Technical difficulties whilst working from home, can leave you feeling frustrated.
Here are a few basic best practice and troubleshooting tips so that you can power through your day.
Practice cyber security awareness
Some security measures that are in place at your workplace, may not be in place on your home network. These include security measures such as web filtering, firewalls and data encryption.
Phishing scams are on the rise. Hackers have access to volumes of company information via websites and other tools such as LinkedIn. This information is easily used in creating sophisticated phishing attempts.
Be extra cautious about emails that appear suspicious. If you weren’t expecting a particular email, you should make every effort to confirm that the origin is legitimate. If the sender is a known contact, simply pick up the phone and call them.
Log off after work
Consciously, develop the habit of logging off from all company networks when you’re done with work for the day. It’s tempting to leave everything switched on and just walk away. You could be leaving the door open to potential hackers if your network at home is unsecured.
Do some periodic tech ‘housekeeping’
Follow some simple housekeeping rules:
- Keep your operating system updated. Operating system updates provide fixes to possible bugs and security holes, along with cleaning up outdated software that may slow down your device.
- Restart your machine at regular intervals
- Clear the cache periodically
- Uninstall unused programs
- Regularly update antivirus patches
- Prolong battery life by activating the battery-saver mode, unplugging unused peripherals and turning down the screen brightness.
- If you have purchased a new router, be sure to change the default admin password. The default admin passwords are well known and could be used by potential hackers to infiltrate your systems.
When in doubt, unplug it.
Sometimes it’s faster to turn the device off and back on again than to troubleshoot at all. This is especially true for single-purpose machines like routers and firewalls and desktops / laptops. It’s also true for applications.
How long has it been since you rebooted your PC or laptop?
Remember to save your work and close your applications before you switch off your device.
Invest in business grade equipment
Don’t be afraid to invest in business grade equipment. Consumer-grade equipment is more likely to fail, and more often. Most low-priced consumer electronics are built to less rigorous specs and are unable to keep up with the amount of data traffic, temperatures, and the operating stress of a business environment.
Check your Wi-Fi and upgrade it if more speed and range are required. Buy a large desktop screen if it makes you more efficient. Equip your computer with a great camera and audio system for meetings.
Be aware of bandwidth limitations
Working remotely may cause you to have bandwidth issues, especially when the rest of the household is using the internet too.
If you are struggling to log into your applications and networks, you may need to upgrade your plan to an unlimited fibre plan. This is the most reliable way to accommodate multiple users at home because there are no data caps, and it won’t slow down at peak times.
Where to place your router for a strong Wi-Fi signal
Where you place your router will have a big impact on your in-home internet experience. Wi-Fi signals travel a limited distance and they can’t pass through some materials. In some cases other electronic devices, especially cordless phones and microwave ovens can interfere with Wi-Fi. If you’re not getting the speed you expect, try these tips to boost your Wi-Fi performance:
- Place your router in a central position within your house so your Wi-Fi can be transmitted to most areas in your home
- Place your router in a high position within your living area where you use broadband the most
- Place your router out in the open. Don’t put it in a cupboard or behind furniture or other obstacles. If you can see your Wi-Fi router you’re going to get great performance from unobstructed Wi-Fi signals
- Avoid placing your router too near a window as you might be close to a neighbours’ Wi-Fi and get interference
- Place your router at least 2 metres away from household appliances which might cause electrical interference
- Devices like baby monitors, Bluetooth speakers, cordless phones and your neighbours’ network can operate on the same radio frequency as your Wi-Fi. If you’re getting poor Wi-Fi performance, try selecting a different Wi-Fi channel. Log in to your router’s control panel and go to Wi-Fi settings to change this option.