Computers rarely stop working overnight. In most cases, there are early warning signs that problems are brewing. Below are 10 surefire signs that you need to get a professional to investigate your network ASAP:
1. Your workstation or server starts running very slowly, freezes up, or crashes.
2. Your web browser has been changed to another strange browser you’ve never seen before.
3. You are getting an unusual amount of pop-up windows, even when you aren’t surfing the web.
4. You don’t know if every computer on your network has the most current virus definitions.
5. You don’t know if you have a firewall in place or the last time it was updated.
6. You haven’t attempted to restore your data from a backup tape or other storage device in awhile, and you aren’t checking your backup log for errors.
7. You receive e-mails accusing you of sending spam, and/or you find e-mail messages in your “outbox” or “sent” folder that you didn’t send.
8. Your computer starts making a grinding, clicking, or loud whirring sound.
9. The fan is constantly running.
10. You are getting a growing number of error messages, and you are forced to create work-arounds to complete certain work tasks.
If any of these signs are present, you should contact a pro immediately to investigate further!
The old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true in the world of computers and all things digital; and if you are like most businesses, your computer network is critical to the operation of your business so make sure you don’t procrastinate if any of these signs are present.
Ideally, you should perform regular health checks and maintenance on your network to make sure problems don’t crop up. Here’s why:
• Critical security updates need to be applied at least once a month to protect you from a constant flow of new hacker attacks.
• Firewall, virus and spyware protection need to be monitored and updated on a daily basis because new attacks are released daily.
• Your data backup system needs to be monitored and tested frequently to ensure easy data recovery in the event of loss. The rate of tape drive failure is 100%; that’s why you need to frequently monitor your backups.
• Servers and workstations need regular tune-ups to keep them running fast and error free.
• Monitoring of disk space is important to avoid data loss, crashes, and storage problems.
• Server event logs need to be monitored for early alerts to network issues.
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is taking a reactive approach to network support and maintenance rather than a proactive one.
In other words, they wait until something stops working and THEN they call in the professionals to fix it. This approach not only costs more in the long run, but it also leaves you vulnerable to more devastating crashes such as data corruption and loss, virus attacks, and extended downtime. Even NEW computers and equipment need regular maintenance because new threats are constantly evolving.