Insider Tip – logging a helpdesk ticket

Insider Tip – logging a helpdesk ticket

We are probably all doing things differently at the moment. From how we shop to how we work life has been, as we in the IT industry would say, updated! That is to say things are different and in some ways better but in some ways not.

Over the last few weeks one of the things that iTeam and other companies who provide services related to working remotely have found is a massive increase in the number of problems being logged with our helpdesk. This is to be expected, people are being asked to do things they have not done before and they need assistance in getting going with this change.

Now, logging a ticket can be a daunting thing to some people and I’d like to share a few tips on how when you log a ticket you can improve the whole experience of having your problem fixed.

Before you log the problem with someone take a few minutes to answer a couple of questions

  1. What is the desired outcome?

It might seem obvious but stop and think what it is that you actually want to happen. Once you are clear on this you can articulate this to the people that are going to help you resolve the problem. If you are clear of what you want then you will know when your problem is fixed.

  1. What is the problem?

Now you know what the goal is what is it that is stopping you getting there? Are you getting an error message, has it happened before and if so when, what is it you cannot do? Take a moment to detail these for yourself before you log the ticket so that when you need to tell someone else what the problem is you can without it causing you undue stress. As my Managing Director David Hewett is oft heard saying. “If you find out what the problem actually is you have solved it.”

OK, so now you know what you need to happen and what is stopping that, we are ready to raise this with someone that can help.

So how should we do this? There are two main options that we will find for raising a problem with the people that can fix it but which one is the right one?

  1. Phone call – this might be the obvious first choice but is it the right one? Think about your problem, is there quite a bit of information that you need to tell the person going to help you? Is it going to be easy to convey what you want to say over the phone or will it result in a lot of data entry on behalf of the person that is taking the details down? Are you sure they are going to take down the information that you have carefully put together for them when you thought through what you needed to happen and what your problem is?
  2. Email or online form – in the IT world this is where we live. Raise the problem online first by email or going to the right support portal. It lets us put in all the information we have in the way we want to present it and also it means that we have a reference of exactly what we have said rather than what the person we spoke to believes we have told them!

But, I hear you say, my problem is really really urgent and I need it fixed now. So, here is the insiders tip:

  1. Log your ticket online – in almost all circumstances you will get a ticket reference.
  2. Give it a minute or so – then pick up the phone and call in armed with your ticket number.
  3. Provide this number and you are one step ahead of the game!

I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions or would like to hear more little tips like this from me.

James Reed
Technical Director
iTeam Solutions Ltd

Creating a Secure Password

We get asked a lot of questions about passwords and why when we change them people think they might be somewhat obscure. Hopefully I can answer a few of these questions with the information below:

What is a secure password?

Simply put a secure password is difficult/impossible to guess, unique to the system it is protecting and not shared with anyone.

What makes a password secure?

There are a number of things that can make a password more secure some general rules are:

  • Make it at least 8 characters long, longer if you are happy to do so!
  • Make sure it includes a mix of the following:
  • Does include upper and lower case letters.
  • Does include numbers.
  • Does include special characters (e.g. ? ! # @)

Why use a secure password?

People are trying to access your data, FACT, and those people using poor passwords will have their data compromised at some point, another FACT, using a secure password decreases the chances of you data being compromised. It is as simple as that!

What is an example of a secure password?

A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words. Numbers and symbols can still be used if needed, for example 3redwaTerMonkeys27!

Be creative and use words memorable to you, so that people can’t guess your password. Your social media accounts can give away vital clues about yourself so don’t use words such as family names or favourite sports team which are easy to guess.  Cyber criminals know many of the simple substitutions we use such as ‘Pa55word!” which swaps numbers for letters so there is no point in doing that.

Never use the following personal details for your password:

  • Family members’ names
  • Pets’ names
  • Place or date of birth
  • Favourite holidays
  • Something related to your favourite sports team

If you are not speaking to your IT Support provider about this, why not give us a ring?

James Reed
Technical Director