13 Things Your Computer Technician May Not Tell You

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Turn it off, turn it back on.

“Nine times out of ten, rebooting your computer and any equipment that connects to it – will solve the problem”, says Aaron Schildkraut, who owns a home tech support service in New York.

Just because we’re “buddies” at work, don’t expect me to come running every time you’ve got a problem. I’ve got a slew of IT problems to fix.

We’re like Santa: We know if you’ve been bad or good. Fessing up to what really happened right before the system crashed is going to save time – and I’m going to figure it out anyway.

Use “strong” passwords: Combine letters and numbers – but not  your birthdate to create a “base” password, and add a unique suffix for each site you use. If your base password is your spouse’s initials and your anniversary date (say SPo61789), your Yahoo! password might be “SP061789YA”.

Make sure you have current anti-virus and anti-spyware protection and set it to up-date at least once a day and run a full-system scan at least once a week.

There’s no free lunch. Downloading free music, movies and computer games from files sharing sites can open holes in your system for others to exploit. Play it safe and buy CDs.

Remember: Public Wi-Fi is public. If you don’t have a compelling reason to check your e-mail or bank account while sipping a coffee at the mall, don’t do it. While you’re on a public network, even one that’s encrypted, a nearby hacker can capture your passwords.

Give it a rest. Turning off your computer when it’s not in use saves energy and clears out the RAM, or temporary memeory, which would otherwise slow your machine over time. If you can’t get online, call your Internet service provider first. Connection problems can often be checked and fixed – free.

If you want to see less of me, get a Mac. “Macs are actually a little bad for my business,” says Schildkraut.

No, you can’t use your cell phone to pop popcorn. Next time an Internet rumour drops into your inbox, don’t just pass it on.

Sometimes we talk about you – in code. If you hear “HKI error” (for human-keyboard interface) or “PEBCAK” (problem exists between chair and keyboard), we’re insulting you.

If you don’t understand me, I’m not doing my job. Confusing tech jargon is a sign of insecurity, not intelligence.


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