How much have you spent in the last 5 years on compressors, on diagnostic tools and even on basic things like shop supplies? I am going to guess it is a good amount, probably in the 10’s of thousands, and you make sure everyone looks after those tools and uses supplies wisely because you have money invested in them and if they break it will cause down time in your business.
You probably also have rules about how the company tools are used. You don’t want your people to misuse them and either break them or hurt themselves.
In this blog post I want to talk about the one tool in your business which all your staff use, all day long usually and yet in most business settings it is ignored until it breaks.
The average shop has 3 computers in it, plus one for the reception area and one for the book keeper. You may well have a laptop as well that you use for your business at home. You may run Quickbooks as well as your Shop Management Software on them.
You turn them on and use them for 8/9/10 hours a day and then shut them down without a thought and do this day after day. What can you do to ensure that your computers stay safe and continue to work as required.
Computer Security Don’t go to sleep now, I am not going to talk about some complicated software I am just going to make a couple of simple and easy to follow suggestions which will help keep your computers safe.
Keep Work Computers for Work
Computer problems like virus’s and malware can almost always be traced back to someone viewing a page they don’t know or clicking on a link in an email. In December Profit boost had some server outage caused by one of our clients. Their computers were infected with malware which tried to constantly connect to their most used site (in this case ProfitBoost).
It caused us to have a small amount of down time, which could have been prevented if the end user had taken more care with what they allowed staff to do on company computers.
The easiest way to ensure you do not have problems with your computer system is to not let the programs that would do you harm ever get into the system. The main way computers get infected is by users clicking on something they shouldn’t or downloading something they shouldn’t.
This is one of the easiest things to prevent so start implementing some easy to follow company rules with regard to your work computers and you will instantly increase your security level.
Most people have a smart phone so they can check what they need to on their own phones without having to use your computers and putting your business at risk.
Keep software to a Minimum and keep it Updated
If one antivirus program is good, 3 is better right?
No .. software can interfere with each other and if you have 3 programs all trying to do the same thing, well it could result in a clash of programs which could result in them all not working.
Choose one antivirus program, install it and keep it updated. Install the same one on all your machines, this means that you are not trying to find different fixes for different problems caused by different software issues.
Computers Are An Asset
We all too often see a problem where someone is using a computer which is long past it’s life expectancy. If you bought your computer 5 years ago it has served you well and you should be considering replacing it.
You would be amazed at how many of our support calls turn out to be caused by a very old computer which is never maintained by anyone.
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on each computer you buy and you do not need to replace every machine in the company all at once. Your monitor will still be good to use and new computers come with a new mouse and keyboard generally.
Profitboost is a web-based auto shop management system which means that all you need access to is a browser. If you have computers where the users do not need to access anything else other than a web browser then you really can buy a relatively low spec machine ($400 or less even) to run it on.
You are not spending money on computers; you are investing in an asset to help your company run more efficiently.
Which Software Should I Install?
People ask which antivirus software is best to install, the answer is we Do Not have a specific piece of software that we officially recommend but I will say we all use the free version of AVG on our machines. We do not use the paid version of it just the free one. You can find it easily by searching on http://download.cnet.com
Another piece of software that I recommend is ccleaner , again you can get it from cnet, it is used to clean up old files that hang around on your pc and slow it down.
If you are not happy doing this type of work yourself, find a local computer repair guy and pay him for a couple of hours of his time to come and install and run these programs for you.
If you have specific questions please feel free to contact us or put in a help ticket (assuming you are a ProfitBoost customer) and we will help all we can.