Seven easy ways to get tech savvy

A common tech problem is devices not syncing properly with each other.
NOEL LEEMING/SUPPLIED

A common tech problem is devices not syncing properly with each other.

Although stress relief isn't officially included in Davinder Singh's job description, it's essentially what he does as part of his role as a Tech Solutions specialist at Noel Leeming.

Customers arrive stressed by technology that isn't doing what they need it to do, but Davinder makes sure that they leave with a smile on their face and a new understanding of how to get the very best from their devices.

Often, their queries are common ones, with a straightforward path to resolution. Here's his guide to solving the most common tech problems.

1. I KEEP GETTING POP-UP MESSAGES

One minute you are happily surfing the net planning your next holiday, and the next thing you know you are bombarded with increasingly threatening messages telling you your computer is at risk. It's tempting to click to see where it takes you, but chances are it's somewhere you don't want to go. Installing internet security software will not only keep all your personal details secure, but will block these pop-ups.

2. MY COMPUTER IS REALLY SLOW

It's a familiar scenario, your new computer originally did everything instantly, but within a few months it started to get really slow. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that as you complete your everyday tasks, your computers builds up temporary files. Unless they are cleared out now and again things will slow down. Tech Solutions staff can show you how to do this housekeeping, or do it for you. Another reason for reduced speed can be that you have loaded too many applications for the size and quality of your computer. When you make a purchase, think about exactly what your computer needs to be able to do, so you get the right one.

Davinder, second from the right, makes sure customers have a new understanding of their devices as part of the Tech ...
NOEL LEEMING/SUPPLIED

Davinder, second from the right, makes sure customers have a new understanding of their devices as part of the Tech Solutions team for Noel Leeming.

3. MY EMAIL ISN'T WORKING

If you have an internet-based email such as Gmail, it's simply a case of setting up your login and password. But if you have server-based email you need to make sure all the settings are configured correctly. It can be particularly tricky when you are transferring data from one computer to another and expert help is sometimes required.

4. MY DEVICES AREN'T SYNCING PROPERLY

If your devices (typically a phone, a tablet and a computer) are synced correctly, a photo taken or an email sent on one, will also appear on the other two. If this isn't happening, it means that either they weren't correctly set up to begin with, or that something has been changed and you need to check your settings. If you use cloud-based storage, all your photos will be backed up regularly when you are connected to wi-fi and your device is plugged in.

5. I'M A PHOTOGRAPHER NOT A COMPUTER TECHNICIAN

If you have a DSLR camera you need more than just great photography skills, it's important to know how to back up your images to your computer and an external hard drive for extra security. A Tech Solutions specialist can talk you through your options and make sure you know how to keep your images safe.

6. MY PRINTER HATES ME

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In the same way that other devices are getting smarter, so too are printers. And while it may seem that your printer knows exactly when you need something printed in a hurry and decides to malfunction just then, it's more likely that it's not configured correctly and you need to make sure you are using the correct application from the manufacturer. Getting help with set up will make sure this doesn't happen.

7. I'M HAVING TROUBLE STREAMING

The first thing to do is check that it's not your internet speed slowing you down – in that case you need to work with your provider. If you're getting a frozen screen or distorted sound, it may be that drivers (files that enable hardware devices to communicate with the computer's operating system) need to be reinstalled. If you're streaming shows on a smart TV, mobile technicians from Noel Leeming can make sure you understand how to get started with online viewing.

Davinder's final piece of advice is not to delay if there's something you don't understand, or if your technology isn't working properly. Small issues can become big ones if not corrected in time. That's one headache the Tech Solutions team is happy to save you from.

To fill in a request for a Noel Leeming set-up and install service visit noelleeming.co.nz.

READ MORE: Tech superheroes take the stress out of new technology

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