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We do a pretty good job of keeping our corporate Windows devices clean from malware. Most of our Intranet applications are browser-based and our users do a fine job of following our rules of the road on the corporate network regarding what they can and can't do.

The same can not be said for our users' personal systems, however. We are a pretty small company, so we often don't mind a little 'extracurricular' PC maintenance. We'll usually accommodate a few requests here or there to help our staff with their personal computing issues.

Lately we seem to be getting a flood of these requests. Even outside of work, I've had four people ask me to help them with performance issues on their Windows machine in the last two months. I'm to the point where I no longer bother troubleshooting and just offer to re-install the OS to save my time/sanity.

What I'm looking for is a set of good resources, videos, tutorials, strategies--whatever--that will provide some basic training to our staff/friends/family/(their kids) to help them avoid common pitfalls in running Windows.

Ideally such resources would be entertaining or highly interactive. I'm afraid if I hand out a bunch of links to blogs or lengthy articles that it would be ignored. Trying hard not to make a commentary here, but I think the reality is that the material has to be dumbed-down for it to be digested.

I realize this topic is subjective so I'm going to submit it as a wiki, but I do feel that it is highly relevant to IT professionals regardless.



locked by HopelessN00b Dec 5 '14 at 9:33

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This is not much of an answer, basically a negative opinion on the question - but this is a community wiki. I would definitely shy away from supporting, or trying to support, staff with their home PCs. The more you do it, the worse it will get. Sooner or later you will be blamed for the situation a home user has got themselves into, you are allowing them to abidicate their responsiblity for looking after their own home IT systems. Even providing advice is too much IMHO. If you recommend an anti-virus solution, and a user elects to install it on their home PC and gets a virus, you may get the blame. By some estimates 50% of home PCs are compromised.

Small company or no you should be seeking to add value to the bottom line, not fixing staff home PCs. I'm afraid I have to say, show me the money!!!

What's so wrong with suggesting best-practices for your staff to follow at home? I think it's in an organization's best interest for their staff to be educated about technology in the long run. If they have bad habits at home, it's not very difficult to believe some day they might bring those same habits to work. You don't need to spend hours and hours troubleshooting their home tech problems (unless you need a 2nd Job), but a responsible IT admin will want them to at least be aware of the kind of trouble they could cause, not just for themselves, but for every else. – l0c0b0x May 13 '09 at 22:54
@CE On some levels I agree with you, which is what prompted the question. While helping our staff with their personal computing needs doesn't directly impact the bottom line, it does have a positive impact on our corporate culture which is also important. As we continue to grow, we realize being so helpful won't scale, which is why I'm looking to educate them. I'm not so much worried about the blame issue. Your point is taken, but these are adults who realize our time is valuable to the company and that any help we give them is "sans warranty". – Joe Holloway May 13 '09 at 23:45
Actually l0c0b0x, once you start making your non-IT staff technically inclined, they spend less time working and more time fixing. You and I might not see a problem with that (because that's what we do), but that means the customer-oriented employees (for example) start to adopt a mindset that isn't customer oriented anymore, and that's particularly bad for the work they do. – Ernie Dec 9 '09 at 18:17

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