The Power of the Power Button: How Restarting Your Computer Will Save the Day

July 21st, 2017 by admin

Restarting your computer takes three clicks of a button and a matter of seconds...but the difference this action makes is huge. Restarting your computer will not only resolve most day-to-day issues that arise, but will also play a huge role in protecting the security of your network. Here's the reason why something as simple as clicking the power button can save the day...

The #1 Troubleshooting Fix

No matter what the issue, the device, or the setting, there is one universal troubleshooting tip that outperforms every other… “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” Restarting or rebooting a device, particularly your workstation, will solve the majority of day-to-day computer issues that you encounter. Rebooting your workstation prevents programs from freezing, recurring crashes, slow performance, and the all too infamous blue screen of death. Whenever the systems running your computer get jammed up, mixed up, or slowed down, restarting your computer allows the systems to run with a clean slate. More often than not this will fix whatever issues you are encountering. But improved performance isn’t the only reason you should restart your computer…

The Importance of Security

Restarting your computer affects security more than you would think. Patching, compliance standards, antivirus, and scripts are all influenced by how often you reboot your computer.
  • Patching. Patches will not be fully installed and activated on a computer until it has been restarted. That means that although your workstation may have many pending patches, if you don’t take the initiative to turn your computer off and back on again on a regular basis, then you are leaving security holes in your system.
  • Compliance. Many forms of compliance, including PCI and HIPAA, require patching to be up-to-date within a certain time period. If your computer is not restarted within that time period, you are not only leaving those patches uninstalled, but also technically not in agreement with compliance standards.
  • Antivirus. Antivirus programs will often keep viruses in quarantine and clear them when you reboot your computer. If you leave your computer running for long periods of time, those viruses will continue to build up without getting cleared. If you leave it long enough, it’s sure to cause problems.
  • Scripts. Important scripts that need to be deployed company-wide can be blocked by patches and other programs that are left pending a restart of your computer.

Best Practices

If your workstation is 3-5 years old you should restart it at the end of every day. If your workstation is 1-2 years old, once or twice per week is sufficient. This will allow patching updates to install, antivirus quarantines to be cleared, compliance standards to be met, and scripting problems to be averted. We recommend rebooting at the end of the work day. Restarting your computer at the end of the day prevents you from having to wait delayed amounts of time if there are a large number of patches waiting to be installed. Additionally, it will properly sign you out of your account. As simple as it sounds, make sure that you are “restarting” your computer and not “shutting it off.” Turning your computer off at night will prevent patches and scripts from being able to run.

Server Reboots

Rebooting your server is just as important as restarting your workstation. We recommend restarting your server once a week on an automated schedule. The best time to reboot is when there is the least amount of traffic on your server (like 2:00 AM on a Sunday). So next time you are packing up to leave for the day, don’t forget to hit “restart.” Your computer will thank you.

Posted in: Security, Tech Tips