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The Complete Guide to Improving Family Technical Support


It's the holiday season of the year again, and that means it's across the river and through the woods to … well, fix your family's Wi-Fi and other technical issues.

If You Are It If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are the "tech person" in your family. This means that your family is constantly asking for your help and blaming you for things going wrong. ("Steven, do you know how you fixed your printer in July? Well, my internet is not working now, do you think you've broken the internet?")

That way, technical support for your family can be enormous be frustrating. At the same time, however, thanks to the increasing role of technology in people's lives, they have a really important role to play. In many cases, if you're away from home several times a year to make sure the computers are up-to-date, the photos are secure, and the technician is humming as you see fit, your family members will be able to do so they use their computers, lose their photos due to a hard disk crash or are otherwise miserable because they just do not know any better. Unlike you and me, they are not up to date with technology news and read guides.

In this sense, we will go through a crash course ̵

1; with numerous links to tutorials. We have written in the past – this helps you to shape the technical life of your family so that their networks are secure, their computers are secure and secure everything is connected so that you can easily help them in the future. The guide is divided into sections that are the areas that are most commonly used (and most urgent), based on years of experience as a Family Technical Support Team.

Update, Update, Update

CONNECTED: How to Keep Your Windows PC and Apps Up to Date

Tech-savvy people tend to update frequently, as they want new features and security patches. Non-techies tend to suspend updates – sometimes for a very long time. One time, when I helped a relative with his computer, I found that they had not even updated Windows 7 to Service Pack 1 because someone had told them that Service Pack 1 was broken and would crash their computer. Oh, and that was six years after the service pack was released and Windows 10 was already released.

In this sense, one of the first stops on your technical support tour should be your family member's computer and devices to make sure they're up-to-date. Not only that, but talk to them before updating their stuff, and clearly explain to them why you do it. Often, people are upset when things look different or behave differently due to updates. However, if you tell them clearly that the update should ensure the security of their devices, so that no one can steal their identity or infect their computers, they make their lives unhappy, they accept changes more.

The good news is that Windows 10 is now enforcing updates (unless you are running the Pro or Enterprise editions, which will allow you to pause the updates). If your family's PC is running Windows 10 and has a good internet connection, chances are they're pretty up to date.

However, problems may occur that prevent the occurrence of updates. Recently, my wife's laptop was slow and confusing, and I realized that Windows 10 had not been updated for some time. As it turned out, the WLAN was a little unclear where we usually had their laptop set up. Windows had tried to download and install updates, failed, tried again, and so on. Every time she used her computer, it was slow because the update process was going to catch up. I connected it to ethernet, downloaded and installed everything, and the problem was solved.

As a result, upgrade issues occur even in the days of Windows 10. But do not worry!

RELATED: How to Fix the Windows Update If It Stops or Freezes

While 19 & # 39; In this case, you should also make sure that the rest of the applications are up-to-date. Update your browser and your phone and check the other devices in the area. Smart TVs, set-top devices, routers and other hardware sometimes need updating. If possible, set the devices to download the updates automatically and update themselves.

De-Junk Their Computers

In addition to ensuring your computers are up to date, you must uninstall them. We do not know how or why, but it's practically a law of the universe that all devices that are owned by non-tech savvy individuals are slowly collecting garbage apps, malware, toolbars and all kinds of garbage that computers in to force the knees. Your parents-in-law may think they need a new computer, but they probably only need someone to reverse the mess they've made when they try to win an iPad by pointing to the banner "Punch the Monkey! " Beat.

RELATED: PC cleaning apps are a scam: Here's why (and how you can speed up your PC)

You can read here, like here and on a Mac malware is removed. (And if you do not have good antivirus protection installed, here are our recommendations.) Even if your PC is free of malware, there's a big chance that there will be a number of startup apps that do not need to be there, "Helpers Apps for things (like their printer) they do not even need, and general hard drive. For more information about eliminating this clutter and speeding up your PC, click here.

Setting up user accounts for all

The numerous computer problems that have helped friends, neighbors, and relatives over the years are due to their (or their children's) using the Administrator account on their computer. If this is not an issue you've been thinking about before, it crashes why it matters so much: administrators do not have full power over the computer and limited users. If a user with limited privileges downloads a virus (for example, masquerades as a Minecraft mod he really wants to play), he can not run it without the administrator password.

RELATED: Why Every User on Your Computer Should Have My User Account

Even if there are no children in the house, it is still useful to set up the computer so that it can be used daily use on a limited account. That way, you will not be surprised if something is installed on your computer because you need to pause, confirm that something is happening, and allow the administrator password. For non-tech-savvy relatives, this is a perfect solution as they have the opportunity to say, "Wait. Why is my computer trying to change my computer? "For more information on setting up restricted user accounts and other specific information about Windows 10, click here.

