Top 10 Technology Mistakes

December 5, 2008

The following is a list of the top 10 technology mistakes that people make. If you are just a casual home user, some of these may be less important. But in a business, all of these are important.


1. Rely on Weak Tech Support
Relying on weak tech support from computer and software manufacturers is a big mistake. When you call them, you get someone in a foreign country that you have a hard time understanding. They are often times poorly trained.

Instead, develop a relationship with a local information technology company (like Cyber Tek Computer Pros) that can resolve problems faster, minimize future problems, and more.


2. Old or Cheap Computers

The older a computer gets, the more likily it is to fail. Cheap computers are often made with low-quality parts and fail sooner and more frequently. If your computers are important to you, especially if you are running a business and downtime costs you money, then we recommend purchasing good quality computers and replacing them every 3-4 years.


3. Inadequate Power Protection
Every computer, monitor, printer, cable modem, router, and any other expensive or critical electrical device, should be plugged into a good surge protector. Most power strips offer poor protection against lightning. Make sure your surge protectors say they protect against lightning and they should come with a protection policy.
Every server or critical computer should be plugged into a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply). This protects against surges and lightning, but also protects your computer from power outtages. If the power goes out, you can run the computer for a little bit, but then it will automatically shut down the computer to prevent data loss.
Any computer, fax machine, or printer hooked up to a phone line should have a surge protector on that phone line as well.

By the way, all surge protectors and UPS’s should be replaced every 3-4 years as their circuits wear out over time.


4. Illegal Software
Many software companies, like Microsoft, are very aggressive about suing companies who steal their software. Many of today’s software report back to the software maker so they pretty much know who’s stealing from them.

Purchase software only from reputable vendors. Keep product keys, certificates, licenses, etc in a safe place. Why risk getting sued?


5. Inadequate Training
Statistics show that most employees use software in inefficient ways. They get the job done, but there are often better, quicker ways to do what they need to do.

Make sure you and your employees are well trained on how to use your software.


6. Weak Security
The biggest threat to your computer and your business is lack of security. Protecting your computers means keeping out the bad guys. Competitors and criminals could try to break into your computers. And the even bigger threat of viruses and spyware which we will talk about later in this list.

Use strong, secret passwords on every computer. Critical data should be password protected as well. Your network should also be protected by a firewall.


7. Insufficient Backups
The vast majority of home users have no backup. Many companies have no backups. Those who have backups often have insufficient or very old backups. Statistics show that if a business suffers a lose of critical data, there is a 90% chance that business will go out of business within 2 years.

Make sure you are backing up your critical data. There are many different types of backups and backup methods. We recommend local image backups on critical systems and remote file backups for critical data. With this system in place, even if a hurricane swept through the city and destroyed your home and business and every computer you had, you won’t loose your critical data.


8. Viruses
Viruses can slow your computers down, cause data loss, corrupt windows and render a computer unusable. They can cause network outtages, cause your internet service provider to turn off your internet access, and can turn your computers into zombies.

To avoid this, make sure you have a good, up-to-date anti-virus package. Scan computers daily. Avoid free security programs. Prohibit the use of file-sharing programs. Filter out harmful websites.


9. Spyware
These days, spyware is just as bad, if not worse, than viruses. The only difference is that spyware generally doesn’t harm your computer other than slowing it down. It can be dangerous, though, because it aims to steal information.

To help avoid spyware, make sure you have a good, up-to-date anti-spyware package. Scan computers daily. Avoid free security programs. Prohibit the use of file-sharing programs. Filter out harmful websites.


10. Spam
Most home users and every business should have some sort of spam protection. Spam not only slows down computers, e-mail servers, and wastes vauable network bandwidth, but a lot of malicious software (viruses, spyware, etc) are spread via spam.
If your buisness has it’s own e-mail server, install an anti-spam package there. If not, either take advantage of your e-mail providers anti-spam functionality, or install anti-spam software on all of your computers.
If you read your e-mail on the web, then you pretty much have to rely on your e-mail providers anti-spam (bulk mail) protection. If you use an e-mail client like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, or Windows Live Mail, you should know that Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Mail (Vista only), and Windows Live Mail have junk mail features built-in. Outlook Express doesn’t have any junk mail features.
While we are on the subject of e-mail clients, if you are using Outlook Express or Windows Mail, we recommend you download and install either Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird and use one of these instead. They are both free. They are more stable, have fewer problems, and have junk mail features.
You can get Windows Live Mail by going to and you can get Thunderbird by going to

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