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Beacon Senior News

Let technology make your life easier

Jun 02, 2020 10:07AM ● By Adam Cochran

When the stay-at-home order came, the biggest change I experienced was that I couldn’t escape my home office and eat out for lunch.

Three years ago, I was hired by a company to work remotely. Then a year ago, Colorado Mesa University asked me to teach an online course, which required me to build an online curriculum. All of these experiences led me to some incredible technology resources that have made my digital life much easier.

For those finding themselves increasingly using technology for shopping, ordering groceries, communicating with family and the like, take advantage of these many ways technology can make life easier:

Install a password manager.

A password manager allows you to free up all that brain space used for memorizing your passwords. My favorite is LastPass, but Dashlane and 1Password are also good options.

A password manager is an encrypted online service that stores all of your passwords. They also fill in the correct username and password when you visit a site. Most of them also fill out forms, saving you the step of filling in your full name, address, and other information when you buy online.

Because it’s encrypted, you can safely access your password manager account from your phone or any other computer. One of my favorite features is that the password manager can also create complex random passwords and save them. Additionally, all password managers allow you to export your passwords and other saved information so that you can print it out and save it in a deposit box or under the mattress.

Invest in a USB microphone headset.

Even after things go back to business as usual, most people will be expected to know how to use Zoom or other remote calling services. One of the biggest annoyances of online meetings is when a single person has a technical issue with their microphone or speakers. Something as simple as having the volume up to loud can cause distortion for the entire group.

Investing in a USB microphone headset, for as little as $20, will help you avoid being the cause of many technical problems. A USB headset is an all-in-one solution, and it typically sounds better than the microphone and speakers built into your computer.

Set up online storage.

If you work remotely, you will need access to your files wherever you are. Whether you're working on the road or are moving between devices in your own home, being able to open, read, print or send your files from any computer can be a lifesaver.

Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive or Box.net all work in similar ways by storing all of the data you place into a specified folder on to a remote computer. Like the password manager, these services are encrypted and are extremely safe as long as you keep your password information private.