Technology can be difficult to navigate, especially if you didn’t grow up using it and aren’t familiar with all its ins and outs. If you’re someone who has to call for help every time your device does something unexpected – and let’s face it, that happens a lot – look no further. Learning a few simple tricks and hacks for using technology can help you feel more confident when solving your own problems.
1. Turn it Off and On Again
Chances are, if you call in someone to help you with your device, they’re going to try a good old-fashioned reboot. Whether it’s your phone behaving oddly or your computer freezing, a reboot can usually be depended on to help solve whatever the problem might be. In fact, doing a reboot at least once a week on all your devices can be helpful in general. It gives them a chance to clean out their memory and make any necessary updates, making your devices run more smoothly.
2. Adjust the Settings
One of the best ways to ensure your new phone or laptop works for you is by learning how to adjust the settings to your preferences. You can make the font bigger on the pages you’re viewing, make the screen brighter or darker, and even switch on a night light to filter out blue light. Being able to see your screen properly is a big step towards being able to navigate your device without assistance.
3. Turn to Google
Chances are, any problem you’re experiencing can be solved by knowing what to Google. In fact, anyone who comes to help you will probably be Googling the problem themselves. Not only will you find helpful information, you’ll most likely find forums where people have been in similar situations and can give tips that are easy to follow. Learning some key technical terms will help a lot when trying to find solutions.
4. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
If you’ve ever watched someone copy and paste something with lightning speed, you might be surprised to hear that you can easily do the same. Keyboard shortcuts are an easy way to speed up your time on computers and laptops. Copy, for example, requires you to select what you want to be copied, then press “Ctrl + C”. To paste what you copied, you’ll select where you want the pasted section to go, then press “Ctrl + V”. It might be awkward at first, but soon it’ll be second nature. There may be some variation in shortcut keys between Android and Apple products, but the basic structure will stay the same.
5. Avoid Clutter
One easy way to confuse yourself and lost important information on your devices is by allowing clutter to build up. Having tons of browser tabs open at once and a desktop full of files, downloads, and applications will make it hard to find what you need. Before closing your device after using it, take a moment to “tidy up” – close any pages you don’t need, or bookmark things you might want to come back to later. Delete apps you don’t need and drag unnecessary files to the garbage. Create folders for important documents or apps and keep anything relevant in those instead of having them loosely scattered on your device.
6. Set Strong Passwords
You might be wary of using certain websites if you’ve heard of the scams that prey on inexperienced internet users. While caution is always good to use on the web, you can help protect yourself by learning how to set strong passwords. Avoid using personal information and a series of numbers like “1234” in passwords.
Phrases made up of random words and numbers with variations in capitalization can both be easier to remember and much harder for a hacker to guess. If you find yourself easily forgetting passwords and constantly resetting them, consider using a password manager to store all your sensitive information. You’ll only have to remember one password to access your information.
It can be daunting attempting to use technology on your own. Remember that learning anything is difficult in the beginning and that practicing regularly will make everything easier. Don’t give up trying, and you’ll be your own IT guy in no time.