Self-Help and Prevention Guide

Computer Workstation Self-Help

As the end user of your computer system, there are things you can do to prevent and address issues with your device. Here are some common categories of IT support requests you can easily handle yourself to save time.

Note: In the following guide, we use the term ‘PC’ to refer to any device capable of receiving and sending data on your network. This includes servers, Mac or Windows desktops and laptops, and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

Heat management

Dust and heat are enemies of your PC. If the performance of your machine is degraded, it could be because its heat dissipation is blocked by objects or a buildup of dust. This could be a clogged fan or blocked vent.

The device will react to high internal temperatures by running its fans; if this fails it will implement thermal throttling – slowing performance to limit the amount of heat generated. If high temperatures continue or exceed a threshold, the device will shut down to protect itself from damage. You will experience these as ‘slowing’ or ‘crashing’.

Inspect the back, sides, top, or bottom of your PC to find the heat vents and ensure they are unobstructed. Shine a light inside to ensure any fans are free of dust. As preventative measures, keep your PCs off the floor to reduce the amount of dust they are exposed to, and ensure you have approximately 4 inches of clearance for any heat vent on the device. You can use canned air to blow out dust if your system has a lot of dust on your fans or in it’s air passages.


The vast majority of IT issues can be fixed simply by restarting the device (PC, Laptop, Mac, Tablet, Phone, Printer, etc.). We know! As silly as this is… this should be your first reaction to any performance issue. When a device running an operating system, software and/or firmware is restarted, it automatically goes through an internal house-cleaning process. Essentially, it looks for anything that is out of place or unnecessary, and takes care of it. This can include fixing corrupted files, resetting applications, re-initiating connections and permissions, and disposing of unnecessary data: all things that can impact the performance of the device.

As a preventative measure, it is good practice to restart your devices regularly. Whenever possible, use the Restart function of your device and avoid cutting its power supply by pulling the plug, etc. We recommend restarting a workstation PC, Mac, Tablet or Laptop at least weekly. A good PC best practice is to close all your applications and restart it on the last work day of your week, restarting it (not shutting it down) allows the system to clean itself up and also allows our tools to patch and maintain your system after hours.

Email security

With an obvious scam email, the simplest reaction is to delete it and block the sender. However, if an email impersonates someone or some organization that you trust by using their email address, name, letterhead, etc., you have been targeted by a social engineering or ‘phishing’ attack. These attacks are designed to trick you into revealing your access credentials and/or introducing harmful software into your network, such as ransomware. Many companies have lost large sums of money to these scams.

Social engineering emails will appear to come from someone you know, and make a seemingly innocuous request. If the email contains a clickable link, always inspect (hover your mouse over) the URL before clicking. It may look familiar but become much longer when expanded – consider this suspicious. If you doubt the authenticity of an email in any way, you should immediately forward the email to us at and we will investigate and let you know our findings.

Blocked websites

If you are unable to access a certain website, it may be in a category blocked by our URL protection software and it needs to be checked to ensure it is not malicious or is risky to visit. Typical high risk website categories include violent content sites, adult and dating sites, and firearm-related sites. Given the volume, it is not possible for us to list specific blocked sites. If you do need to access a site that is blocked, contact us with the site URL and we’ll check it out with our cyber security partners and let you know the findings.

Confirming Leverage IT’s antivirus protection

To ensure your PC is running the most up-to-date version of its antivirus program, check the icons at the bottom of your screen. Our Webroot antivirus protection is indicated by a ‘W’ with a green circle. Green indicates active antivirus protection. If the circle is any other color, click to open it. An orange status usually indicates a missing update – you can click ‘Scan my computer’ to reboot the application. If the status is red, and rebooting the application or restarting the computer does not change the status to green, contact us we can get it all corrected.

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