Whether you’re at work, working from home, or relaxing on the internet, when something goes wrong, there are some steps to take before you call for IT support. But at what point do you transition from troubleshooting to calling for help?
Having spent the majority of the last three decades being the guy that shows up to help, I can tell you with a degree of certainty that most people wait far too long. When technology stops cooperating it impedes your progress and that is frustrating. The further you get down that troubleshooting rabbit hole, the worse that frustration gets until it boils over. And who does it boil over at? Typically the person you’re calling for help.
Whenever there is a technical problem, before doing anything else, do these two things:
- Restart the device – this fixes a shocking number of issues
- Make sure everything is plugged in and/or has power
At this point, the above two things are so cliche that you can find them in memes, on t-shirts and mugs, and as punchlines on TV shows. Yet, we get calls daily about issues that are resolved with one of those two steps. With that being said, the type of issues I’m referring to in this blog are the more complex, persistent, and severe tech problems that can’t be resolved with a simple restart.
Troubleshooting can take many forms, including replicating the issue, testing hardware, and checking for damage. Sometimes specific equipment such as a CableAnalyzer is required, or a knowledge of command line, data analytics, or cybersecurity. Google has a lot of answers, and it’s easy to get sucked into the DIY trap of troubleshooting, which more often than not makes things worse.
When you contact an IT Support company, you are getting the tools, knowledge, and experience needed to identify and resolve the issue. The one factor that most people don’t realize is that all the time spent trying to diagnose and resolve the problem is time spent not working or relaxing. Your time has value. Calling for IT Support is as much about getting back to the things that are important to you as taking care of the problem.
Before Googling the problem and giving the next several hours of your life to trying to figure it out, let’s look at some scenarios when it’s best just to go right to call for help.
Call for IT Support When…
You’ve been Hacked
Whether it’s as obvious as a message on your screen or your website redirecting customers someplace else or something more subtle, such as credentials no longer working or a computer suddenly running sluggish, dealing with an infected device is tricky at best. Regardless, timing is essential – the longer cybercriminals have access to your devices, the more damage they will do. A professional IT Support company will be able to get your devices clean, and possibly recover lost information, in addition to recommending and implementing security to keep it from happening again.
Your Computer is Slow
There are many things that can cause a computer to run slow that are not malicious. Outdated software, overloaded cache, misconfigured settings, bad drivers, the list goes on and on. And to make it worse, there are numerous sketchy companies out there pushing clean-up solutions that don’t work, include pay options to be useful, or require a significant amount of technical knowledge to configure. Computer Cleanups are among some the best values of working with a professional IT Support company because you’ll experience immediate results.
In addition, if there are more serious issues, the technician is going to be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with options to resolve them. One of the things we see all the time is how many people don’t realize the importance of IT Maintenance or the value of Security Updates, especially when working with older software and hardware, as many of them help with performance.
Your Internet Continually Drops
It always happens at the most inopportune times –
- In the middle of a video conference.
- While trying to upload work due on a deadline.
- Right before the big reveal at the end of the movie.
– your internet cuts out and you get that spinning buffering wheel that causes you to throw your head back and shout in frustration. If it happens once, it’s in inconvenience, twice is worrisome, three times or more, and it’s a problem. Anyone can do a speed test, but that doesn’t track down the problem. Is it the modem, router, or cables? Does it happen on one device or all of them? Are only WiFi devices affected? IT Support companies are going to know the right questions to ask and have the tools and experience needed to track down the problems.
You’ve Lost Work
With autosave features these days, this is far less common than it was, but it still happens. Hours of work completed, but then when you go to upload, print, or email it, the files aren’t there.
Just thinking about it is making me a little jittery.
Rest easy, the vast majority of the time, a professional IT Support company will be able to recover the data for you…that is, unless you dug around trying to fix the problem yourself. We have seen everything from data saved to the wrong network folder to copies of it sitting in a random cache, and can track it down through a variety of hiding places. The times we can’t are after restarts and other such events that purge cache, knowingly or unknowingly.
You’re Completely Down
If nothing is working and there isn’t an outage in the area, the problem could be anything from a hardware failure to a cyberattack. One of the biggest mistakes people make when this happens is not reacting fast enough. Not only does it effect your productivity, income, and/or tranquility, but the longer your down the more potential harm that is being done. A professional IT Support company will be able to assess the cause and minimize the risk to your data and network.
Other Things We Do
One of the best things about professional IT Support companies is that we know technology. In addition to fixing things when they break, we can answer questions, help with planning, and even offer advice.
- Getting ready to make a purchase? We do consultations.
- Thinking about installing a new network jack? We run cable.
- Wanting to buildout a new space? We do office and network planning.
- Moving to a new office? We have technology move services.
As a professional IT Support company, we do all of this and more. Give us a call, we can help. 301-456-6931
I’ve always had a love of working with technology, being fortunate enough to have grown up with a grandfather who taught me how to fix things for myself and not be afraid to jump in and get my hands dirty. Over the last three decades, I’ve worked as a technician, trainer, technical writer, and manager in small business, enterprise organizations, and government. In addition, I’m an author, having published multiple works available online and in print. You can find my creative work at https://WritingDistracted.com