Question: Is there anything more tempting than a big button with a sign that says “Do Not Press”? It really is human nature to want to press that button, so much so that most people probably will.
So how do you get people to go against their nature and NOT press the button? Well, I’m a firm believer that you do that through education. If people knew what pressing the button would do, it takes away the mystery, and alleviates much of the temptation. If you tell people that when they press that big button a toxic gas releases that will kill everyone in 20 seconds flat…that will deter most people from pressing the button. Of course, there will always be that one person who pushes it anyway, just to see if it really happens. We try to keep those people away from the button altogether.
I believe the same philosophy applies when dealing with computers. You will hear people familiar with computers say “don’t touch this, don’t click that” etc. but do they explain why? That’s why, in an effort to stop the majority of us from pressing that big tempting button, we’ve compiled this list of the top 5 buttons NOT to press- and we will even explain why.
1. The Hard Reboot
A hard reboot is when you hold down the power button on your machine long enough to turn the computer off without properly shutting it down. In most cases, a hard reboot happens when the computer is completely frozen, which can be a symptom of a computer virus.
While there are times a hard reboot is necessary, it is on this list because it should never be done without the express instruction of your IT support. When you do a hard reboot of your computer, you are skipping the shutdown process, which can cause severe damage to your machine. That’s why before even suggesting a hard reboot, your IT support will go through a number of other steps. Hard rebooting a machine should be one of the last options when troubleshooting, and shouldn’t be done on a whim. Your IT support will tell you when you have reached that option.
2. Uninstall a Program
Within your computer’s Control Panel, there is a section called “Programs”, and within that section is the option to “uninstall a program”. This is something else you want to steer clear of.
If you were to look through a list of all the programs on your computer, chances are you wouldn’t understand what half of them are, or what they do. So, when you are trying to clean up some space on your machine, you might think it makes sense to get rid of all those programs you’ve never heard of and don’t use on a regular basis. That sounds pretty legit.
Trouble is, if you don’t know what the program is or what it does, you risk creating more problems by uninstalling it. There are many different programs on your computer that help the computer run the way it should. There are also programs that help other programs run. So, if you delete something without knowing what it is, you could potentially be rendering a particular program, or even your entire machine, useless.
If you want to clean up your computer by getting rid of some programs, clear it with your IT support. They will walk you through which programs you can uninstall, and which ones need to be kept to ensure optimum performance for your computer.
3. Turn off the Anti-virus
If you have a good anti-virus program, you are going to one day find yourself in a situation where your anti-virus program is not going to allow a certain program to run. For some reason, your anti-virus is going to deem something in the program as being “unsafe” and it will block it.
When that happens, your first instinct will probably be to just turn it off. Pausing anti-virus protection on your computer is incredibly easy to do, you basically just click on the icon and click on “pause protection”. But, before you get so frustrated that you pause it, stop and take a deep breath. This is a good thing! You want your anti-virus program to be looking out for you- that’s why you installed it in the first place.
Best practice when your anti-virus is blocking a program- call your IT support. The first step always needs to be that you learn WHY your anti-virus is blocking the program. For all you know, this particular version of the program might actually contain something that is really harmful to your computer. Plus, when you pause your anti-virus protection, even for an hour, it means that even though that particular program might not contain anything harmful, you are leaving the door wide open for other dangerous viruses to attack your computer. The only time you should ever pause your anti-virus is when your IT support tells you it’s okay.
4. That weird link that looks cool
We are in a world of spam overload. I too get countless emails a day informing me of great promotions and special deals that I have to take advantage of right this minute. Nowadays, between a having a good spam filter program for your email and the general jaded attitude the majority of us seem to have developed towards spam, the risk factors have gone way down. However, there might still be that one email now and then that catches your eye- a really cool article, a fun clearance sale from your favorite store, etc. And when that happens, we all go straight to clicking on that easy link provided for us in the email.
So here is the tip- Don’t blindly click! Hackers and spammers have gotten very clever. They can make an email look very authentic, to the point where the company itself might not even be able to tell the difference. Instead, take your mouse and hover over the link. If you recognize the web address, go ahead and click. If you don’t, and it comes up with weird symbols and a web address you’ve never even heard of- Don’t Click. Chances are there is a virus attached to that link, and you will infect your computer if you click on it.
If you ever aren’t sure whether or not the link is safe, call in your IT support. They will be able to analyze the link and let you know whether or not it is safe to click on.
5. Keyboard temper tantrum
Having you ever gotten so frustrated with your computer that you just start pounding on your keyboard, not really sure what keys you’re even hitting? Tip- don’t do that.
Or, have you every gotten frustrated at said to yourself “Hey, I bet if I press this F6 key, while I hold down the ESC key, something will happen!” – Don’t do that either.
Computers can be really frustrating sometimes. You know the feeling, like when you need a particular program that isn’t working the way it should, or you really need to print a document, like RIGHT NOW, but it won’t go through, or when your computer is taking such a long time to load it feels like it is going to take you a full day just to make it through your morning emails.
Stop, and take a deep breath. We’ve all been there. It is tempting to start hitting random keys so that you makesomething happen. But that is the absolute worst thing you can do. First, if your computer is having trouble doing a task, hitting random keys is only going to add to the work your computer has to do. It will actually make it run slower, not faster. And second…you don’t know what you’re telling the computer to do! You could accidentally erase some data or change the language on your computer to Portugeuse.
So, since it seems to be the theme running through this blog post, we’ll say it one more time for good measure. If you don’t know what it does, call your IT support.