Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life online

We’ve all been there — that moment when you hand your phone over to the youngest person in the room to get them to show you how to do something, or to have them explain what in the heck a hashtag is. Kids and teens today are more tech savvy then generations of the past, with many learning how to use tablets and smartphones before their first day of preschool.

While the case can be made for the benefits of kids being technologically advanced with access to the world at their fingertips, there’s still a lot of things to take into consideration to help kids find their way in the Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life onlineconstantly evolving online world. As Asurion’s Abigail Jones recently wrote in the parent’s guide for protecting kids’ privacy:

“Navigating this territory can be intimidating, even unsettling, leaving parents feeling helpless. But adults can help kids stay safe and smart online at every age – and ensure they grow up engaging in positive ways with the technologies that will define their generation.”


Technology brings many advantages for kids, but also risks

A recent Asurion study, conducted by OnePoll, surveyed 2,000 parents with kids between the ages of three and 18 to learn how they’re using technology to assist with their parenting. 76% of parents said they rely on smart devices like security cameras and video doorbells to help keep an eye on their kids. But, not surprisingly, most parents acknowledged that guarding their child’s safety in the online world was just as much of a priority to them.

Tips for parents to help kids navigate the online world83% of parents agree they should be allowed to monitor their children, especially their digital lives.

 

More than half use parental controls to limit or monitor their kids’ internet browsing and social media.

 

3 out of 5 parents admit to checking browsing history on their kids’ phones or computers.

 

Nearly all of the parents we spoke to said that while technology usage can bring about a certain level of risk for kids, it also is a valuable tool since it allows them to be more involved in keeping track of their child’s activities and who they’re hanging out with.

While keeping up with all of the latest devices, apps and social media platforms can seem like a daunting and confusing task, fear not: we can help.

5 things you can do to protect your kids online

  1. Keep computers and tablets in a public space. It’s a lot easier to keep tabs on your kids’ online activity when they’re in the kitchen as opposed to their bedroom with the door closed. Create a public charging station in your home, a place where all devices (including yours) are charged and left overnight.
  2. Draft an online conduct contract. Set clear rules and consequences that everyone can agree on. Make sure your kids understand your expectations, whether they’re using a phone, laptop, or video game.
  3. Start with the basics.  Teach kids basic ways to protect themselves without limiting their fun. Start with simple changes like opting out of location sharing, setting strong passwords, and covering computer and smartphone cameras when they’re not in use. Be informed about what kids are doing online
  4. Be their friend online. In Asurion’s survey, 45% of parents agreed that something parents should never do is create a fake social media account to follow your child. Be upfront about expectations. If you agree to let your tween use Instagram or Snapchat, make it clear that you’ll have access to the account. You’ll be a friend, you’ll know the password.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk, educate, and listen. Be informed about what you bring into your home, and what devices and apps your kids are using. And be conscious of your own digital behavior. Don’t use your phone at the breakfast table unless you want the whole family to do the same.

Tech monitoring for the non-technical parent

If you need a little additional assistance with keeping track of your kids and their technology use, there’s several helpful apps on the market to help with just that.

QustodioTech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life online offers an easy-to-use interface for even the most non-technical parent. You can get a simplified view of sites and apps your child is accessing and can set time limits, track texts, and even filter out those sites that may not be suitable for young eyes.

Tech and Parenting: How to help kids navigate life onlineFor an even more robust app with additional monitoring options, mSpy allows parents to see who their kids call, what they text, and their GPS location among other activities.

 

7 essential tips for achieving tech life balance

Do you sometimes feel like you need to disconnect in order to reconnect? You’re not alone. Dependency on our technology has become a growing theme in past years. Digital distractions are all around us, and our phones can often be the biggest culprit. We use them for everything from work, to connecting with friends, to keeping track of our children’s extracurricular activities. In fact, we feel so attached to our phones that more than 70% of us sleep with them within reach.

