As a tech-savvy individual, you might always find yourself in a situation where people rely on you to solve their computer problems, make their Wi-Fi work, or fix their 2FA issues. But, this is not because you are an expert at everything. The truth is that many of these solutions can be found on the internet and it’s just a matter of looking in the right place! However, there are certain tips and tricks a tech-savvy user should have up their sleeves. Here are some of them:
Know how to use Google to find solutions for computer problems
This is probably the oldest trick in the book that every tech-savvy person uses every time an issue comes up. Googling an error is usually the first step in finding a solution especially when you haven’t encountered such before. The best part about using Google is that it will often return a variety of solutions from different sources, so you can pick the one that works best for you. If one solution doesn’t work, it is as easy as moving on to try the next one out.
Be familiar with command prompt
The command prompt is a text-based interface found in Windows that allows users to run commands and interact with the operating system. While it may seem daunting at first, it can be very useful when troubleshooting computer problems. For example, you can use the command prompt to delete files or folders that are causing issues on your PC. Note that this is also available in macOS as Terminal. Well, you obviously don’t need an explanation on this if you’re using Linux.
Make backups of your important files
This should go without saying but making backups of your important files is always a good idea! There are a variety of options for doing this, such as using an online backup service or storing important files on an external hard drive. Another possibility is to back up your files with cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Choosing to go with cloud storage or local storage is entirely something you need to decide on your own depending on your needs and situation.
Use an antivirus software
This one is a no-brainer. Using an antivirus software is essential for keeping your computer safe from viruses and other malware. There are many good antivirus programs out there, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs and budget.
Keep your operating system up to date
Another way of keeping your computer safe is by making sure that your operating system is up to date. This means installing the latest security patches and updates as soon as they’re available. Many operating systems will automatically install updates, but you can also check for updates manually if needed.
Enable two-factor authentication (two-step verification)
Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, adds another layer of security to your online accounts. This is done by requiring a second factor (usually a code that is sent to your phone) in addition to your username and password. This prevents others from accessing your account even if they know your login information. You should enable two-factor authentication on all of your important online accounts, such as email, social media, and banking accounts.
Use a password manager
A password manager is a software program or service that helps you in creating and managing strong and secure passwords. It can also automatically fill in login information for you so you don’t have to remember multiple passwords. Password managers are a great way to keep your online accounts secure since it’s very easy for someone to guess or crack weak passwords.
Install an ad blocker
Ad blockers are software programs that block ads from appearing on websites. Ads can be annoying and they can also be a security risk since they can sometimes contain malicious code. Ad blockers are available for both desktop browsers and mobile devices.
Be aware of phishing scams
Phishing scams are emails or messages that attempt to trick you into giving away your personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or social media accounts. These scams often look very convincing and may even include personal information about you. Always be skeptical of any email or message that asks for your personal information and never give out your password or other sensitive information unless you’re sure the source is legitimate.
Understand how ransomware works and know how to protect yourself
Ransomware is a type of malware that hijacks your computer and locks you out of it until you pay a ransom. This can be a very costly mistake, so it’s important to understand how ransomware works and how to protect yourself from it. There are many ways to protect yourself from ransomware, such as using an antivirus software, keeping your operating system up to date, and backing up your files.
Have a good understanding of basic networking concepts in order to troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues
A basic grasp of networking concepts is also beneficial. If you’re having wireless network issues, it can be very beneficial to know what the signal strength and speed should look like and how they relate to your Wi-Fi channels. You’ll also need some knowledge about IP addresses in order to troubleshoot more advanced connection problems such as DNS errors or local area connection drops.
Practice safe browsing habits on the internet
Learn to practice good online safety measures when using computers and browsing the web. There are many things you can do such as keeping an up-to-date antivirus software installed, watching for phishing scams, staying away from unsafe websites (such as pornographic sites), not opening emails from unknown sources/people, and so on.
Know your ways around common software programs, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop
Being tech-savvy also means knowing your way around common software programs. If you’re familiar with the basics of how to use Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, then you’ll be able to accomplish simple tasks without needing help from others. This can save you time and hassle if you need to do something quickly.
Understand the basics of online security, such as using a VPN and two-factor authentication
Another good skill to have is a basic understanding of online security. These tips can help you stay safe and secure when browsing the web:
Use a VPN – A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts all internet traffic on your device so it’s very difficult for hackers or data thieves to intercept messages while they’re in transit across unsecured networks. You must install this software before connecting to public wifi hotspots since they are usually not encrypted by default.
Always use two-factor authentication – Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection for accounts that allow users access with something they know, such as passwords, along with something only the user has on them at the time.
Know how to protect yourself from certain types of cybercrime, such as sextortion or revenge porn.
Another good skill to have is a basic understanding of how certain types of cybercrime work. These tips can help you avoid falling victim to common scams and schemes:
Avoid sextortion – Sextortion happens when someone threatens the release or distribution of sexual images in order to get something that they want (usually money).
Know your rights if revenge porn has been posted about you – Revenge porn refers to intimate photos/videos which were taken with consent, but then distributed without permission from either party after a relationship ends. If this happens to you, know your legal options. Be aware that there are laws protecting victims against this type of crime.
These are just a few tips and tricks that a tech-savvy user should know. Stay safe online and keep your computer skills up to date!