Tips for Stress-Free Parental Tech Support

Every family has that one person they count on to provide some level of tech support. Like many, I’m the go-to guy when my parents have an issue with their tablet, printer or TV.

I was happy to help provide tips to the The Wall Street Journal for their article Are You the Family Tech Support? My tips for those asked to help our their family with tech issues:

  • Reassure your parents: Fear, not smarts, is the biggest hurdle.
  • Find out what your parents were trying to do when the problem happened. Understanding the end goal can help diagnose what went wrong.
  • When possible, have parents do the actual troublehsooting themselves. Knowledge is power – and comfort.
  • Ditch technical terms. Talk in clear, everyday language. When explaining something, us an analogy.
  • Try Skype or Facetime for problem solving from afar. Remote-access programs may also be helpful.
  • Know your limits. If a problem is outside your comfort zone, call a professional.

Cut the Cable, Keep Your Favorite Shows

Family time around the TV

As consumers, you’re probably looking at the best ways to not only shrink your monthly bills, but get the most flexibility over your entertainment. For many, this means looking at “cord-cutting” by replacing an expensive cable package with online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and more.

Geek Squad Agent Woodworth and I spoke to the Chicago Tribune about things to know when considering cutting that cable cord.

Control Your Kids Time Online With Circle

On this week’s #TechTuesday segment on WTAM 1100 Newsradio, I spoke to Bill Wills about Circle with Disney. This $99.99 piece of hardware pairs with your home Wi-Fi network to help monitor and control your kid’s access to the Internet regardless of device they use.

Learn more at meetcircle.com.

Connected Homes Are Smarter Homes

Connected Homes

When you think “smart homes”, you often picture the push-button future world of George Jetson. Yet the increasing availability of connected devices that talk to each other through your home network means more homes are becoming smarter every day.

Geek Squad Agent Woodworth and myself spoke to the Chicago Tribune about the “Internet of Things”, which includes devices like smart thermostats, networked lights, and garage door openers with smartphone apps, and how they’re making your home smarter one connected appliance at a time.

We also talked about getting the most from your home network you’ll need as the backbone for all of your devices, including your smartphones, gaming systems and those smart appliances.