Frequently Asked Questions About IT Support (And How We Answer Them)

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Frequently Asked Questions About IT Support

Executive Summary

  • At Get Support, we’ve spent over 25 years supporting UK businesses with expert IT support services.

  • Every day, we get plenty of different questions from clients — the answers to which would probably be useful to other clients too.

  • In this article, we’ll share some of the most common IT support questions we receive from our clients — as well as exactly how we answer them.

Introduction

In many ways, the IT support business is built on questions.

After all, without someone saying “How do I change my password?” or “What exactly is an SSD?”, we probably wouldn’t have much to do with ourselves. That’s why we always welcome any IT support question with any open arms.

Recently, we noticed that we often receive similar questions from different clients, so we figured: why not share them?

With that in mind, here are some of the lost common IT support questions we receive at Get Support — and how we answer them.

Contrary to popular belief, the files you save in cloud-based services like Microsoft OneDrive may actually be safer on those remote servers than on your on-premises hardware.

The reason for this is that large-scale enterprises such as Microsoft use best-in-class encryption and cyber security measures to protect the data they hold for their clients. By contrast, many small businesses naturally cannot match the level of cyber security measures offered by the big providers. For example, Microsoft uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys for data at rest, as well as being Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliant. In addition, data in transit is protected via SSL / TLS connections using 2048-bit keys.

#2: “Should I install a Solid-State Drive (SSD)?”

In short, yes.

In today’s fast-moving business world, you need the computer hardware to match. By installing a Solid-State Drive (SSD) to your desktop or laptop computer, you’ll improve almost every aspect of your device’s performance: boot-up speed, app loading times, and file copying times.

Compared to a traditional mechanical hard-drive (HDD), which operates with a spinning disk which is slow and prone to physical damage, an SSD uses a system of flash memory with no moving parts. To demonstrate just how much faster an SSD is than an HDD, consider that an SSD will read data 10 times faster, and write data 20 times faster than a conventional HDD.   

#3: “Do I really need to eject USB devices before removing them?”

As we’ve covered in the past on the Get Support blog, this question is less about IT support and more about IT myths – but it’s one that’s based in some truth.

Prior to 2019, Windows 10 used a technique called “write caching”, which essentially made the computer wait to actually copy files to a drive in order to save resources and improve performance. After 2019, however, it switched the default option so that write caching no longer forced Windows to wait to write files, but instead write them to the USB drive straight away. With this change, and provided you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can now simply yank a USB drive – provided it’s not actively transferring files – without fear of losing any data.

#4: “Can I use Microsoft Office on non-Windows devices like iOS and Android?”

There was a time when tech companies, especially those making software, were singularly focused on just one platform: Apple Mac and Windows being one of the earliest examples. But this siloed way of doing things wasn’t always the best for consumers, because we had to choose between one format or another.

Luckily, this is broadly a thing of the past today.

As platforms like Microsoft 365 have gained popularity, the creators of such platforms have realised that there’s no benefit to locking them to just one platform. That’s why you’ll now find Microsoft Office (and many other Microsoft apps) available on iOS, Android, Mac, Chrome OS, and more. Just download the relevant app, log in with your Microsoft 365 account, and you’ll be off to the races.

#5: “What is the most secure format for passwords?”

Passwords and password managers are another topic we’ve covered a couple of times here on the Get Support blog, but one of the most common questions our IT support team receives is how precisely to construct the most secure password.

As you’ll learn from our previous coverage, having a password manager can mitigate most of the inherent risks of passwords, but if you’re set on creating your own, there are some best practices.

The advice of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is that the ‘three random words’ approach is one of the most secure options for password generation. It may not pass some complexity requirements (i.e. use a number or special character), but this apparently makes it less likely for a cyber attacker to guess the password, because they’re already familiar with the many ways we construct passwords (5’s in place of S’s, for example). Complex passwords which are hard to remember also lead to people taking shortcuts to make them easier to remember (“pa55word?”), but makes them less secure. On the other hand, three totally random words stuck together (“fishdoorcelery”) can be much harder for an attacker to brute-force.

Have an IT support question of your own?

If you’ve got an IT support question on your mind which we haven’t answered here, don’t worry — our team is on hand to help.

Whether you’re an existing client or you’re brand new to Get Support, our team is always on-hand to help you make the most of technology. We’ve been helping UK businesses thrive with IT for over two decades… and counting.

To learn more about our IT support agreements or any other of our IT services for small businesses, call the team today on 01865 594 000 or just pop your details in the form below.

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