It’s an indisputable fact that kids are obsessed with technology. Look around next time you’re in a public place and you’ll see younger children playing games and watching movies on tablets, while older teens are surgically attached to their smartphones and all-important social media networks.
It’s not all fun and games, though. Modern technology can also cultivate in kids a lifelong love of learning. That’s particularly true as summer fades and the excitement of a new school year races into view. Lucky for tech-crazed youth, today’s classrooms are embracing technology with an eagerness that was unimaginable a few years ago. According to a recent Forbes article, 82% of parents say their children use technology for learning — that’s up from 77% in 2014. Turns out smartphones, tablets, and laptops can be put to productive use during school hours.
That matches up well with the trend of rapid growth in mobility solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. But just like in the business world, enhanced accessibility at home and in school brings greater risk: of loss and theft, of viruses and security lapses, and of inappropriate use.
As parents, we ensure that our kids are safe before we send them off to school; as business owners, we have to apply the same strenuous care to ensuring our systems are secure and running smoothly. CMIT Solutions understands this need, and our flagship services keep systems operating properly so that business owners and employees can get their jobs done without stressing over IT.
That’s why many of the following tips apply not just to back-to-school technology but also to businesses as well:
1) Start with the critical basics.
Physical accessories like laptop locks represent a great start, along with strong passwords that everyone understands are NEVER to be shared. Full-throttle wireless capabilities are also a must in today’s fast-paced world, so virus and malware protection is imperative before joining public Wi-Fi networks. Likewise, file sync and share options can make on-the-go accessibility possible for everyone, school-aged or grown-up.
2) Check existing policies before buying gadget insurance (and consider spending on accessories instead).
Computer, tablet, and smartphone insurance is always an upsell, whether you purchase your device in person or online. However, you should check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy first — many cover electronics at a much higher level than supplemental coverage, even if a piece of equipment is being used by a child who’s at school. Instead, splurge on protective sleeves or cases, which can prevent minor accidents, and then explore efficiency-increasing accessories. A wireless keyboard and mouse, for instance, can make tablet use exponentially more efficient.
3) Do your homework before investing in any new back-to-school technology.
Whether you’re in the market for a new laptop, desktop, or tablet, an upgraded smartphone, an all-in-one printer, an external hard drive, a versatile power pack, a wireless USB stick, an upgraded software suite, or a wearable fitness device, don’t just fall for the new item that’s generating the most buzz. Enlisting the help of a trusted advisor can help you make the right choice for your budget and your technology needs — and ensure it’s deployed properly when you’re ready to put it to use.
4) Implement an integrative organizational system.
Popular productivity-boosting programs such as Office 365 and its email/calendar/contact workhorse Microsoft Outlook offer infinite organizational options — and not just in the workplace, but also at home. From synchronized calendars to shared contacts to systemized to-do lists to available-anywhere email accounts, Outlook’s powerful infrastructure will ensure you don’t miss a business appointment, a soccer practice, or a scheduled chat again.
5) Utilize sensible parental controls to monitor your kids’ online activity.
Whether your tech-loving kid is a tot or a teen, exerting sensible control over their web activity should be Parenting Tech Tip #1. All popular Internet browsers offer security safeguard options and content filters that limit or prevent foul language, violence, sex, and nudity. Alternatively, remote content management cops like OpenDNS can keep users from inadvertently visiting dangerous websites and prevent malicious code from entering a machine. And since kids love to negotiate, consider trading extra screen time for the use of parent-approved browsers and apps and kid-friendly social media networks.
If you have questions about any of the tips listed above, or are looking for more information about back-to-school technology, contact CMIT Solutions today. No school-age kids? No problem. We can still help your business harness modern solutions to enhance efficiency and productivity.