can strategically support clients with everything from the latest and most efficient systems, to wholesale hardware rollouts for employees.

5. I’m concerned about IT security…

Firstly, if this is you – congratulations! As the value of data as a commodity rises it is no surprise that cyber crime activity is a threat to any business, and one that must be taken seriously. Being concerned about your own digital behaviours and that within your company is a great first step. At Dynamic Edge we do come across extra-vigilant clients who want the comfort of knowing there is expert support available when they have concerns about IT security. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Never give out your password or personal information over email. Your data is valuable and if handled negligently could be used to access your company’s corporate network. Keep your access information such as username and password to yourself and report any such requests to your IT department.
  • Don’t click links in emails from unknown sources. Known as “phishing”, insertion of links with ambiguous descriptions (often from those posing as colleagues or business partners) is a common tactic in cyber crime. The aim is to have the user visit the site in question which is usually created in order to install data-gathering software or compromise a corporate network.

Luckily at Dynamic Edge we support our clients with 24/7 proactive monitoring and have over a decade of cyber security experience, meaning we detect and eliminate issues before they have any effect on your business.

These are just a few of the common pitfalls our IT helpdesk deal with each day – if you’re ready to migrate to a trusted IT partner that can help your workforce with expert IT support (big or small!), get in touch today.