petronella

06 Mar 2021

Holidays mean downtime for a lot of people, including families and extended families. All that togetherness creates a fantastic opportunity to ring in the new year with tech savvy family technical support. Here’s seven ways to earn that family “Tech Guru” title.

Update. Everything.
Before you go hunting for elusive tech issues, check to ensure the device is completely up to date. Non-techie people (we’re looking at you Baby Boomers!) tend to put off software updates for a very long time. Unless they are running Windows 10 which forces updates, chances are your family member is missing key updates, service packs, new features, and critical security patches. Don’t forget to check out phones, smart-tvs, set-top devices, routers and other hardware. They may need updates as well.

Housekeeping 101.
No matter the system, devices tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Non-techie people tend to bog down their devices with garbage apps, viruses, malware, games, photos, and videos. Select photos and videos worth keeping and upload them to the iCloud, Dropbox or One Drive, and then delete the rest. Get rid of games not being played or photo editor apps not being used.

Security Must Have.
Ensure the device has a reliable and up to date Antivirus security program. There are several available third-party solutions, some free, and if the system runs Windows Microsoft Safety Scanner is a fantastic option. It doesn’t need installing and can find problems your regular antivirus overlooks.

Back That Thang Up.
Backup everything that is important. Gone are the days of 300 page binder albums overflowing with photographs from the family vacation. Today’s images are digital, and without a backup in place, those images can disappear in the blink of an eye. With so many storage options out there, there really is no excuse for not backing up devices. Setting up an automatic backup feature is a bonus.

Check Internet Speed.
Spotty and/or unreliable Wi-Fi can make life miserable for tech users. Test the internet speeds with a wireless app. Move the router, and test again. Reset the router to clear cache. If nothing you do rectifies the issue, contact the service provider. Make sure you are getting the speeds you pay for.

Set Up User Accounts.
Too may people run their systems under the administrator account. Limited user accounts make it harder for viruses and garbage add-ons to be downloaded. Even if you are the sole user, operate the majority of your time under a user account. The limited user account will require passwords and permissions to download items or make changes to your system, giving you the opportunity to thwart an attack or just say no.

Security Awareness Training.
Make sure anyone using the systems knows the basics of security awareness. Email scams and phishing, unsecured browsers, and copycat websites are all things that can be easily identified with a little bit of awareness training. Also, make sure your non-techie family knows not to give out any personal information, or to fall for any telephone scammers claiming to be from Apple or Microsoft.

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