Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Is Screen Time good for your Children?

Everywhere we look there’s articles about how bad screens are for our children, but are these devices (smartphones, tablets, TVs, computers, etc.) really so bad?

No matter how hard you try to keep them away, screens are everywhere and a reality of life, however you can limit your child’s screen time according to their age.

* 18 months and younger – Avoid screen time all-together
* 18 to 24 months – slowly introduce educational digital programming
* 2 to 5 years – Limit screen time to one hour or less each day
* 6 years and older – Consistent limits on each type of digital media, including the TV, computer, tablet, etc.

But what effect does screen time really have on your children’s brains and their lives? As a parent you need to ask yourself these questions…

     1.   Are screens educational?

Yes, they can be educational because apps can be installed onto a smartphone, tablet, PC, etc. These apps are a fun, effective and involving way to help kids learn faster.

However, there is a negative side – screens can never be a replacement for an actual good teacher!

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     2.   Are screens going to bring us together or drive us apart?

Screens can bring families together when it comes to joint media engagement, such as watching a classic movie or playing games together.

However, simply reading a story together, crafting or playing with actual toys is a better way to spend quality time together and bond without the screens.

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     3.   Are screens going to negatively affect our social abilities?

On one hand it does indeed mess up a child’s ability to communicate face-to-face. A study showed that children who used their time to do crafts and didn’t have access to any devices were better at human communication and emotions.

However, it’s time to relax and stop freaking out about screens! Rather than focusing on whether they use screens or not focus on whether your children are doing activities and socialising with friends. Their lives are going to include screen time because that is the world we are living in right now, but make sure they don’t overdo it and become sedentary and isolated.

Look at your children’s screen time like you would look at their diet – moderation and healthy food in general, but there’s nothing wrong with some junk food every now and then.

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The Computer Guyz can offer you affordable and reliable IT services, equipment and advice that you can trust! Give us a call on 087 001 0511/2 | 082 551 6222 or email contact@tcgforensics.co.za. You are also welcome to pop into one of our offices...Pretoria Office – 44E Estcourt Avenue, Centurion. Cape Town Office – 32 Woodbridge Business Park, Koeberg Road, Milnerton.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Tech that’s going to take over 2018

Whether you’re an avid tech fan or just a regular consumer, it is exciting to see the latest tech developments and trend that we’ll see in the future.

2017 was full of virtual reality and smart devices, as well as many new and advanced phones, but what will this year look like and how will the new tech change our lives?

Artificial Intelligence - Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t just getting better and more popular, it is being incorporated into almost everything. From new platforms, apps and devices, AI is only accelerating in 2018 and it looks like by the end of this year it’ll be even more present.

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5G – It is a possibility that we may see 5G with 5G smartphones by the end of 2019. The 5G network is likely to be 10 times faster than 4G and will change how people use the internet and how developers create apps. Gear up for a new generation of connectivity.

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Data Collection – Almost every business in the world knows the power of consumer data, so data collection is high on the list of priorities. With people talking more and more to smart devices throughout the day as well as relying on them for their daily tasks, a lot of companies will have access to unlimited amounts of consumer data. Although this will reduce your privacy in 2018, there are many other positive outcomes.

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Job Automation – Do you have the feeling that your job will soon be replaced by a machine? AI is advancing at a constant rate, enough that it can replace some white collar jobs. However, jobs will not be fully replaced, only heavily automated – and we’ll just have to adapt!

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It’s hard to say what tech trends will show up in 2018, however there is a lot of advancements to be excited about this year!

What tech do you think will take over 2018?

At The Computer Guyz we offer reliable IT services, equipment and advice at a price you can afford! Do not hesitate to give us a call on 087 001 0511/2 or email contact@tcgcape.co.za

Monday, 18 December 2017

How to stay Connected when you're Travelling

Staying connected when you’re traveling is a never ending challenge.

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And yes, vacationing means unplugging, the web is such an important part of our lives, we usually need to hop online even when enjoying some much needed off-the-grid time.

Here are some tips and tricks to stay connected no matter where you travel.

Local SIM card
Subbing out your SIM might be a little challenging for the less tech-savvy, and you should still dial back your settings so you don't eat up all your data that quickly. But it's definitely a great way to stay connected like you are back home. Still, if mucking about with your phone is too intimidating.

Hotel Wi-Fi
Always check your hotel’s WiFi before you leave for a trip. And it’s not as simple as just checking the hotel’s website to see if in-room WiFi is an option. Your best bet is to call the hotel and speak to the front desk.

Café Wi-Fi
If you don’t have the time or money to buy a hotspot, don’t forget that majority of the cafés around the world offer free WiFi to customers. In addition to cafes you should also try local libraries, museums and malls.

Go forth, explore the world this festive season, and make sure the internet is always with you!

Tech Scams that may Threaten you during the Holiday Season

Shopping online or even at an actual store can have digital risks that you as the consumer needs to be aware of this holiday season. There are three main digital crimes to keep an eye out for these holidays: ATM fraud, point-of-sale kiosk malware and online scams and infected retail websites.

ATM fraud
ATM fraud is a fast way for criminals to make some quick cash, from “jackpotting” cash machines to installing malware onto the ATM to skimming card data and recording your PIN. According to The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) drawing money at an ATM contributes to 85% of all debit card fraud transactions in our country this year.

Your card can be skimmed at ATMs or at points-of-sale so you need to always remember to never accept help from anybody at ATMs and never let your card out of your sight when you’re doing a transaction.