Technology is capable of making our day-to-day lives easy, but it can also lead to us missing out on being in the present for moments that matter. Putting your phone away may seem impossible, but our tech experts offer the following tips to help you occasionally unplug and take control of your tech life balance.

    1. Limit your notifications. Fear of missing out, more commonly known as FOMO, is a phenomenon that leads many of us to check our phones and social feeds often — after all, are we really living our best life if we didn’t see the picture Molly just uploaded of her new puppy?! Luckily, there is a cure for FOMO. Turn off push notifications and alerts so you won’t be tempted by the excess beeps and tweets, which can in turn assist with cutting back on your social media usage.
    2. Take full advantage of Do Not Disturb. When you need a mental break throughout the day, try turning on your phone’s Do Not Disturb mode. You can set exceptions, in case you’re waiting on an important call, and still use other features on your phone while in DND mode.
    3. Go grayscale. Your phone is designed to be alluring, full of eye-catching technicolor features and graphics that will grab your attention. Going grayscale makes your phone less attractive so you’ll be less tempted to keep looking at it.
    4. Let an app be your (tech) life coach. With apps such as Moment for iOS, you can track how much time you’re spending on your phone and set daily limits that will help you meet your digital detox goals. For Android, check out Space. This app helps you be more mindful of your phone usage by setting screentime goals and rewarding you with badges once you meet your daily goals.
    5. Power down at least half an hour before bedtime. In a recent Asurion survey, 62% of people say they’ve stayed up past their desired bedtime because they lost track of time while using their phone. Get better rest by removing your phone from the sleep equation. Recent updates in both iPhone’s iOS12 and Android Pie have built-in features that focus on your digital wellbeing and will help to make this change to your bedtime prep even easier. Bonus tip: keep your phone somewhere other than right beside your bed to be less tempted to pick it up and start mindlessly scrolling.
    6. Switch off mobile data. When you’re away from your home or office, try switching off the mobile data on your phone. Not only will this save you money on your bill, but it will also make it harder to use your phone unless Wi-Fi is readily available. Without data, you’ll be less tempted to use your phone and more likely to engage in conversations with those around you. Added bonus: it will improve your phone’s battery life.
    7. Step away from the phone. Last but not least, challenge yourself to put your phone away during certain times of the day – at bedtime and while you’re eating are great places to start. This will allow you to give your full attention to a task at hand, whether it be a work project, time with your kids and significant other, or just some time to be alone with your own thoughts.

How to keep the information on your phone safe and secure

For many of us, our phones are our mini personal assistants, keeping track of everything from our whereabouts to our bank information. We give a lot of thought to all of our phone’s fun features and how much easier they can make our lives by being connected to everything – but have you given much thought lately to how secure your information is? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but thieves and hackers probably have.

According to Asurion claims data*, nearly 2,000 phones are lost or stolen every single hour — that’s almost 17 million phones a year.

The likelihood of your phone being lost or stolen increases if you’re an iPhone user, and the likelihood also increases for men (score one for you, ladies). Protect your personal data – and your peace of mind – with these tips from our tech experts.

Three helpful tips for creating a strong passcode for your smartphone:

  1. Think of numbers as letters to help you create a passcode that is challenging, but something that will be memorable for you. For example, if you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth, you might use CAKE (2253) or PIES (7437).
  2. Avoid obvious number combinations like 1-2-3-4 or repetitive codes like 1-1-1-1.
  3. Don’t use numbers that can be easily guessed like your birth date, anniversary, your phone number, etc.

Changing your passcode is relatively easy on both the iPhone and Android platforms, so it’d be smart to make it a habit to hop in and change it on a recurring basis. Sure, it’s slightly annoying, but having your information stolen would be a lot more more troubling. Also, if you ever notice strange behavior on your phone, change your password first as a precautionary measure.

