Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays!
Some thoughts about your tech options as we head into the unknown of the New Year
Scams and Threats
Not sure? - ask me BEFORE you click or call a number in that pop-up on your screen. If you think something's not on the up-and-up, check in with me.
BACK UP your important stuff – Do you back up regularly? Do you keep your software installations (CDs, instructions, emails, and/or usernames & passwords that got stuff loaded) handy for when those apps need to be reinstalled?
Be prepared for HARDWARE failures.
Norton 360 Deluxe is currently available for about $20 for a year for five devices. Turn off auto-renew after the subscription has been activated. Annoying pop-up promotions? By default, they are annoying; but their frequency can be minimized. Works on Macs, too (search Amazon or Google for the best price at the moment for Norton 360). A free alternative is Windows Defender, which comes with every Windows 11 or 10 PC.
To find crapware that can slow your computer, I recommend occasional running of the free personal Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program (malwarebytes.com).
Good printers – very reliable and relatively inexpensive options are basic monochrome laser printers, either print-only or All-in-One. The cost per page for these are much less than any inkjet printer. Leave color printing needs to the well-equipped shops at Staples & FedEx, or get a basic inkjet printer for color. The newer Epson & Brother inkjet tank printers claim to be a lot cheaper than their inkjet cartridge counterparts.
Where & how you purchase new equipment can lengthen your warranty without purchasing an extended plan. For example:
Dell business class (like OptiPlex, Precision) usually offer 3 year warranties
Costco electronics purchases often come with their 2nd year warranty as well as Concierge services (https://www.costco.com/concierge.html) that include phone support with US-based reps
many credit cards offer additional warranty coverage that follows a manufacturer's warranty period
Always check the websites of these companies for current information regarding such policies on price matching, warranty programs, and technical support.
Zoom, Meet, Teams, etc.
These apps are with us to stay. Keep them updated.
Quality audio is essential to making any virtual event a positive one. More critical than your video, PLEASE TEST your audio well before your next cam get-together or work event. A basic Logitech webcam offers a good camera & microphone. Earbuds, headsets, and, yes, Bluetooth speakers can also improve your experience and those of your fellow participants..
Audio quality is essential to making any virtual event a positive one. So, consider options for webcams, microphones, earbuds, headsets, and, yes, Bluetooth.
2022 will be in the rear-view mirror soon, but your tech needs won't! For help with your tech, reach out to me and let’s improve your setup.
Call or text me at 410-929-5684
Send smoke signals if your locality permits these (just kidding, I don’t know how to read them)
Check for my occasional tips on my Facebook Page: Help for the PC
And – really, really, I really mean it – back up your personal stuff!
Be safe, be healthy, and may your tech enrich your life!