Its a bane of every IT provider’s life when they hear the “friend up the road/ daughters boyfriend/ guy I know from the pub/etc. helped me try to fix my PC and now it’s even more broken.”
Would the average person let someone who tinkers with their car, service their main source of transport? Would they let someone who cuts their own hair get the scissors and clippers on their head? Would they let someone who self medicates prescribe them drugs?
As an IT pro (with 23 years continuous experience) I know there is less respect for our profession than there should be. The simple fact that “turn it off and on again” fixes most things, does not mean that there is no skill when that does not work. Its analogous to a doctor asking if you have tried sleeping when you have a headache. Wake up and its still terrible and you then know its a whole different headache.
The real problem is that when the really simple fixes don’t work, users of computers “have a go” or let someone with (a bit) more knowledge “have a go”. That’s dangerous especially if like most users you don’t have all your precious data (photos, emails, videos, documents, licenses) backed-up and separate from the machine being fixed, you run the risk of that data being lost.
Recent problems with machines are not just equipment failure, but relate to IT security. Criminals want your machine (to use in their attacks), they want to encrypt and ransom you back your own data, they want to steal money from your bank accounts, they want to buy things on your credit. Most IT support and maintenance pros are constantly seeing the latest ways the criminals do this and either know or know how to find out, how to combat them.
The best way of protecting your digital life (now very much tied in with most peoples real lives) is to employ professional IT people to help you. You may have these available from employment, you may know maintenance Pros who will work for free (although that can cause problems as well). For everyone else, there are many decent IT companies who offer support services either on an ongoing basis (they tend to call themselves “Managed Service Providers”) or as problems occur (tend to be called “Break Fix Providers”).
Depending on your reliance on the technology (always going up) having a support contract in place may be better than waiting until disaster strikes then firefighting afterwards.
I hope you don’t have any major IT disasters, but be assured IT pros can help, just call them a bit earlier .