In today’s day and age, technology is becoming more advanced all the time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by features when we use our new device. Whether you have a smartphone or a laptop, a little time to learn these products can go a long way. Knowing these 5 techie things will get you started on the right foot.
1. Learn how to back up your device.
In time, your computer or phone could crash. If you work from your device, I’m sure you have important documents that you can’t afford to lose. Here are some simple ways to back up your device:
- Thumb Drive: Also known as a USB drive or a flash drive. This small and solid drive is used to store and transfer files to and from computers. It’s portable and has a storage capability ranging from 64MB to 256GB. It would be great to use if you want to back up your files or media. Keeping your files backed up will prevent you from losing files or media. Most thumb drives are inexpensive and easy to use. At EBA (Everything But Stromboli), they have multiple USB flash drives to choose from. A few come with key-chain holes to add to your backpack or keys. The best part is the more bulk thumb drives you to buy, the lower the cost. So, if you are a college professor, these could come in handy for your class.
- SD Card: This is like a thumb drive but thinner. Use this to store your pictures from your digital camera, laptop, etc. Many devices have a slot for an SD card. If you would like to transfer contacts from your cell phone, you might need a Micro SD card. Our phones usually have a place for them behind the battery or on the side. Many devices like tablets or cameras might also use a micro SD card.
- Hard Drive: If you buy a computer, it should have an internal hard drive. Your hard drive is the heart of your device. It permanently stores and retrieves data from your computer. For some, they can fill up their hard drive. In this case, you could purchase an external hard drive. For the time being, this could keep everything backed up.
Use your phone as a Wireless Hotspot.
We have all tried to connect to someone else’s WiFi before. Sometimes, even when we try connecting to a public guest WiFi, the connection is slow. You could have a mobile hotspot on your phone and not even know about it. So, why is it called a mobile hotspot? It’s a physical location where multiple people can connect to the internet via Bluetooth or USB. We can’t pack up our internet modem from home and take it with us. The mobile hotspot is great when you need the internet on the go. If you’re in a public place, make sure your device is password protected. That way, others can’t connect and make your connection slow. Check with your service provider to see if your phone offers a mobile hotspot. If it doesn’t, you could always buy a mobile hotspot device.
Learn how to stop unwanted calls.
At least twice a month we always get an unwanted call from someone trying to sell one thing or another — or worse, try to scam you. This can frustrate you when they continue to call on a different number. One way you could stop unwanted calls is to download a call-blocking app. A call-blocking app acts like a filter when calls come in. The app uses data to determine if it’s a spam caller or an illegal call. Then, the app would intercept the call from coming in. You could also call your phone provider to see if they offer any call blocking features on your phone.
It’s a question we’ve all wondered: What is the best way how to know who called you? While you could always just call the number back, they might not answer. There are many other ways to find out who called you, like searching the number online. Public databases online are free but only give limited information. Most phones today do come with caller ID, so you’ll know where they are calling from. But the problem is, you still don’t know who is on the other end or why they’re calling. If the person won’t stop calling and you get a suspicious feeling about the caller, it would be wise to find out who it is. The number might be blocked, and if that’s the case, you could type *69 into your phone to return the call. You could try a service that digs up all the details of that caller if all else fails. Some services even include background checks and mugshots. Use also the free phone number lookup service, thanks to which you can find out who is making calls to your number and stop them.
Use unique passwords for every login.
Whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you’ll want to update your passwords regularly. Hackers try to get usernames and passwords from different sources. There is a password for almost everything electronic — even TVs. When it comes to your device, you want to make sure you create a password only you will know. Make it unique to you. Like a special date with a word to signify that date. Add in special characters so it will be harder for someone to hack your device, i.e., !@#$.
Keep up with your passwords using something like KeePass. You can store all your passwords in one place. This website, along with many others are free to use. For cellphones, you may have to call the service provider to reset the password to get in. With a social media account, you would have to reset your password using your email. If you no longer have access to that specific email, it may be harder to reset it.
5. Screen mirror your device to your tv.
Have you ever watched a movie on your phone, but your phone screen isn’t big enough? There are a few ways you could go about mirroring your screen to your TV. For smart TVs, you can cast them through your phone. Using apps like AllCast will mirror your phone or tablet to your TV. While it is free to use this app, others are not. If you want to cast through a non-smart TV, you would need a Chromecast or something like it. This small round device connects to your TV via HDMI. It’ll allow you to have video access to Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services. Ultimately, this lets you mirror your phone screen to your TV.
We live in a time of ever-advancing technology. Give it a chance and let it show you everything it can do. Don’t let your skills grow stagnant. Strive to maintain current on the basics.