How to change your passcode on an iPhone:

  1. From the Home Screen, tap the Settings app icon.
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter the current Passcode.
  4. Tap Change Passcode and then enter current Passcode.
  5. Enter the new Passcode.
  6. Verify new Passcode.How to keep the information on your phone safe and secure

How to change your pin on an Android:

  1. From the Home screen, pull down the Notification Bar and tap Settings.
  2. Tap Lock Screen and Security.
  3. Tap Screen Lock Type.
  4. Enter current PIN.
  5. Tap PIN.
  6. Enter new PIN.
  7. Enter new PIN again.

Be smart about the information you keep on your phone

If your phone ever lands in the wrong hands, they have an open invitation to access whatever you’ve stored on your device. Protect yourself by keeping your most personal information in a safe place, and not on your smartphone. Information like your social security number, driver’s license, or passport number simply belong in a safer space.

Use a different password for each of your online accounts

Having the same password for everything makes you an easy target for thieves and hackers steal your information. It sounds complicated to try to keep track of a bunch of different passwords, but thankfully, there are apps like LastPass or Keeper that can help keep track of them all for you. Those apps can also help create strong passwords with one click with the built-in password generator.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi

In the confines of your own home, your Wi-Fi is usually secure. When you’re on a public network, however, all bets are off. If you use a public wireless network, you open yourself up to snooping from anyone in the vicinity. If you need to use a public connection (and we all often find ourselves in this situation), use it wisely. Don’t access sensitive information like online banking, digital wallets or payment apps.

Avoid the auto sign-in feature

We know it’s incredibly tempting to use auto sign-in because of its convenience, but it’s not the most wise choice for all apps. It may be reasonable to use for something like Pinterest, but not at all for apps that contain sensitive information like your banking app. If that information ever ended up in the wrong hands, you’ll be out a whole lot more than just your phone.

Keep your accounts separate

As tempting as it may be to use your Facebook or Google account to sign in to websites, apps and social media, we wouldn’t recommend it. Linking sites together through single sign-on can be a risky adventure. A hacker would only need to access one account to hack them all. The easiest way to avoid this is to create separate accounts or disconnect any apps that are linked together.

Turn on find my phone features

GPS is great for lots of things: finding your way around traffic, finding a great happy hour after work, and finding your phone in case it’s lost or stolen. If you have your phone’s native find-my-phone option enabled, you can track your phone’s location or remotely erase your data to protect your privacy.

On Android, go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Find My Mobile.
On iOS, go to Settings > {Your Name} > iCloud > Find My iPhone.

 

*Source: 2017 Asurion Claims Data and 2016 CTIA Wireless Customer Information

Asurion lands Great Place to Work certification for second year in a row

Asurion is home to innovators, problem solvers and creative thinkers who all work together to protect the connections that matter. While we help our customers enhance their lives through technology every day, it’s our company’s strong culture and positive work environment that motivates our employees to reach further. And now, it’s time to celebrate. For the second year in a row, we are a certified Great Place to Work®!

Great Place to Work® is a coveted national certification based on ratings provided by employees in anonymous surveys and is effective through September 2019.

Top workplace and Asurion have been synonymous this year. On the heels of being named Technology Company of the Year, receiving recognition as a Top Workplace for the fourth consecutive year, and being listed on Computerworld’s Top 100 Places to Work in IT, the Great Place to Work® certification is a terrific validation of Asurion’s inclusive and collaborative culture.

What makes Asurion a Great Place to Work? Simply put, we’re unique.Asurion is a Great Place to Work and offers tech careers

Our culture of recognitionWith nearly 1,000 annual, quarterly, monthly, and on-the-spot awards available across the company, Asurion makes one thing clear to its employees: We see you, we value you, and we want you to succeed.

Did a colleague go above and beyond? Give them ACE points! Our ACE social newsfeed is designed to celebrate achievements and recognize hard work. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, travel, and more. It’s always nice to say thank you, but showing appreciation with points that can be used for airfare is even better.

