7 user mistakes that waste IT’s time

Today’s IT departments are overworked as it is, so there’s often nothing worse than dealing with preventable support problems.

Here’s a list of common mistakes your department can pass on to users — avoiding them will help cut down on help desk calls:

  1. Trusting public Wi-Fi — As more users take company equipment out of the office and work remotely, that means more of them of them will be connecting to the complimentary wireless networks in places like coffee shops. The problem is many people don’t understand how easy it is for hackers to steal data from their machines after they connect to those networks.
  2. Forgetting passwords — Coming up with an effective password policy is tricky — if there are no rules, users will choose something easy to hack. But if the policy requires passwords that are too complicated, employees will forget their codes and it will be up to IT to reset them. Best bet: Give users tips on creating complex yet memorable passwords, such as the guidelines found here.
  3. Falling for new online scams — As social media sites have taken off, cybercriminals have found new ways to scam people. And if your users fall for one of their ploys while at work, IT may have to clean up a malware mess. Warn users about the common scams listed here.
  4. Waiting to report problems — A lower volume of help desk calls may seem like a good thing — but it could also just mean that users are neglecting to report a problem and instead finding some kind of workaround. That may result in even bigger problems down the road.
  5. Forgetting to back-up work and save often — One of the most common help desk calls involves a user trying to recover a lost file. And often, those messes could have been avoided if the user had properly saved and backed up the data.
  6. Cancelling or stalling scheduled updates — Users will often put off scheduled updates, such as Windows updates — those will eventually run when the computer is shut down, but many PCs stay on for days at a time. And those updates often contain key security patches that should be installed ASAP.
  7. Keeping disks full and fragmented — Some people never throw anything away, and that applies to digital information as well as physical stuff.  Many users will never delete anything until they get a message that their machine is out of space. That can cause a number of errors and shorten the life of the disk.

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