We’ve all got them: friends that can barely use a smartphone, don’t understand what a WiFi connection is and can’t comprehend how Google works.

I’m not talking about complete technophobes or luddites. I’m talking about the people we know that just don’t quite seem to click with the digital world. They’re mostly harmless. Funny, even. But sometimes they do things that annoy us. And things that could be harmful.

Here are seven things that all geeks need to stop their friends from doing…

1. Thinking technology is magic


Any sufficiently advanced technology is virtually indistinguishable from magic. That’s what Arthur C. Clarke said. And he was right. But I think he was talking about aliens. A lot of our friends think FaceTime for PC is magic. It’s just a video call, people!

Not only do many of our friends seem to think that a lot of tech is magic, they take it for granted. They think that iPhones just appear, and don’t seem to respect that their new tablet has more computing power than the one that took man to the moon.

Try to educate these friends about the awesomeness of their gadgets, and explain a little of the science and circuitry behind them.

2. Giving up way too much data way too easily


We live our lives online these days. Fair enough. But many of our friends don’t seem to realise the way they act on the web is like walking out into a crowded street and telling strangers everything about themselves.

A lot of friends don’t lock their social media privacy settings correctly, and are way too carefree about posting videos, photos and comments. They think only their friends can see it. Except the whole internet can. Show them how to fix this and secure their profiles. They might also want to rethink broadcasting their locations constantly on apps like Foursquare.

You might like to read : The Effect of Facebook on your Mind and body [Infographic]

3. Not getting Twitter

We know the type. They’re usually a Facebook-only kind of person. Seriously, what is there to get? You sign up, follow people and read what they post. A lot of Facebook-only friends still think that Twitter is this strange thing only used by weirdos. They think it’s just people tweeting about they what they had for lunch.

You can change this. Sit them down. Sign them up. Give them a mini-tutorial – which Twitter already does, but, you know, do it anyway. Make sure they follow cool, interesting people and understand Twitter etiquette. Go on. You can do this.

You might like to read : 5 symptoms that your business is using twitter the wrong way

4. Confusing Wars and Trek

Some people get Star Wars and Star Trek mixed up for the lulz. They’re trolling, basically. But most of your friends will genuinely be trying to make a credible pop culture reference. And it falls flat. Because it’s wrong. It’s pretty common. Even Obama’s done it.

Come on, people, let’s educate our non-geek friends about the world of cult sci-fi and fantasy. We can describe the difference between the Force and the Federation. We can explain that it’s a Jedi mind trick and Vulcan mind meld. It’s light speed and warp speed. We can make them understand one’s set in the future, and the other’s set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

5. Downloading viruses all the time

As we establishing with the logged-in thing, some of our friends are pretty lax online. This needs to stop. Too many people are trusting viruses hidden in fake adverts, virus alerts and emails. The result of all these trojans and scareware? Malware. Lots of malware.

You can do something about this. Explain all the different types of malicious software there are, and what they can do to your friend’s computer. Make sure they download proper antivirus protection.

You might like to read : Why Am I Still Spending Money on Anti-Virus Software ?

6. Leaving themselves logged in everywhere

Many of your friends don’t understand cookies, and that if they don’t log out of a site before powering down their computer they’re still logged in. They need to know that other people can get into their account just by visiting the site on the same computer.

But seeing them taking breaks from using social networks and leaving themselves logged in and on-site is just inexcusable. At best, they’re risking some puerile fraping. At worst, someone could pose as them and do some serious damage. You need to talk to your friends about this. Seriously.

7. Using the same password for everything

Some of our friends are basically useless when it comes to PINs and passwords. It makes you want to to grab them by their collar and yell, “Your birthday is not a secure password!”

In some ways it’s not their fault. It’s understandable. The number of sites we log into every day has exploded. It’s tough to remember lots of unique passwords that make our accounts a tougher nut for cyber crimes to crack.

The best thing to do is to level with them about hacking; you need them to grasp how common it is, how dangerous it can be – and how their policy of a single weak password makes it easy for hackers.

Article by Andrew Tipp

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