Asurion gives back to the community and encourages their employees to volunteer

The fund for employees, by employees: The Compassion Forward Employee Fund enables employees to help each other when life gets complicated. Every penny contributed by employees to the Fund is made available to help assist fellow members of the Asurion team get back on their feet financially when an unexpected catastrophic or life-altering event occurs. Over the last decade, we’ve been able to help hundreds of employees meet critical needs fast.

Extending support into our communities: At Asurion, we have a history of supporting not only our clients, but each other. We’re proud of our culture of giving and volunteerism that makes our communities stronger and takes care of our team members when they need a helping hand, and we continue to put the same passion for helping others into all that we do. For our employees, spending a work day volunteering is not unusual. Many of our teams volunteer together as one team, from building Habitat for Humanity houses to adopting parks for cleanup.

Asurion hosts Hackathons because we believe good ideas can come from anywhere in the company

Good ideas from everyone: We believe good ideas come from everywhere, not just the corner office. That’s why we invest in a culture of innovation, with events like Hackathons, where employees of all levels collaborate to come up with innovative ideas to improve our customer and employee experience. Ideas are pitched to a panel of judges and the winning concepts are set into motion and turned into reality.

Asurion also has what we call “journey teams,” which bring together people from across the company and empowers them to ask the question, “How do we focus on what’s best for the customer experience?” They are encouraged to fully explore the best possible solutions to drive improvements and implement change.

Culture champions: Asurion employs over a dozen People Service Coordinators (PSCs, aka “Culture Champions”) – full-time employees who are solely dedicated to motivating and celebrating their colleagues. Our PSCs help foster a positive work environment. They keep the pulse on employee happiness and organize frequent morale-boosting events. No birthday, work anniversary, or accomplishment goes unnoticed with PSCs at the helm.Asurion Black Employees Supporting Talent Diversity and Inclusion

A commUnity for all: commUnity, Asurion’s diversity and inclusion initiative, is committed to ensuring that all employees feel valued and have a genuine opportunity to thrive and excel within the company. At the heart of commUnity are our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which unify Asurion employees with common interests for networking, mentorship, problem solving, and volunteerism.

Take time for you: We empower team members to manage their work-life balance with a flexible approach to time in the office. Bottom line: We value good work, not how many hours you spend strapped to your desk. In addition, Asurion has a “no policy” time off program, meaning that exempt employees are not limited in paid time off and simply work with their leader for time off.

Asurion's wellbeing program provides employees access to free health and financial coaches

Living your best life: Our wellbeing program goes a step beyond most and provides team members with free access to personal health AND financial coaches. Our programs do everything from providing team members with step-by-step, private financial guidance around major life events (like buying a home or preparing for retirement) to serving up a dose of healthy choices competitions.

Helping our people grow: Our people are our greatest assets and we believe in putting them in the driver’s seat to advance their career and professional development. That’s why we provide the tools – including a library of over 6,000 on-demand learning options, job shadowing programs, and career coaching – for employees to define their own development goals and career plans with support from their leader. If an employee wants to further their academic education, we support them through a tuition assistance program.

Bundles of joy: Asurion families rest easy during pregnancy with the help of our Maternity Concierge, an HR adviser who guides expecting parents through pregnancy by creating custom resources tailored to the family’s exact healthcare benefits. Asurion’s Healthy Pregnancy program gives expecting moms around-the-clock access to nurses and education resources as they prepare for their new arrival.

Want to make Asurion your next Great Place to Work? Asurion has over 16,000 employees in 53 locations around the world, with our global headquarters in Nashville, TN. Click here for career opportunities.

How to create, use and delete your own Memoji in iOS 12

Emojis have come a long way from the smiley face. Enter: Memojis! Basically, Memojis are customizable cartoons available with Apple’s latest iOS update. Our team of tech experts has been busy testing the latest iPhone features and across the board, one of the coolest new features is the Memoji, an avatar that looks just like you. That’s right – you’re no longer limited to aliens and unicorns. You’re now an emoji!

What is a Memoji?

A Memoji is a new type of Animoji that can be customized to look just like you. And yes, it’s as fun and silly as it sounds. Similar to an Animoji, it uses Apple’s facial tracking technology, but instead of being a unicorn or a robot, you can make it look just like you.

