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Make the Most of Home Tech Time, IT CEO Says

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

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You and your home computer are going to be spending plenty of time together these next few weeks or months. Tech-wise, put those long hours to good use. Here is a game plan very kindly put together for the Business Journal by Sebastian Igreti, chief executive of IT services, consulting and cybersecurity company TechMD.

IoT: Take inventory of your in-home IT and IoT devices and check whether they are still operating on default passwords and settings.

  • Investigate if your Alexa is snooping in your conversations—change the privacy and permissions settings and be happy about that.
  • If your internet router still has the default password, change it.
  • See if your Nest or Ring device is set up for automatic updates and patching.

Secure mobile devices and content for your family: don’t let smartphones and tablets for your kids create a family free-for-all.

  • Research the options and ways you can limit the content the kids are accessing and the amount of time they are spending on mobile devices.
  • Figure out rules and ways to keep them accountable and communicate your expectations.
  • 4 hours of streaming YouTube videos a day during social distancing is not exactly a good thing.
  • Activate services on your kids’ mobile devices so you know if they are actually at their friends’ house or not.

Password security: by now everyone knows cybersecurity is important, but many still fail to take the obvious first step because life gets too busy.

  • Set up two factor authentication for your most critical and confidential accounts like: online banking, retirement accounts, credit card accounts, etc.
  • Stop using the same terrible password on multiple accounts and finally invest in a password manager like LastPass.
  • Create complex and unique passwords for all of your logins.
  • Download the app to your smartphone for ease of access.
  • Download the plug-ins to your browser(s) so that your password manager can fill in your credentials with the click of a button while keeping your online data safe.

Evaluate your internet and Wi-Fi connection: what are you paying and what is your internet service provider promising you.

  • Take a basic speed test at www.speakeasy.net/speedtest and see if your results match what your ISP has promised.
  • Download a Wi-Fi app or analyzer like WiFiman or WiFi Analyzer to evaluate and assess why there seem to be Wi-Fi dead spots in your house—upgrade your router or access points.
  • If your internet and/or Wi-Fi password is still something simple and basic—update it to something more secure.
  • Step up your home office game: Nothing like the coronavirus to remind you that hunching over your small laptop for days on end is not an ideal way to work.
  • Shop online for a real home office setup with monitors, wireless keyboards, speakers, video cameras, and balance balls.
  • Check with your company to see if they will help you out with the expenses.

Gain some new IT skills from free online training resources: if you think you’re an IT amateur or newbie, search online for some basic free courses to sharpen your IT skills.

  • The best tech support is your own knowledgebase—get it done and update your résumé or profile online.
  • See if your employer offers IT training courses or raises for gaining certifications.

Figure out tech savvy ways to do common tasks on the go more effectively: Are you still writing down your shopping lists on paper? Create a note and share that with your spouse and kids for grocery lists, online shopping wish lists. Stop remembering and forgetting everything you need. When you think of it, add it to the shared note.

  • Create a Google sheet for tracking expenses or creating a weekly budget—or better yet finally invest in an app for keeping track of your expenses and finances like Mint.

Nontraditional streaming services: take inventory of what you are paying for cable and satellite and see if there are better options through online streaming services.

  • Get down to the details of what you really want to watch and figure out the most cost effective and best way to do that—you have options.

Source: Orange County Business Journal

Category: Business News, COVID-19

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