Many families in Idaho and throughout the country are adjusting to the new “temporary normal,” which is staying home and depending more than ever on stocked supplies and their internet connection and electronics.
Students in Boise, West Ada, Nampa, Caldwell, Vallivue, and Kuna are all home from school, while some parents are working remotely at home as well.
Trying to get out ahead of the Coronavirus fallout and what it means for parents of school-aged children, Disney+ released Frozen II three months early on their streaming service, and other services are looking to do the same with their content.
With everyone one needing to stay connected to the office, connected to online schooling, or just bored and looking to their phones, tablets, and computers for entertainment, ensuring your home technology is up to the task can keep everyone from going stir crazy.
Connect2Geek wants to help, so we’ve put together this Home Technology COVID-19 Survival Kit with tips on keeping your technology going while everyone is hunkered down at home.
Tips for Home Electronics During the Pandemic
While you may not have much control over the Coronavirus pandemic and how it impacts closures and other social distancing restrictions in Treasure Valley, you can take measures to ensure your “home base” is powered with the technology you need to keep going.
Make Sure You’ve Got the Bandwidth You Need
With everyone using bandwidth at the same time for work, school, streaming entertainment, and so on, you’ll want to make sure your internet plan is up to the task, so you don’t end up with endless buffering and online freezing problems.
If you’re experiencing slowdowns, there are a few things you can do:
- Check to see if it’s one device of all of them
- If one device, a computer tune-up might help (this can often be done by remote login)
- Make sure your router firmware is updated
- Check your speed to see if you’re getting what comes with your ISP plan
- Call your ISP to see if you need a modem upgrade or to increase your bandwidth
Pay Attention to Device & Network Security
Hackers take every advantage they can, and they know that there are hundreds of thousands of workers now connecting virtually to their office from home and students connecting to online learning sites.
They also know that residential users often have lax security habits and they’ll be doing everything they can to compromise your network.
Here are some things you can do to improve the security of your connections and devices at home:
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt connections
- Ensure all devices have a good antivirus/anti-malware program
- Explore Windows 10 security settings (for ransomware protection and more)
- Use a DNS filter that blocks malicious websites
- Tell the family to be on the lookout for Coronavirus themed phishing emails
- Make sure you have parental controls in place on children’s devices
- Secure smart gadgets, such as Alexa speakers
Disinfect Electronic Devices
You know how they say not to touch your face and to wash your hands often to help avoid getting Coronavirus (and other infectious diseases)? Well, what about your electronics?
Our hands or faces are on them all the time, including smartphone screens, tablet screens, keywords, and mice. A new study states that the COVID-19 can live on surfaces up to 3 days. Keep these clean by disinfecting them regularly.
Here are some tips:
- Do not use bleach
- Use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol on a soft cloth to wipe devices
- Apple says that disinfecting wipes can be used on their devices
- Alcohol cleaning products are best because it evaporates quickly
- Avoid moisture
- Avoid spraying disinfectants over keyboards (moisture can get beneath keys)
- Turn off and unplug electronics when disinfecting them
Bookmark Connect2Geek’s Remote Support Page
If you’re having trouble with getting your office’s video conference software to work on your computer, what do you do?
What happens if your child can’t send in their schoolwork electronically due to a computer problem?
You don’t have to feel isolated from help, Connect2Geek offers secure, fast remote support. We can log into your computer remotely and be there on the spot to help – no travel outside your home needed!
Here is our remote support page to bookmark. (We’re there for you!)
Look for Free Online Resources
Many organizations are helping reduce that feeling of isolation and enabling families with online tools that they are offering for free during this national emergency.
From visiting the aquarium virtually to work tools you can really use, here are a few freebies out there:
- Live webcams from the Georgia Aquarium (penguins, otters, whales, and more!)
- Cisco Webex software (no time restrictions, up to 100 participants)
- LogMeIn Emergency Remote Work Kits for health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities, and non-profits
Connect2Geek is There for You with Remote Support
You don’t have to struggle with technology issues at home during the pandemic if you need tech support, many issues can be handled via secure remote login.
Contact us for help and tech advice today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.