Everything about a Memoji is fully customizable. You can personalize everything down to the smallest detail, from your hair color to freckles. You can also have fun with it. You can try a different look or even make it look like your favorite celebrity.

Want to look a little younger? There’s an option to specify age as well. Beyond physical traits, there’s a huge selection of earrings, headpieces, hats and eyewear.

The coolest part is that you make all the changes in real-time, so if you don’t absolutely love how your Memoji is turning out, you can make changes on the spot. Flexibility is the name of the game. Did we mention Memojis also move? Welcome to the future.

How is a Memoji made?

iPhone X and newer models have front-facing cameras that sense depth, which means it captures your facial movements and does what we can only describe as magic. That’s right – it animates the emoji to look exactly like you based on your choices of features that best represent you. Want to be someone else instead? You can create your Memoji to look like anything you want.

Can you create a Memoji on iPhone 7/8/X?

Unfortunately, this cool new feature is only available if you have iPhone models with the TrueDepth camera system. This means the models that can make a Memoji are iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR. You’ll still be able to get Memojis through video, but you won’t be able to create your own.

How to create your own Memoji in iOS 12

  1. Start by opening a new or existing message
  2. Tap the App icon, then tap the Animoji icon (it looks like a monkey)
  3. Swipe right until you see New Memoji
  4. Tap the plus sign to start your new design

Creating your own Memoji in iOS 12

How to edit & customize your Memoji

  1. Tap through each section to explore different skin tones, hairstyles, and facial features
  2. Scroll to the bottom of each section to add options like freckles, eyelashes, earrings, and beards. You can personalize even more with eyewear or a hat.
  3. To adjust color, choose an option and drag the slider from left to right. You can tap the color wheel for even more varieties.
  4. When you’re finished, tap Done. Your Memoji will be added to your collection of Animojis.

Customizing your Memoji in iOS 12

With a feature as new and cool as this, we had to test it out and make our own. Our talented team of tech experts put together this helpful video to show you how to create your own Memoji. We were especially impressed with how realistically it picked up on facial expressions. And yes, we had a ton of fun testing out the different personalization options.

How to use & share your Memoji on social media

Now the fun begins! You’ve built your own Memoji and you can start using it in messages.

Your Memojis are saved to your Animoji list, which means you choose, record, and send them exactly the same way you would an Animoji. You can even share these with Android-users; it’ll just send as a video file instead of a Memoji.

Another fun fact is that you can create several Memoji and have them all saved at once, so you’re not just limited to one style for yourself.

Here are just a few examples of how you can share you Memoji:

  • Record 30-second video clips of your Memoji talking or singing and send it in a conversation (similar to Animoji).
  • Replace your head with a Memoji head for a photo or video with the new Messages camera feature.
  • Send your Memoji as stickers if you want to send a photo reaction but not a full video.

Now, go get creative!

How to delete a Memoji

To delete a Memoji on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap on one of your conversations
  2. Tap on the Animoji button at the bottom of the screen
  3. Select your Memoji
  4. Tap the three dots (…) button in the left corner
  5. Tap “Remove” to delete your Memoji

Want more tips to help you get the most out of iOS 12? Asurion’s tech experts can help you learn, grow and do more with your technology!

New features to look forward to with iOS 12

More devices than ever before will be impacted by Apple’s newest update to its operating system. Why? Previously, not all iOS updates were compatible with older devices. However, this time around, that’s not the case — the update will significantly boost the performance of older devices. Users should notice a dramatic difference in speed and responsiveness.

Here’s the list of Apple devices that are compatible with the iOS 12 update:

  • iPhone: 5s, SE, 6/6 Plus, 7/7 Plus, 8/8 Plus and X
  • iPad: mini 2, mini 3, mini 4, Air, Air 2, 5th gen, 6th gen, and Pro
  • iPod touch: 6th gen

Asurion’s tech experts got their hands on iOS 12 and shared some of their favorite new features and improvements in the new update:

Brand new features in iOS 12

Screen TimeScreen Time: Monitor your phone usage, including what apps you use the most. There are several settings that will help you “unplug” from your device. For parents, Screen Time can be configured to work in Parental Controls.

