From spam to slow broadband, find out how to stop common IT issues from holding back your business.
It’s supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes technology can be extremely frustrating. We take a look at four IT issues that are all too common in the workplace and how you can solve them.
The bane of inboxes and IT support departments the world over, spam at best is an irritant that needs to be deleted and at worst could contain malware or phishing scams that unsuspecting employees might fall foul of:
- 14.5 billion spam messages sent out each day globally
- Spam accounts for 45% of all e-mails
- Spam costs companies £13.5 billion in lost productivity plus technical expenses
- 58 billion spam messages each day are predicted over the next four years
- The cost to businesses will swell to £130 billion annually.
While scam and fraud spam only makes up 2.5% of all spam email received, phishing (an attempt to steal the receiver's identity digitally) makes up a worrying 73% of this figure.
To reduce the impact of spam on your business and IT support...
- Ensure your Internet Service Provider has spam filters in place
- Use email software that offers spam filter protection
- Don't use direct email addresses on your website; spambots love hoovering them up. Instead, use a web contact form.
- Never reply to a suspected spam email or reply to the 'unsubscribe' option
- Never click on any links in an email unless you know who the email is from
- Never open an attachment from an unknown sender; it could contain malware that will infect your computer or even your entire network.
Printing can be pricey – an unmanaged print fleet can cost an organisation between one and 3% of its annual revenue, according to print IT service provider, M2.
40% of calls to a company's IT support are printer-related.
Printing too slow? Switch to draft-printing mode in print properties; it'll speed up printing and most importantly, significantly save on ink costs as well.
Cartridges too expensive? Avoid official cartridges/toner. Instead, buy a refurbed/refilled cartridge/toner from a reputable third-party supplier.
Printer not working? Seriously, check that it's plugged in. Check there is paper in the tray. Check the printer is connected to the computer. See Channel 4's The IT Crowd for more details.
624.1 million broadband lines globally
90% of slow broadband issues are caused by issues at the customer end
Solve potential issues by:
- Investing in a leased line – it's pricy (up to £200 a month plus hefty install charge) but it's the best option for companies with 40 or more employees.
- Moving your router – if you are using wi-fi, how close is your router to your phone line? The closer the better.
- Checking what software is using your net connection; some programs can take up valuable bandwidth even when you’re not directly using them.
- Contacting your ISP and asking them to investigate why your broadband is slow – there may be an issue at their end or maintenance may be interfering with your connection.
- Using virus software to see if your computer has malware operating in the background.
- Moving providers or at the very least, demanding a discount from your current ISP if the problem is at their end.
… for more tips, click here.
Average global boot time – 3.12 minutes
Amount of time a person wastes a month on booting their PC – 1.6 hours
64 days of a person's lifetime are wasted on booting
Clearing out startup programmes (try Autoruns) to check which programmes are booting up at startup – and cull the ones you don't need.
Scanning for viruses and malware that could be launching at startup.
Disabling non-essential hardware via Device Manager – do you really need Bluetooth Radio booting up when you switch on your PC?
Upgrading your computer – loading up the latest operating system on an archaic PC is going to take time because of the strain on the system...
For the best solution, install solid-state drives. Unlike hard drives, these feature no moving parts so boot up extremely quickly. Be warned though that they are pricy and storage capacity is limited when compared to HDDs.