Being a system administrator is never an easy job. From setting up and maintaining servers, to ensuring that the network is protected from spam, viruses and malware, or being on the lookout 24/7 for issues with systems and programs, there are plenty of challenges that come with being in charge of company IT systems. However, since the COVID-19 lockdowns have transformed the ways in which we work, and with employees transporting their computers and devices to numerous locations, maintaining security is harder than ever.
For those who aren’t acquainted with their system administrators, their role is to fix all things tech-related, keep IT systems running smoothly and prevent any potential incidents by implementing effective security controls. If you are not familiar with your system administrator, you are not alone – many people are unaware of just how much work goes on in the IT department. That is why, on July 28, 2000, System Administrator Appreciation Day was founded, to encourage people to show how much they appreciate their hard work and dedication.
While gifts or messages of support are always welcome, there is no better way to demonstrate your appreciation this July 31 than by taking steps to make administrators’ lives easier. Here are our four top tips that can make their lives, and your life, just a little more trouble-free:
1. Take responsibility
The first point to make is that the easiest way in which you can take work off your admin’s plate is to assume responsibility for your own devices. So, take the time to create strong and unique passwords for your various corporate accounts. Then, write down these passwords or, better yet, use a password manager, so that your administrator doesn’t need to unlock your accounts when you forget your passwords. Not only will this save time for the IT team, but it will also increase the security level of your devices.
2. Be safe
Second, it is important to educate yourself on the fundamentals of cybersecurity. This will minimize the risk of your administrator having to save your device from malware. So, when browsing the internet, be sure to check that a website’s address is genuine, by looking for misspellings, and never enter personal information on a website that has no padlock in the browser search bar or lacks the “https://” at the beginning of the web address. Similarly, be wary of any emails that seem out of the blue, and stop and think before opening any attachments or links.
Next up, make sure that you pay attention to what the IT team tells you, and follow their instructions. There is a wealth of experience behind the shared guidance and wisdom. Taking the recommended steps can prevent problems further down the line, minimizing how much time both you and your company admins have to spend reactively fixing issues.
Finally, it is vital to maintain communication with your administrator. If there are any concerns with your computer, it is always best to report them straight away, especially as it is often easy to forget about them and get wrapped up in something else. This also means remembering that your admin is a valuable member of the team, too, and treating them with the same respect as you would treat anybody else in the company. If you want them to help you, you need to help them, too.