 

Siri ShortcutsSiri Shortcuts: Teach Siri commands so you can interact more naturally with your AI assistant. The update allows Siri to perform several operations at once when given only one command.

 

Security Code AutofillSecurity Code Autofill: Detects when apps and websites send one-time verification codes via text and instantly adds them to appear as an AutoFill suggestion at the top of your keyboard.

 

iMessage Camera EffectsiMessage Camera Effects: Add stickers, text and filters to any photo you take during an iMessage conversation.

 

Measure AppMeasure App: Put down the measuring tape and pick up your phone. Using the new Measure app, you can use your iPhone to collect accurate measurements through AR just by using your device’s camera.

 

Memoji ImageMemoji: Customize your memoji to look like you or whoever you want. (Only available to iPhone X users)

 

Improvements to older features

  • Apple Books: Formerly iBooks, has a sleek new redesign. It’s more in line with Apple’s other iOS apps like Music and News.
  • Grouped Notifications: No more reverse-chronological order notifications, they’ll be grouped by application. Tap the group to expand it out to see all the other notifications from that specific app.
  • Shared Albums: Previously iCloud Photo Sharing, Photos will identify if you have photos it thinks you should share. If you do, it’ll asked which ones to add to the album.
  • Face ID: Lets users add more than one face to their device.

Despite Apple announcing Group FaceTime back in June (much to everyone’s excitement), it’s been delayed and will not be available when iOS 12 is released.

Want more tips to help you get the most out of iOS 12? Asurion’s tech experts can help you learn, grow and do more with your technology!

4 ways Android Pie will make life easier

Asurion tech experts have been testing Android Pie, the latest operating system from Google, since it first rolled out to select devices in August 2018. The overarching theme of the update is to make our phones less distracting, using new artificial intelligence to make them work smarter so that a better tech life balance is achievable. Here’s four updates our tech experts found notable:

4 ways Android Pie will make life easierEasier multitasking

New swipe gestures will make it easier to switch between apps, access settings, and open the app drawer. You’ll also notice more integrations between apps. If you search a movie title, for example, your phone could recommend purchasing tickets on Fandango or watching the trailer on YouTube.

Screen time awareness

Android Pie will help you manage screen time through its new Dashboard feature that breaks down how often you use your phone and specific apps. You can even set timers to keep yourself in line. Some apps, like YouTube, will automatically send an alert if you’ve exceeded your limit.

Longer battery life

Android Pie uses artificial intelligence to learn how you use your phone and prioritizes battery for the apps you use most. If you’re someone who checks Facebook every day at breakfast, but then not again until lunch, your phone won’t devote battery to Facebook between those hours. The Adaptive Brightness function will also help extend your battery life – it monitors how you adjust your screen brightness in different lighting situations and will begin automatically adjusting it for you.

4 ways Android Pie will make life easier

Fewer distractions

Improved Do Not Disturb features will make it easier to focus on what’s important. For example, Shush mode automatically activates DND when you put your phone face down. Another cool feature is Wind Down mode, which slowly shifts your phone to grayscale when it’s time for bed, so you don’t end up mindlessly scrolling until midnight.

Other new features to look forward to:

  • Screenshot editing: mark up screenshots by adding text, drawing, or highlighting.
  • Google Maps improvements: see the inside of buildings on Google Maps with Wi-Fi.
  • Notification tracking: see where your notifications are coming from and mute the ones you’re not interested in.
  • Lockdown mode: disable fingerprint unlocking to keep your phone even more secure.

Want more tips to help you get the most out of Android Pie? Asurion tech experts can help you learn, grow and do more with your technology!

