College Freshmen: Send Your Parents a Tech Support Care Package

There are certain things that trip your parents up, again and again when they are using their personal computer. Help your parents with a technical support care package.

Once the youngest child leaves for college, Mom and Dad will likely spend more than a few hours at home, staring at their computer monitor and trying to figure out what the heck just happened. You were, after all, their built-in tech support… so what are they supposed to do now that you\’ve gone off and left them?

OK, we know there are services they can call, but let\’s face it—they\’ve gotten used to you making it all better. Why not send Mom and Dad a tech support care package? Here are a few tips for creating one, whether they have formally asked for it (yet) or not.

Putting It Together

If your parents lean more toward the analytical side, you may want to create a flow chart to outline the more common tech support problems and the solutions to those challenges. Otherwise, use a cheap journal, notebook or flash card set. Since you know they\’re likely to be stressed when they actually begin using it, throw in a couple of bags of chamomile tea and a stress ball. Neatly place the items in a little bag, or if you want to be a bit more fancy, go for a decorative basket.

Common Tech Support Questions and Answers

We know there are certain things that trip your parents up, again and again. Here are a few common questions that might pop up throughout the semester, along with the answers:

Log-in Problems. The answer to \”I can\’t log in\” is usually found behind that pesky caps lock button. Remind your parents that passwords are case-sensitive. However, email hackers are on the rise so if your parents are getting an error message that points to a potential breach, have them contact the help desk for the email provider or software program they are using. Teach them how to figure authentic emails with simple guidelines such as not clicking unfamiliar websites and unsolicited offers.

Slow Computer. There are a couple of potential problems, so let\’s go with the simpler one first. If they have multiple windows open, instruct your parents to ask themselves if they need to have all those windows running at the same time. Once they\’ve closed any unnecessary windows, if the computer is still running slowly, it\’s possible they will need step-by-step guidance on how to delete cookies. You can also automate this simple task using built-in OS scheduler.

Computer Inexplicably Shut Down. If the computer suddenly shuts down, it\’s often due to overheating or faulty power supply. Have them give it a rest for about an hour, then try again. If the problem continues a new power supply might be needed. Take note that dust attributes to quicker degradation of power supply fan or any moving mechanism inside the computer so during the off-time, have them regularly clean any visible dust.

Of course I can go on and expand this list but you get the idea. When you send the support package your parents will dearly appreciate it and you will not worry how they are keeping up with technology. The next time they call or visit you can spend more time on things that really matters.

By Marck V.

Filipino IT consultant on enterprise software. On his spare time he do web project management, photography and blogging. Web 2.0 enthusiast.