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IT support businesses sell a variety of services and products. How do you recognize which ones you should use and when you really need them? This article has the top 10 computer basics for use by an IT support agent. Computer Basics An introduction to the world of computers begins with the basics. These include such things as keyboards, processors, hard drives, memory modules, video cards, digital cameras, electronic documents and other peripheral devices.

IT support technicians use these computer hardware and software to assist their customers in troubleshooting their computers. When a computer’s maintenance needs can best be met by a certified professional, it’s referred to as “onsite” support. Onsite computer maintenance typically requires the assistance of a technician to arrive at the business’s site at the scheduled time and work on the computer. Onsite computer maintenance is best handled by a professional who can schedule appointments, set up networking, take inventory of the equipment and perform scheduled maintenance tasks while being on site.

Computer Repair The goal of IT support is to provide businesses with an efficient, effective and safe method to maintain their computer systems. Some of these services involve repairing a computer system that malfunctions or has been damaged. Other computer maintenance tasks may simply involve repairing a malfunctioning piece of equipment. One of the most common tasks is troubleshooting a computer. A technician can fix a malfunctioning computer through a series of tests, diagnose the problem and resolve it, or restore the system to an acceptable working condition.

File Servers IT support technicians are responsible for maintaining the servers that store important customer files, client databases and other data. These servers play an integral part in operating the business. File servers must be backed up frequently and maintained according to the regulations set forth by various industry standards. For instance, the file servers must be protected from attacks originating from abroad.

Antivirus Software An antivirus software program is one of the most important components of computer maintenance. The program must be updated on a regular basis and when it is not, the chances of viruses and worms infesting the system increase. Businesses must make sure that they implement antivirus software that is compatible with their operating systems. In addition, the software must be updated regularly so that it can detect and remove any malicious programs that are introduced into the system through various means. This is especially important in the healthcare sector where electronic medical records are being stored. Computer repair professionals know how to update antivirus software and are often called on to install new updates on clients’ computers.

Computer Peripherals A computer peripheral is any hardware device attached to the computer that serves a purpose other than basic functionality. Common computer peripherals include mice, keyboards, monitors, printers and scanners. Often these items are purchased by businesses that are not taking care of their hardware properly. Repairs must be performed periodically to keep the peripheral functioning properly, and when they are neglected IT support technicians may be called in to provide computer maintenance services for local businesses. Businesses can use free loaners from local IT support services to repair their computer peripherals on their own during business hours, or during free local pick-up services.

Basic Maintenance The most important part of an IT support technician’s job is to understand the basic functions of computer peripherals and hardware. Once an individual has this understanding, they can perform basic maintenance on their computer peripherals. This includes cleaning monitors, replacing any batteries that need to be replaced, re-keying routers and switches, and uninstalling any necessary software. IT support technicians are also trained to troubleshoot malfunctioning computer peripherals using basic diagnostics.

Computer Security Testing An IT support company must have a good understanding of computer security in order to provide adequate IT support. Computer security maintenance tasks include scanning the computer for viruses, malware, spyware, adware, and unauthorized changes, upgrades, modifications, or removal of system applications. These activities can prevent a business from being successful if an employee discovers a virus on their work computer. Computer security maintenance tasks can also prevent IT support technicians from detecting security threats early and fixing them before they become severe. Security maintenance tasks can include running antivirus scan, anti spyware and firewall programs, and detecting vulnerabilities in network servers or file servers.