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Starting Out The Year Right For Your POS Systems With A "New Year Computer Checklist"
Let’s discuss some of the most common and vital mistakes that are made in regard to some very simple and basic configuration aspects of the computer system.
Some of these mistakes can cost restaurant owners thousands of dollars in wasted time and money. Worse than that... it can frustrate you, your customers and staff. Whether you already have a computer system or you're going to configure a new one yourself -- it's important for you to make sure everything is done properly.
Please don't let me be guilty of giving you the wrong idea. I do not always recommend configuring your own computer system! I recommend letting a professional do it for you. But I'm sure some of you will do it yourself no matter what I say. So this is for those of you that insist on doing your own system installations and for everyone else to double check and make sure everything was done properly. This could help you avoid some major problems and save hours of precious time.
So here's your retail computer system configuration checklist for a Windows network:
1) Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
The number one cause of electronic component failure is from fluctuations in electricity (up and down). A good UPS can solve this problem by regulating the power. I recommend that you at least put a good UPS on your server. And it's also a good idea to use them on each of your workstations too.
2) Plugging All Cables Into the UPS
Check if all cables that power your computer and network are plugged into your UPS. You also need to check if the cables that are plugged into a surge protector or UPS are carrying the right amount of power. For example, the phone line for your modem can heat up and fry your computer if you don't plug it into a surge protector. So you better make sure that all cables are plugged properly. Your modem line, network cables, and power cords can cause serious damage if not plugged properly.
3) Tightening Up Security
At the very least, I suggest locking down your server with a password on all Windows accounts so your employees and hackers have more difficulty messing with your server.
4) Installing Security Tools Like An Antivirus Software and AntiSpyware Software
It is gravely important for you to make sure that these security tools are configured to updating automatically, so you would never forget.
5) Limiting Internet Access
Employees will surf on anything they can on the internet. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software does help but if an employee unintentionally downloads the wrong program or accepts the wrong message, it can cause some serious problems to your system. You can avoid this by disabling internet browsing on your computers. Or you could password protect internet access.
For a restaurant, this is very important! In order to protect secured files from evil hands, limiting employee internet access is a must. A retail business owner has to enforce rules to protect his business as well as his profit. Otherwise, what good will a restaurant POS system do if it's run by a misbehaved or ignorant personnel.
6) Configuring Your Back Up To Run Regularly
As well proven in many situations, it's still best to configure your back up to run after hours automatically. But you still need to remember to change your back up device (like tapes) every day.
7) Test Your Backup By Restoring Files Once A Month
I can't remember how many times I've chatted with several people that have hard drive failure and think they have a good back up plan to restore. But when they try to restore they find it hasn't been working for months or years. That's why you need to do a "real" test restore once a month to make sure it's working. By the way, you should restore to an alternate file location so you don't mess up your existing software.
Avoid having regrets by forgetting to do these simple checklist. It's not a waste of time and it's not just for your business, employees and customers but for your own sake as well.
Got a Question?
If you would like to know more about this topic or have a question in mind, you may ask for advice with our Restaurant POS professional serving your area.
The author of this article is the Vice President of Customer Relations at http://www.pos-
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