Improve and secure your WLAN

Next, it's time to approach the bane of every tech user's existence: flaky Wi-Fi. We can not even tell you how many times we've visited a relative and let's say something like, "Oh, Wi-Fi works only if you're in the same room as the box" or "Wi-Fi" -Fi works only for one or two hours and then you have to disconnect the router and the modem from the mains. "We would not want this situation for our enemies, let alone our relatives – test your wireless and ask them how it works

First, make sure the router is properly secured. This means upgrading firmware, changing the administrator password from the default, etc. In our guide to the six steps you should take immediately after receiving a new router, you will find a nice bug (whether the router is new or not) to get one Secure router.

RELATED: [19659008] Six Things to Do Immediately After Connecting the New Router

In addition to updating and properly backing up the router, you can also troubleshoot many signal problems by: You just move the router and make sure its channel does not overlap with the neighbor's WLAN. In one case, we solved a family's Wi-Fi problems by simply moving the router from the home office (in the back corner of the basement) to a room in the middle of their home. If routers and home networks are not your specialty, do not worry – we have a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting network issues. (If all else fails, a Wi-Fi network system like the Eero can help Wi-Fi reach places you've previously only dreamed of.)

RELATED: How to get one better radio signal and reduce the interference of wireless networks

Find out how much they pay for their Internet plan and the speed at which they pay. Then do a speed test to make sure these speeds are reached. If this is not the case, a call to the internet service provider might be alright.

Backing Up Everything (and Automating Future Backups)

Backups are undoubtedly number one nobody's thinking about until it's too late. There's a very good chance your loved ones will not back up their computer or phone on a regular basis, which means it's only a matter of time before they lose personal documents, family photos, and other data … and then you

If you do nothing else during your vacation visit, do not leave the system without setting up a backup system for your loved ones. They could survive without the latest Windows updates, they may suffer from the crappy Wi-Fi coverage, but there's no way to get back all the photos of their children disappearing into the air if a hard drive crashes or a phone is stolen.

RELATED: How can I best secure my computer?

We have written extensively on this topic over the years. That's why we just lead you to our guide to the best backup methods. Get a BackBlaze subscription, set it up on all computers, and automate it so you never have to think about it again. While you're at it, read our Bulletproof Photo Backup Guide. Yes, the normal backup plan should handle photos well, but photos are the only thing you can never get back. special safety tools available.

With luck, you'll never have to worry about losing files again.

Set up remote access

Even with all of the above fixes, you know that this is not the last time your family seeks your help. Before you start, set up a remote access tool on the computer. That way, the next time you experience problems (and you're not around), you can connect to and remotely connect to your computer. There is no greater frustration than someone unfamiliar with computers trying to explain a problem on the phone, especially if a peek by a trained eye would solve the problem.

RELATED: Remote Desktop Roundup: TeamViewer Vs. Splashtop vs. Windows RDP

If you use Windows, you do not actually need any tools – Windows has its own tools. Otherwise, there are many good remote desktop apps out there, but to help people with technical support, we use and recommend TeamViewer – as long as you take a few extra steps to set up the server securely. Armed with a suitable remote access tool, you can fix almost anything (and not even change the toner in your printer) with much less frustration.

Enlightenment on Malware and Fraud


] RELATED: Tell your relative: No, Microsoft will not call you through your computer.

There is a good chance that you are more familiar with the ins and ours of your computer (and yourself) than your friends and family. In addition to protecting the Wi-Fi network and updating your computers, you can also cause your friends and family a headache by making sure they are familiar with common fraud and malware sources.

There are some big topics worth talking about. Inform users about phishing emails. Do not share your personal information with unsolicited emails to third parties. Look at the email headers to make sure your bank's emails are really from your bank. If in doubt, visit the website and log in (do not click the links in the email.)

RELATED: To avoid installing junk programs while downloading of Free Software

Make sure your relatives, especially the elderly, are affected by it Whoever is more prone to trusting people and is used to a more personal way of doing business, is aware that Microsoft has them never call for their computer (let alone ask for money over the phone to fix it). While you're at it, tell them the difference between an actual warning message from their real security software and a pop-up Web page that looks like one.

Finally, if you want to break the vacation cycle of any vacation, uninstall Crapware piles and show them how to avoid installing garbage apps along with the free software they have installed.

While all of this makes sense for you, millions of people are cheated by scammers every year because they did not know it was a scam. Protect your friends and family from identity theft and malware by taking a few minutes to talk to them.

In How To Search For Geek For More Help


While we have highlighted some of the common situations that you come across here, and some precautions you should take to help your loved one to help, there will always be more questions about the circumstances. Luckily for you we have been around for a long time and we have a lot of friends, family and neighbors who always need help. Our article archive is extensive and covers most of the situations you are in.

You can use Google's handy little trick to browse through our archives to find exactly what you need. When looking for Site: howtogeek.com followed by everything you need, you can easily find all the articles we've written on a topic.

For example, suppose your brother wants to know how to avoid buying multiple iOS apps for all of his children. You can pull out your phone, search the website : howtogeek.com Share iOS Shopping and show how to set up Apple Family Sharing so that he can once buy the app and share it with all of his children. 19659003] If you do not know the solution to a problem your family members have, there's a good chance that we wrote about it (and it's a guarantee that even if we did not do it, someone on the Internet has the same problem and have already found out). Start Google and look like the technical genius that you are.

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