5 devices to make your dorm room smarter

Heading off to college this semester? Our tech experts are sharing which devices will help transform your dull dorm room into a smart one that will be the envy of everyone else on your floor.

Meet your new favorite study buddy

Smart speakers like the Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are perfect for the dorm, as they take up little space, and can shout out answers to you or read aloud on the topic you’re looking up for your research paper. They’re also helpful to have around for downtime – you can listen to your latest playlist or have Alexa order Chinese takeout. With several smart speakers now on the market, it’s easy to find one that fits your needs and that’s affordable on a college student’s budget.

Fresh brewed coffee, straight from your phone

Smart plugs automate the different electronics in your life — from your TV to your coffee pot — and allow you to control them from your smart device. You can use them to get your morning caffeine fix brewing before you even get out of bed or for checking back in to make sure you turned your curling iron off when you rushed out the door to your 8AM lecture.

Set the mood with smart bulbs

It can be a challenge to make your dorm room feel more like home when you’re dealing with harsh overhead lights. That’s where smart lighting comes in. Smart bulbs help to set the right mood in your room, and they can be dimmed or change colors with the touch of a button. They’re super simple to install and can be controlled either via WiFi or a companion app, depending on which model you purchase.

Clean your room… with a robot

With all of the studying and socializing in a college student’s calendar, it’s hard to make time to clean your room – especially when your parent isn’t there to make you do it, right? Sounds like a job for a robot vacuum, like the iRobot Roomba. Just turn Roomba on from your phone or other compatible smart device and watch it clean up all the crumbs leftover from last night’s pizza.

Keep (smart) tabs on your stuff

Having roommates can be fun, but it can also mean that your personal property may become communal if someone gets a little too free with the term “borrowing.” Using iOS and Android-compatible Bluetooth trackers, such as those made by Tile, you can use your phone to locate items that seemingly got up and walked away on their own. Attach them to your keys, wallet, backpack – any important things you want to keep tabs on.

Want more guidance on how best to use your smart technology? Our Soluto tech experts can help. More than tech support, Soluto is easy, instant access to a tech expert, to solve any technology issue you could ever have with almost any device you’ll ever own.

6 steps to help scale back your social media usage

Social media is a great way to keep connected with your friends and family. It can also, however, be a major time waster. It’s easy to innocently hop on to see what’s going on in your social feeds, and then the next thing you know, you’ve spent 30 minutes just scrolling and not learning much useful information beyond what your friends had for lunch.

Dialing back your social media habit may not be easy, but our tech experts are here to help. Here are a few tips they recommend to help you scale back your usage:

  1. Turn off notifications. Most social media notifications do not need your immediate attention and just serve as distractions. For iPhone, Settings > Notifications > tap the app you want to turn off > Tap the slider next to Allow Notifications. For Android, Settings > Notifications > Tap the slider beside each app you want to silence.
  2. Delete one or two social apps from your phone. We tend to just open social apps out of boredom and end up doing a lot of mindless scrolling. By deleting the ones that aren’t really useful to you, you lessen the odds of wasting precious moments of your day.
    6 steps to help scale back your social media usage
  3. Move apps off of home screen. Out of sight, out of mind: if they’re not readily visible when you look at your phone, you’re less likely to be tempted to open them.
  4. Download an app to help manage phone usage. Apps such as SPACE and In Moment allow you to set social media usage alerts that will notify you when it’s time to step away from the phone.
  5. Use a real alarm clock. The number one reason people site for keeping their phones beside their bed at night is that they use it for its alarm function, but what it really leads to is interruptions to your sleep and to your phone being the first face you see every morning. Using a real alarm clock helps you to start your day out doing something more beneficial than scrolling through your Twitter feed.
  6. Put your phone away. Challenge yourself to be more present in the moment – when you’re with your friends and family, keep your phone in your pocket or purse.

Asurion wants you to get the most out of your technology while maintaining a healthy online/IRL balance. Need advice on how to scale down your tech usage? Our Soluto experts can help!