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6 Tips for a Holiday Tech Tune-Up

NETGEAR holiday travel FacebookWhenever we visit family for the holidays they usually ask my husband to troubleshoot their electronics. He makes sure everything is running well and operating safely. My dad doesn’t need any help, but my sister-in-law and mom always appreciate the tune up!

Everyone from your grandmother to your youngest nieces and nephews have tech, but so few know how to maintain and protect those expensive electronics. The next time you go home for a holiday visit, implement these tech tips to keep your extended family’s time on the web safe and secure.

Of course, you’ll obtain their permission first. They may not need or want your help, and that’s okay. Save that time for more snacks and board games!

Make sure all updates for their devices are installed. We’re talking routers, phones, tablets, and computers. Even printers might need updates.

Make sure their computers are scanned for viruses and malware. Norton and Mcafee are two of the most popular software security programs and you can buy them on Amazon. Your parents’ Internet service provider may offer these for free.

Make sure they have a non-default administrator password for their router. Frequently a cheap router will have the same default password as others sold, and are easily hackable. Instructions vary by make and model, but usually you open a web browser and log into either or These are standard web ip addresses for home routers.

While you’re changing the router password, change the wifi SSID away from the default. Bonus points–make sure WPA2 security is enabled with a strong password.

Set them up on a password manager. This way they only have to remember one password! Password management systems make it easy to have strong, unique, complex passwords on every site they log into. Especially important for financial data! Many password management systems can also be installed and synchronized on mobile devices. We’ve used LastPass. My dad raves about Dashlane.

Set up a separate administrator account on your parents’ computers and remove administrator privileges from their everyday profiles. Many internal vulnerabilities are due to being logged in constantly as an administrator. It allows any casual user to install any software or have access without your knowledge, accidentally or on purpose!

Have safe and secure wifi almost everywhere you go. Take your NETGEAR wifi hotspot with you so you can connect multiple devices safely while you are travelling. In the car, on the train, or at a hotel, log in on your own private, encrypted network. Especially great if you are at your folks’ house and they still don’t have great Internet service.

A NETGEAR hotspot makes a great gift for college students, your parents (it’s easy to set up and use), and for yourself. I try to never travel without one. It’s just so great in the car with kids. I was a car trip Luddite for years, but long trips were never the fun games of License Plate Bingo I envisioned. More like Mad Max: Fury Road.

Want to learn more? Read reviews of the AT&T Unite Express on the following sites.

The Mommyhood Chronicles: AT&T UNITE EXPRESS – WIFI ANYWHERE!!
Food, Fun, Family: What Every Family Road Trip Needs #LifeConnected
Pink When: Making Travel Count

NETGEAR is a client. All opinions are my own.

Anne Parris

Anne Parris is a managing partner Midlife Boulevard. Her personal blog, Not A Supermom, is your typical mommy blog that her kids say used to be funnier. Anne has a business degree and a dusty résumé from a top accounting firm and a Fortune 500 company, which she reminds herself of every time she is washing underpants. She lives with her family in Virginia and blogs mostly to support her coffee habit.

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Wednesday 16th of December 2015

Had not considered this issue and these solutions. Now I won't be able to sleep at night. Oh, I mean, thanks for the suggestions, which I will follow. Mostly. When I am not busy reminiscing about the fun games my 4 sibbies and I really did play on long car drives.

Rena McDaniel

Wednesday 16th of December 2015

Terrific advice Anne! These are things that are often forgotten. I've put it on my to-do list...unless I can talk you into coming for Christmas!

Carol Cassara

Wednesday 16th of December 2015

I really need a password manager. Like everyone else, I am constantly having to use "forgot your password?" on websites.

Lisa McKenzie

Wednesday 16th of December 2015

Thanks for this great info! I'm going to get my computer science student to do this for me when he's home for Christmas :)

Paula Kiger

Wednesday 16th of December 2015

The hotspot suggestion definitely got me thinking; thanks!

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