6 tech mistakes to avoid

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 9/20/21

Computers, phones and tablets can be quite useful.

But there are many ways you can get into trouble, waste money or risk losing your data. Here are a couple things you shouldn’t do:

 

Don’t believe unsolicited phone calls about your computer, gadgets or online accounts: No legit company, even Microsoft, will ever call you out of the blue to say your computer, phone or tablet has issues; those are scams. Websites and other online companies rarely call either, so be cautious with those types of calls too. Sometimes your computer may prompt you of issues with pop-up alerts, but it’s likely a scam if it tells you to call a phone number, wants remote control of your computer or wants money or gift cards to fix it. If you’re ever in doubt or have let a scammer remotely control your computer or other gadgets, I highly suggest contacting a professional like myself.

Don’t automatically buy a new computer or phone when yours has problems: Call a professional like myself to get advice first. Though the computer or phone may seem dead to you, it may be fixable and more economical to repair than buying a new one. This depends upon the age and specs of the computer or gadget.

Don’t avoid upgrading your computers and devices: I totally understand the idea of using things until they break, but with tech devices that could mean less security and reliability and the possibility of losing your data. For instance, if your computer still is running Windows XP, Vista or 7, I strongly recommend buying a new or refurbished computer with Windows 10.

Don’t buy really cheap computers and gadgets: You can find new computers as cheap as $200 and phones and tablets even lower, but you usually get what you pay for. These cheaper gadgets have very low performing processors and other components, so they’ll be slower and won’t last as long. I recommend spending at least $500 on a new computer.

If that won’t work for your budget, consider a good refurbished PC, which you should be able to find in the $250 to $350 range, which will likely perform much better than a cheap new computer.

Don’t abruptly turn off your computer: If your computer isn’t properly shut down, like by holding in the power button for a couple seconds, it can cause hard drive errors and other issues.

Thus, always shut down your computer in Windows.

If your computer locks up, give it awhile to see if it will respond before holding in the power button and abruptly shutting off the computer.

Don’t ignore backups: Backing up files and documents is one of the biggest things computer users ignore. And they tend to regret that when their computer crashes or experience a disaster and lose all their data.

So ensure any important data is backed up to a separate drive and/or online to the cloud. The same goes with cellphones and tablets. If you take photos with them and don’t want to risk losing them, you should ensure they are backed up online in case your device becomes lost or stolen.

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