Everyone knows time moves fastest when you don’t want it to. That ice cream cone you planned to savor is gone in a flash, and the vacation you couldn’t wait for flies by before you know it.
Summer always goes too fast, too, especially when you’re a student. All of a sudden it’s time to get ready to head back to school, and you’re left holding the (beach) bag.
There’s so much to do to prepare for a new school year that it’s easy to neglect the crucial task of making sure technology is working properly and ready to go. We turned to our 20,000-strong army of Geek Squad Agents to learn what they think is most important for getting ready to go back to school. Their top tip: Don’t wait until the last minute!
Other important things include making sure your computer, smart phone and wireless network are running smoothly. Read on to get schooled in Tech Prep 101.
Back up and protect your data
- For computers, use software that automatically backs up data, like Premium Internet Security Suites and Norton Ghost.
- You’ll also want to spread your data around to different devices and use an external hard drive.
- It’s also smart to use an off-site cloud service (that applies to smartphone data, as well).
Keep your computer ‘clean’ and running smoothly
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.
- Scan for viruses and malware with Best Buy’s free scan.
- Make sure you have the latest operating system and that it’s up to date.
- Don’t run too many programs at once.
- Add as much RAM as you can (you want at least 4GB for newer computers).
- Clean out your hard drive.
Check your wireless network
- You can see how fast your wireless is working with the Geek Squad broadband speed test.
- If your router is three or more years old, it might not handle the number of connected devices you’ve added, or all the new streaming music, movies and games you use.
- Secure your network security. Many modern wireless routers come pre-setup with a random network name (“SSID”) and password (“Encryption Key”). If you choose to change these, remember that the network name is visible to others, so consider a network name that doesn’t provide any information about you (such as “The Jones Family Network”).
Make sure your phone’s battery is running efficiently
- Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi if you’re not using them.
- If you are going to be out of your main coverage area for a long period of time, power down your phone so it won’t roam until you can get service again.
- Reduce the amount of time the backlight on your screen stays on.
- Check to see if you phone is maintaining constant data connections for continuous updates. Changing your settings will increase the longevity of your battery.
- Clean out your cache.
If you can’t do it all yourself, you can turn to Geek Squad 24/7 Support. It provides students expert help for their devices — even if they weren’t purchased at Best Buy.
Also, college students who register for the College Student Deals program will get a coupon for a full year of Geek Squad support whenever they need it with internet security software for just $79.99 (savings of $169.99).