My last words of computer advice are similar to what I have been offering since the day I began writing for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin. Today, I will highlight the most important things I feel everyone should do as computer users.
If you use the internet, you must protect yourself. Don’t open email attachments or click on any links contained in any email. Don’t answer that email promising to split $10 million with you or any other outrageous claims. Don’t call that number that appears on a website claiming to be Microsoft Support and don’t allow anyone you don’t know to take remote control of your computer for any reason, even if they claim they are from Microsoft.
Create a second email address and use it for junk sign ups to help control junk mail going to your primary email. Another very important thing is to be certain to set up your recovery options in your email and keep them updated.
Make sure your Wi-Fi is secure with a strong channel ID and password and that it comes with the latest security protocol. Remember when you are finished using any public Wi-Fi network, remove the credentials for that network so they are no longer on your computer. Change your passwords regularly for your networks, computers, email, banks, and all other sensitive places.
Be careful in your online activities, especially on social media. Don’t give out too much personal information — it could put yourself, your partner and your children in serious dangers. Check your minor children’s devices and monitor whom they are talking with and what they are saying in texts, emails and other conversations.
Have a rule that you — as your children’s parent, guardian or even as a friend — can check the data contents of any device, including phone, iPads and computers, at a moment’s notice. Learn how to check their browsing history, but know that this can be easily deleted after each instance.
Be restrictive with children and search engines, and don’t allow children to use the computer or phone behind closed doors or in the restroom. Build confidence and a relationship with your children where they will come to you if they experience anything out of line online.
Take care of your computer by periodically tuning it up and keeping your antivirus current and updated. Remember that in most cases, your computer is slow because of the software, not the hardware. Clean the software and it will run better. Also, in our bustling economy, there is a lot of construction dust in the air so remember to keep the inside of your computer case clean.
If you hire someone to work on your computer, be cognizant that they may have access to your most private user names and passwords. If you need to give them your email and password or Apple ID and password, then you could be giving them access to everything you do on your computer, including banking, email, etc.
You can change passwords before leaving your computer with someone and then changing them immediately after you receive your machine back. If they come to your home, watch them carefully and ask questions. If they are hesitant to answer your questions, get someone else. Don’t open your bank accounts or any other personal websites or accounts in front of your computer person. I have had to remind many of my customers to stop doing that in front of me. I tell them, just because I write for the newspaper and you see me at the local grocery store, doesn’t mean you know me. Just be careful around everyone.
I have enjoyed my experience writing for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin and the relationships I have developed over the years. I love Tooele County and the residents that have been so very supportive of me and my family. I wish each and every one of you the very best as you go forward in life.
With much love and respect, Scott Lindsay
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 500 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com.