Internet Safety Resources For Parents And Kids

ttt-logoTalking with your child about Internet safety can seem overwhelming, but there are some excellent resources available to help.

Remember, protecting your kids online starts with protecting your computer from viruses and malware. Teach your kids to use strong, unique passwords, and to avoid oversharing photos and personal information. Monitor the sites your kids visit and the apps and devices they use. Create family rules concerning online time. Encourage your kids to tell you if they encounter anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, such as cyberbullying or inappropriate content.

Here are some of the tools I use when teaching families and schools about online safety.

Basic Computer Security Tips

Parental Controls

Internet Safety For Kids

Internet Safety For Teens


Social Media Safety

Cell Phone Safety

More Internet Safety Information For Parents


Tech Support Phone Scams Hit Home

cybercrime-laptopWhat would you do if a stranger called out of the blue and offered to fix your computer over the Internet – for a price?

I hope your scam detector’s going off because cybercriminals don’t limit themselves to online methods of duping their victims. In my tech column in this month’s The Northwest Herald I talk about tech support phone scams, in which the bad guys pretend to be Microsoft or other reputable companies. From the article:

 My neighbor was lucky. This particular scammer was clumsy on the bait and switch, but you can’t always count on that. Some scammers are so slick they’ll convince you that you’re talking to your own mother. They take advantage of those who aren’t tech savvy by using jargon and playing into our fears.

Tech support scams aren’t new. Con artists will try everything from pop-up windows to spam emails to fake search engine ads, but they also employ offline methods like phone calls, snail mail, and faxes. Everyone is a target, as this random call to my neighbor shows.

If you’re interested, here are a couple of articles from Ars Technica about tech support phone scams, which will give you a feel for how the scammers operate.

If you need tech support, go directly to the source, whether it’s Microsoft or Apple or Dell or HP or whoever. And of course you can always come over to Tech Tips if you have computer questions. Here are some other Tech Tips articles that might help if you’re in a crisis:

Have you gotten a phony tech support call? What did you do? Share in the comments and don’t forget to  subscribe to Tech Tips by email and follow on Facebook. You can also follow @trionaguidry on Twitter.

Image courtesy of chanpipat /


Welcome To The New Tech Tips!

Welcome to my brand new, redesigned Tech Tips blog!

Please note that the address for this site is If you’ve bookmarked the direct link to the old version on Blogger (blogspot), be sure to note the correct address. I’ve been linking to the Guidry Consulting version all along in my newsletters and posts, so for the most part there should be no change. However, some article links may be different. If you are looking for something but can’t find it, please contact me or check the Archives and Categories in the right-hand sidebar.

You’ll find updated resources for PC and Mac in the right-hand sidebar, plus new functionality in a beautiful new format based upon feedback from my readers. All of my original articles plus comments remain available for your convenience.

So come on over and post your comments and questions!

And don’t forget about your FREE email subscription to Tech Tips. Email subscribers receive my monthly newsletter, plus notice of new Tech Tips blog posts, bonus tips, product reviews and more. You can sign up here.

Let me know what you think! I hope you continue to find Tech Tips a valuable resource for your home or business.

Computer Housekeeping

Your computer, like your house, needs to be cleaned regularly. These tips will help you get better performance out of your PC or Mac.

The number-one rule of tech support is: When in doubt, reboot! Turning your computer off and back on will give better results than simply restarting. I also recommend you shut down your computer overnight, unless you need to leave it on for backups. This gives your computer a cool-down period and less opportunity to confuse itself.

Keeping your desktop clean will help maximize memory. The more files you store on the desktop, the more memory they will consume. Maintaining your computer’s security protections and junking spam are other ways you can reduce the possibility of computer problems.

SPECIAL GIFT: If you subscribe to the Tech Tips email list between now and October 14th, 2009, I’ll send you a free tip sheet (PDF) offering more details on how to keep your computer in shape.

And if you’re interested, I’ll be teaching a class on Computer Housekeeping for the Cary (Illinois) Park District on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 from 9:30am-11:30am. You can find registration details on my web site. I hope to see you there!

In October we’ll talk about What To Do If You Get A Computer Virus. If you have any computer questions, let me know.