If you are like many, you are more technically inclined than your parents. So, they might want to rely on you when they have computer issues. But you can alleviate many of these issues by keeping their device running smoothly, and you can do this all remotely. Here’re some tips:
Teach Them to Fish
Digital literacy might be one of the single most underappreciated aspects of technology. And the more digital literate you and your parents are, the easier your digital life and even your physical life will be. As they say, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
So whether you are working on their computer remotely or on site, require them to watch. But be patient, because you can’t expect him to embrace tech the way you do. Nobody is wired the same.
Install Tools Remotely
- Use a program like Teamviewer, which allows you to connect to your parents’ computer remotely.
- You can do the work yourself and stop having to give them direction over the phone.
Back Up the Data and Schedule Future Backups
- It’s best to create more than one backup. In fact, create three.
- Put these backups in different forms. Save one in a flash drive, one in DropBox or other cloud-based back up. PolarBackup is a very cost effective option. And one on an external hard drive. A Western Digital one terabyte drive is very inexpensive on Amazon
- Set future backups to occur automatically once a day using a syncing software such as “Goodsync” google it.
Update Operating Systems
- Set up an automatic update for the operating system. Set this for the middle of the night.
- Do all updates, even if you think you won’t need them.
Ensure the Computer has Antivirus Software
- Every device should have antivirus software.
- Update this software regularly.
- Run a system scan when you update the software.
- Free software isn’t great. Pay a little to ensure absolute safety.
Uninstall Any Program They Don’t Need
- What programs don’t your parents need or use? Uninstall them to speed up the computer.
- You can download programs like Decrap for Windows, which will remove “crapware” that you don’t need.
- You can also download Revo Uninstaller if they use Windows or AppCleaner if they use a Mac. They will get any residual things out that Decrap didn’t get. CCCleaner works pretty good, too.
Update All Extensions and Browsers
- Modern browsers automatically update, so it’s better to make sure there is a good, updated browser on your parents’ computer. Chrome is a good option that automatically updates. Brave is good too, but it sometimes gets hung up on certain websites. Which can be frustrating.
- Delete any plug-ins or extensions that are not necessary. Make sure that the ones you leave are legitimate. If they are old or outdated, update all of these extensions.
Automate Anything You Can
- If you can automate something on your parents’ computer, you should.
- You can automate backups, so do it.
- You can automate a lot of things, so look into as much as you can.
- Run a bandwidth test online at SpeedTest.net
- This will give you a good idea of what the baseline speed is, which is good to know in case Dad calls and says his computer is running slow.
The best thing to do is to do all of this on your own computer first. It’s even better when your parents devices are running the same operating system as yours. It just makes things more familiar to you and easier. Have all your backup software on a thumb drive. This way, you have the software readily available, and you know how to do it when you go to do these things on your parents’ computer. You can also set up a Google doc with all of the software keys and passwords. All of this can help you, too, and by taking these steps, you can help to keep yourself and your parents safe from ID theft.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.