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You know the saying: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." This common phrase, also known as Murphy's Law, is especially true of computers and technology in general.
Thankfully, many tech issues can be avoided if users understand computer fundamentals and a few tricks of the trade. The following computer tips can help users avoid computer misfortunes in the workplace or at home.
1. Rebooting really does fix many of all IT problems!
By taking a minute of your time to reboot your computer, you can start over fresh. What's more, recent patches or updates might not take effect until you restart your computer — so if your machine recommends a reboot, you should.
2. Logging off and on is different from rebooting.
When you log off your machine, you're simply signing out of the system so that someone else can sign in. To get the full benefits of a full restart, you'll either need to shut down (turn your computer off and on again) or reboot the machine.
3. The computer's desktop is not a good place to save important files. Neither is the recycling bin.
Where you save your files matters. For example, IT departments might only back up files located in certain folders, such as those on a network drive. And in the case of the recycling bin, occasionally the files there are automatically deleted forever. Besides, files in the desktop folder appear over your background image, making your screen look like a jumbled mess.
4. The "deleted items" section of Outlook is not a good place to file important emails.
Just like the recycling bin, the deleted items folder in outlook gets automatically cleaned out from time to time. But believe it or not, some people like to store their most important emails there! For the task of holding your important communications, you should create a special folder instead.
5. Just because you can access a website from your home computer doesn't mean you need access to it at work. Computers at work should be treated differently from your home computer. Companies must worry about hackers, malware, legal issues, and ensure there's enough bandwidth for everyone at work. (Your excessive video streaming really slows down the network.) IT sets up firewalls, filtering software, and puts restrictions in place for a reason — to keep everyone safe, keep the company out of trouble, and to ensure that all employees can do their job.
6. Lock your computer when you walk away.
When you leave your computer behind without locking it, anyone can use it without a password. From there, they might copy (or delete) important files without your permission, install malware, or even send emails pretending to be you. Every time you leave your desk, you should lock your computer (on Windows, press the Window key+L or press Ctrl+Alt+Del and lock).
7. Password problems? Check the caps lock and num lock keys.
If your password doesn't seem to work for some reason, no matter what you do, it might be because you're entering it in all capital letters, thanks to caps lock. And if you use the numbers in your password, make sure that the num lock is on the correct setting.
8. DO NOT write your password down and stick it to the bottom of the keyboard!
Or worse, on your monitor. All someone would have to do to hack your machine is to be able to read since you've given away the secret. Even if someone is not physically right in front of your computer, they might snap a photo of your exposed passwords.
9. Be careful if you rely on your web browser to remember passwords.
Think about it ... if you forget to lock your computer and someone gains access to it, they'll be able to log into all your accounts, potentially stealing important data or ordering stuff on the internet using your money.
10. Be patient and have a Positive, Open Attitude
This rule works well with everything from work and home to life. "Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything." –George Bernard Shaw.