Every family has a go-to person for all their tech questions. The one who can get the TV connected to Netflix, navigate the world of passwords, sort out the dodgy Wi-Fi, or 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 the most common issues arising in the first place.

Scam alert

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.

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 claiming to be from “Microsoft”, how to identify dodgy links before they click on them, and what to check when downloading an app or program. Helping them to understand common scam tactics could save them a lot of headaches and save you from future “tech support” duties. Share our handy tips for staying safe online with your family and friends.

Check for updates

While some people are only too happy to click on any link they are sent, plenty of others are not, which is why updates are frequently not downloaded and installed.

Each time you’re asked to do something on 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.

Set up individual IDs

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 lockouts and password resets.

Create a back-up

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. Organise a back-up program for your family so they (and you) can back-up precious items, like photos, that would break hearts if lost. Cloud-based is an easy solution, but also consider getting a physical hard drive to run back-ups as it may be easier for your family to understand and use.

Don’t just fix, educate

The digitisation of our world is not slowing down, which can be scary for those who are not tech-minded or feel overwhelmed by new technology.

It’s important to be a guide for your family and, where you can, give them information to build their own tech skills. This can range from an understanding of how programs work together, through to 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 or a trusted local IT support service.

Family tech support checklist

  • Update all software
  • Turn on two-factor authentication
  • Clean up passwords or set up a password manager
  • Review device storage and delete unused apps
  • Set up automatic backups
  • Adjust accessibility features
  • Set up anti-virus software and automatic scans
  • Cancel unwanted subscriptions
  • Review privacy settings
  • Find a local trusted tech support service
  • Sell, donate, or recycle old tech

Important information

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