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Know Your Help Desk: 5 Items We Tend to Find

02/13/2012 by: The SunView Team

We know a number of you out there in the Help Desk trenches have seen your fair share of horrible things. For those that deal with desk-side support, or even worse, support where users bring in their assigned devices, things can get progressively worse. The tell-tale sign of this is typically an industrial-sized bottle of hand sanitizer located somewhere with in close proximity of the Service Desk. Of course, there will typically be enough goo-be-gone and paper towels to clean an air craft carrier as well. If only goo-be-gone worked on your eyes.
Unseeing things you have seen has been a concern since the non-digital age. If you can remember back, In the old days, long before digital cameras and self-printing, the only people that really got a glimpse into the secret lives of others, were those developing photos. That's not the case any more. In fact, you don't have to look much further than your local Help Desk, or even a major retail chain's Help Desk team to find stories of "interesting" photos and/or videos on end users' /customers', computers.

Just spend a few moments with any of these lucky individuals, and you will soon see that some people don't even have the decency to delete an obscene background before bringing their laptop in. Making matters worse as of late is the increase in BYOD. With people using their own devices for work or being given a dollar amount to spend on a computer, they seem to feel more comfortable using their computers for whatever they please. While not all of those uses involve steel wool for your eyes and bleach for your brain, some are just as ridiculous.

So, we start the week with the Top 5 Things That Are Most Likely To Be Found On a User Laptop/Desktop. However, we'd really like to hear your stories as well. Send us your own example(s) of things you have found, and we'll include the best ones in an upcoming post. Just email your story to On a final note, we did leave off a number of items in the category of "Just Plain Gross." Just know we completely understand the volume of hair that every tech must deal with.

A Telling Internet History
When it comes time to diagnose a problem, any tech is going to look for a root cause. A good place to search is the internet history. Ask any good tech and they can tell you quite the tale of interesting, and obsessive Internet browsing habits they have seen.

Media (Photos, Videos, Music)
It's one thing for a user to forget to remove a photo that they were just storing temporarily. However, using that photo as their wallpaper, and storing your collection of favorite, non G-rated movies in a desktop folder is a little much. It's a good day if the only thing you find is a user's secret Bieberobsession stashed "secretly" in the documents folder.

Nothing says productivity like seeing games installed on a computer. While it is impressive some users will try to get WoW to run on an Intel Video Card, it's more common than most would think.

Personal Documents
All it takes is a simple trip to the Help/Support Desk to figure out which of the company's brightest and best are looking to leave soon. While personal documents can run the full gambit of types, a real common one is the updated resume. Though, documents marked "love letter" on a users desktop are almost too much to resist.

Account Access (Saved Passwords)
Nothing is quite as demoralizing as setting up strict standards for password creation to find that every password a user has is stored in a document titled "passwords." It doesn't stop there though. We see quite a few stories about hardware coming in with user names and passwords for web applications commonly saved in their Internet browser of choice. While it is hard to turn down open access to someone's Facebook account, IT professionals do have a strong sense of ethics... don't we?