Every family has a go-to person for all those tech questions. The one who can get the TV connected to Netflix, navigate the world of passwords, sort out the dodgy Wi-Fi and help install programs on the family PC.
If this sounds like you and is your unofficial family job, there are some good basics to be across that will hold you in good stead, and hopefully stop some of those issues arising in the first place.
One of the ways you can help your family the most is to help them recognise and avoid a scam, a malware link, or an unauthorised download.
These wicked villains can cost people thousands, plus a lot of stress. So, if you’re the trusted family tech go-to, take some time to talk your nearest and dearest through the various scenarios they are likely to come across. For example, if they get a call from ‘Microsoft’, how to identify dodgy links before they click on them, and what to check when downloading an app or program. Make sure they understand as it could save them a whole lot of headaches and save you from future ‘tech support’ duties.
We have some handy tips on protecting yourself from scams which you can share with your family and friends.
While some people are only too happy to click on a link they get sent, plenty of others are not, which is why updates are frequently not downloaded and installed.
Each time you get asked to get into your folks’ computer or phone, make sure all the updates have been actioned. It will result in the tech performing better and hopefully lead to fewer issues.
If everyone has got admin access to the family account, there are all sorts of settings the unwitting user can change resulting in chaos. Instead, set everyone up with their own profile and ID so they can have the things they want on their devices.
On the other hand, when it comes to passwords for shared items like Netflix, make it something that everyone in the family can remember to avoid frequent lock-outs and password resets.
The best tech support skills in the world can’t always retrieve what gets lost when a cup of tea is spilled on a laptop keyboard. For those eventualities that are terminal, organise a back-up program for your family so they (and you) can back-up all those precious items, like photos, that if lost would break hearts. Cloud-based is great but consider getting a physical hard drive to run back-ups to be doubly safe.
The digitisation of our world is not slowing down. Soon we’ll be able to do even more with our finances online with new services like Open Banking. For those that are not tech-minded, this is going to be an additional skill for them to have to master.
Be that guide. Where you can, give your family information to help them build their own tech skills, from an understanding of how programs work together through to the terminology used and what it means.
You can even try putting them on the self-help path by providing them with a couple of good tech advice websites they can turn to with issues, and perhaps put them on the road to becoming the new family tech support.
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