Online training can be a big advantage, but it only works as well as the computer systems it has been installed on. Running software on outdated or slow computer systems can cause problems. Most training software comes with a list of system requirements and should be followed exactly. These requirements include:
- Minimum hard drive space needed for program installation
- Computer RAM requirements (i.e. 500mb RAM required to run the program)
- Operating system requirements (Windows or Mac)
Some training programs may conflict with other programs. If the instruction manual says to close other programs before running, this should be followed. Interruptions in electrical power may affect training. A power surge or a single second of interrupted power may cause the program to shut down or crash. Surge protectors can prevent these problems. Using an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, prevents losing data during temporary power outages. The UPS is a battery backup, which automatically starts when the electricity is cut off. The UPS keeps the machine running for as long as the battery reserve lasts, keeping the training or testing session from being interrupted.
During the testing phase of online training, you may be required to take the entire test session over again if there's data loss, computer crash, or other technical problems. Many online training tests don't allow users to stop and start the test over again.
A third issue to contend with is computer hacking. The illegal compromise of a computer or computer network is the classic definition of hacking. People break into computers and networks for a wide variety of reasons, including data theft. If an online training program is hacked, third parties get illegal access to username and passwords, test results and any other confidential information. To avoid hacking, many companies offer training on closed systems. If training is offered on public Internet connections, steps need to be taken to safeguard private data. These may include using: