If someone told you that they worked for British Airways would you expect them to be able to fly a plane? If they said they were employed at British Rail – would you expect them to be able to tune a diesel engine?
Most will answer No to both questions and yet many people seem to think that because someone works for an IT company, or in IT, they are experts in giving advice on how to use, configure and maintain a PC.
I have over 30 years expereince in the IT industry and, believe me, the majority of people working in IT are ill informed on how best to manage and maintain a personal computer. True, they are probably better equipped to understand instructions and help guides due to exposure to the ‘lingo’ and ‘technical mumbo jumbo’ but they all too often offer uneducated advice to friends and relatives.
If you are someone who relies on advice from such a contact then make sure that you know what they do in IT and how in depth their knowledge is. You may be surprised, it is often very shallow.
If you have contact with someone with the necessary skills and exposure then that is well and good. If not then I’d advise finding a small, local, independent service provider that can visit you when you have major issues but also offer occasional advice as needed for more simple questions and issues.
Like myself you will find small companies that are more than happy to help regular clients with their short queries, via email or phone. Be aware though that they will probably want to charge for any in-depth analysis. After all it is their knowledge and experience that you are utilising.
Good luck and be careful
… oh, and to the IT Director ‘friend’ of one of my clients who told them that Malware Bytes was a scam – please shut up and stick to what you know.