Byte Me Article 426 – What we need from you.

Be Ready For Some Questions

Today we look at a topic that we battle with everyday at the shop – ‘what we need from you’.  In this case I am referring to the number of questions that we need to ask if we are reinstalling your existing PC or upgrading you to a new one.  I often say that the number of decisions surrounding the purchase of a new PC far out number the decisions required with the purchase of a new car – I will let you be the judge!

The following is a list of questions that we ask most customers.  We don’t need answers to all these questions from every customer, however we also have lots of customers, especially business customers that are required to answer way more than the questions below.  The number of questions we must ask is greatly increased if their current PC is brought to us in an already dead state.  Below is a reasonably standard list –

How do you connect to the Internet?

How does the computer get the signal – Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Hotspot / USB?

What data needs to be kept or transferred?

How many email addressed does the PC receive?

What are all the email passwords?

What email application are you using?

Do you have email signatures?

What Internet browser are you using?

Do you have book marked Internet favourites and unknown browser-based passwords?

Do you have a Multifunction printer? If so what brand and model?

Do you have Online storage e.g. DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud or similar?

What are the online storage login details?

What Microsoft Office Version do you have? Do you have the licence details?

Is there photo imaging software and do you have the details?

What about iTunes software?

Skype details – if needed?

Is there an accounting package, version, user details?

Any backup software?  Brand, version and licence details?

Anti-virus software name and licence details

The old PC – do you want it back or disposed of?

As you can see, there are lots of bridges that often need to be crossed.  Unfortunately, this complexity is the nature of our industry and one of the reasons that IT professionals exist.  We have any number of policies and procedures to collect this information, disseminate it to the required tech and check that it all happens – which is no small task.

It is no longer much of a security threat to keep a ‘black book’ with all your IT details in a desk drawer near the computer.  It needs to be near the computer as the regularity of which you need to put important notes into this book is increasing!  Alternatively, keeping simple passwords in your head or having the same password for everything is increasingly becoming a huge security risk.

My advice – if you don’t have such a ‘black book’ get one today and start putting important entries about logins, passwords & licence keys into it.  This book would soon become gold if you have a computer crash. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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