By the end of summer, there’s one irrefutable fact that all parents can agree on: kids spend a lot of time using technology. Have a look around next time you’re out shopping or running errands: small children using iPads to play games, older kids streaming videos, and teenagers with their smartphones perpetually attached to their hands, scrolling and posting to their favorite social media platforms.
Technology can also be put to good uses, helping kids develop a love of learning thanks to new tools and more sophisticated software. Today’s classrooms are more connected than ever, allowing even the youngest students to master the basics of computers, tablets, printers, and other devices.
Of course, it’s all fun and games and learning—similar to the business world, in increased connectivity at home and in school can amplify the risk of data loss, device theft, computer viruses, and security vulnerabilities. As parents, we always make sure our kids are safe when we send them off to school in the morning. But we need to be sure the technology they’re using is also safe.
That’s why many of the following back-to-school tech tips apply to children and adults, school and work. As business owners, it’s imperative that we take strenuous care to protect the systems and secure the data that run day-to-day operations. As parents, we have to apply the same level of care to our kids, their personal information, and the technology that they use.
CMIT Solutions understands this need, which is why our proactive monitoring and data protection services work overtime to keep everyone safe: business owners and employees, adults and children. Here are a few of our top tech tips for back to school season.
1) Take care of the necessities.
This starts with securing any device that a kid might take to school. Physical accessories like laptop locks can serve as a deterrent against theft, while strong passwords are a must (as is the fact they should never be shared with anyone). High-speed wireless capabilities can make school and office work a lot smoother, but it’s important to have cybersecurity protections in place before joining public Wi-Fi networks.
2) Do your homework before investing in any new back-to-school technology.
Whether you’re in the market for a new laptop, desktop, or tablet, an upgraded smartphone, an all-in-one printer, an external hard drive, a versatile power pack, a wireless USB stick, an new software suite, or a wearable fitness device, don’t just fall for the new item that’s generating the most buzz. Enlisting the help of a trusted IT advisor can help you make the right choice for your budget and your technology needs — and ensure it’s deployed properly when you’re ready to put it to use.
3) Be wary of buying insurance for devices.
Computer, tablet, and smartphone insurance is always an upsell, whether you purchase your device in person or online. But check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy first, as many will cover electronics at a higher rate than supplemental coverage, even if a piece of equipment is being used at school by a kid.
4) But consider investing in accessories.
Protective items like outer cases, sleeves, and screens can prevent minor accidents and extend the life of any device. And accessories that increase efficiency can be well worth the investment—think wireless headphones, a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, HDMI cables, and other tools to enhance connectivity.
5) Adapt a comprehensive, cloud-based system for organization.
Popular programs like Office 365 and its built-in email, calendar, and contact workhorse Microsoft Outlook offer infinite organizational options for work, home, and school. You can synchronize your calendars with everyone in the family, share everything from contacts to updated to-do lists, and check email anytime, anywhere, on any device. That means you won’t miss a single appointment, phone call, or school event.
6) Put sensible parental controls in place to monitor your kids’ online activity.
Whether your tech-loving kid is a tot or a teen, the most important tip here is to pay attention to their web-surfing activity. Well-known Internet browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer all offer security options and content filters that can identify and block foul language, violence, sex, and nudity. If your kid likes to negotiate, consider trading extra screen time for the use of parent-approved browsers and apps and kid-friendly social media networks.
Want to know more about back-to-school tech tips? Need help with a system overhaul before the school year begins? Don’t have school-age kids but still want to protect your devices and your data? Contact CMIT Solutions today. No school-age kids? No problem. We can still help your business harness modern solutions to enhance efficiency and productivity.