When to Call for IT Support
Chuck's Cyber Wall
Whether you’re at work, working from home, or relaxing on the internet, it’s important to know When to Call IT Support if you start having technical issues. The key to getting issues resolved while minimizing the effects on productivity is transitioning from troubleshooting to calling for help.
Having spent the majority of the last three decades being the guy who 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’s 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 resolved with one of those two steps. With that being said, the type of issues I’m referring to in this blog is 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 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 get 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 important to you as it is about taking care of the problem.
CALL FOR IT SUPPORT
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 to call for help.
WHEN YOU’VE BEEN HACKED
Whether it’s as obvious as a flashing message on your screen, 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, possibly recover lost information, and recommend and implement security to keep it from happening again.
WHEN YOUR COMPUTER IS SLOW
Many things can cause a computer to run slow that are not malicious, such as outdated software, overloaded cache, misconfigured settings, and bad drivers. The list goes on and on. And to make it worse, there are numerous sketchy companies out there pushing cleanup solutions that don’t work, mislead with freeware that requires payment, or require significant technical knowledge to configure. Computer Cleanups are among 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 will be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with options to resolve them. Most people don’t realize the importance of IT Maintenance or the value of Security Updates, especially when working with older software and hardware, as these often help with performance.
WHEN 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 an 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? Are only WiFi devices affected? Does it happen on one device or all of them? IT Support companies will know the right questions to ask and have the tools and experience needed to track down the problems.
WHEN YOU'VE LOST WORK
With autosave features these days, this is far less common than it was, but it still happens. Hours of work are completed, but then when you 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…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 various hiding places. The times we can’t are after restarts and other such events that purge cache, knowingly or unknowingly.
WHEN YOU’RE COMPLETELY DOWN
If nothing works and there isn’t an outage, the problem could be anything from a hardware failure to a cyberattack. A big mistake people make when this happens is not reacting fast enough.
Not only does it affect your productivity, income, and tranquility, but the longer you’re 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
Director of Cybersecurity and Marketing
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 businesses, 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