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Point-of-sale risks
For business owners and consumers, infected point-of-sale kiosks and other infected systems have been responsible for some major retail breaches over the last year. A device can become compromised without actual access to the register, and it sometimes takes retailers a while to detect and neutralize the breach.

You can protect yourself by using a credit card that offers one-time use, time-limited or virtual credit card numbers rather than a debit card to ensure you are protected. Also you should never let your card out of your sight when you’re making payments and if it is possible insert the card into the point-of-sale device yourself.

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Online scams & Infected retail websites
You always need to watch out for fake online stores that advertise products at “too-good-to-be-true prices”, these sites could also be selling counterfeit products! That’s why you need to make sure you only shop at stores that you know and trust.

Only download shopping applications from an official app store and if the app asks for too much information when you’re registering – delete it!

You need to aware of fake emails too, never click on email links that claim to be from your bank. Sabric says that criminals are also abusing online application channels and using fake details to open multiple credit card accounts in order to get a legitimate card and PIN.

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Fraud is on the rise in South Africa and criminals are always finding new technological ways to scam you. If you take note of all the tips then you could be able to protect your bank balance these holidays, after all knowing what to look out for is incredibly important to avoid being a victim!

The Computer Guyz in Cape Town and Centurion can offer you a wide range of services, from general IT support and maintenance to website design and hosting or even just some friendly advice.

How to Detox from Tech during the Holidays

It’s almost the holidays, but it’s difficult to appreciate free time and family when you’re always plugged in! Technology is imbedded in our everyday lives, so taking some time off could feel almost impossible. If you think parting with your devices will literally kill you, then here are some baby steps you can take to unplug.

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1. Use only one gadget at a time
We all probably have more than one gadget, and probably more than we actually need! For this holiday detox, focus on using only one piece of tech at a time – no multitasking! If you multi-task it puts you in a stressed out mental state, if you only focus on one gadget at a time, you’ll be more effective with tasks and will have a better overall performance!

2. Delete your social media apps for a while
The easiest way to get sucked into social media is by using your apps all the time. So the solution is simple – delete those apps! Do you really need your Facebook or Twitter app? And that Tumblr app is just slowing you down. It’s hard not to constantly check in on your apps, so do the right thing and remove the temptation.

3. Buy an alarm clock
Don’t use your cellphone as an alarm clock, use the real deal instead! You’ll sleep much better and you won’t have the urge to check your messages in the middle of the night. The best thing to do is give yourself 30-45 minutes to wake up, make some coffee or tea and then start the day on your terms.

4. Pick up a real book
Yes, e-books are a great way to read on the go, but there’s nothing better than a real book! This is a tech detox, after all, and e-readers are a gateway gadget. However, if you’d rather not give it up completely, digital books are fine as long as you don’t read for a long time on back-lit screens. Your eyes will also likely have an easier time focusing on paper!

5. Have a gadget-free meal
In 2013, more than 2000 adults were involved in a study that showed that 33% of adults use their phones while on a dinner date! Imagine how high the numbers are for computers and TVs. You need to set meal times as a time to connect with your food, the people around you and yourself.

6. Practice 20-20-20
This move will help you out of your daily ritual of staring at glowing screens all day! Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away! Try to repeat this three times an hour. You can also increase your blood flow and improve your posture by walking 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes!

7. Don’t use your phone on the toilet
Admit it – you have used your smartphone in the bathroom, many times! You may have even searched for entertaining toilet apps! But not only are you getting tons of germs on your phone, you’re also cluttering up one more sacred moment of the day with tech!

Its holiday time so its time to delete some apps, give up your tablet for a while and take things slow! Follow these simple steps so you can unwind this holiday season.

Contact The Computer Guyz in Cape Town or Centurion for a variety of services, from general IT support and maintenance to website design and hosting or maybe just some friendly advice!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Best Tech Christmas Gifts for your Grandparents

Forget about the usual chocolate or mug Christmas gift ideas – think more tech this year and you’ll probably be making your grandparents lives a lot easier and a lot more fun!

Echo Spot – Just say hello!

This device may be small, but it connects to Alexa allowing your grandparents to video call and chat with you!

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Raden Carry-On – Make travelling smart.

Travel can be tiring, especially for older folk. The Raden Carry-on bag basically checks itself in and no one will ever carry it off by accident with the app that pairs with your smartphone.

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iRobot Roomba 980 – Instant help around the house.

Let your grandparents relax a little this festive season and get the iRobot Roomba 980 to do all the cleaning for them.

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August Smart Lock – Stay safe.

Never let your grandparents search and fumble for their house keys again! The August Smart Lock will unlock doors instantly as long as a smartphone is paired with it.

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Nest Cam IQ – See everything!

Do your grandparents like going away during the holidays? Let them keep an eye on what is happening at home with the Nest Cam IQ.

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Eight Mattress – Ultimate relaxation.

A good night’s sleep is all your grandparents really want – this smart mattress can make sure they get it. The Eight Mattress can change temperatures on each side and can sense when you’re about to wake up.

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Quell – Wearable relief!

Do your grandparents suffer from arthritis? This wearable offers pain relief that can help ease nerve pain by sending pulses to the nerves.

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Keep your grandparents happy and up-to-date with the latest tech with these tech Christmas gifts. For reliable, affordable IT services and equipment - contact The Computer Guyz in Cape Town or Centurion. Call 087 001 0511/2 or email contact@tcgcape.co.za

Monday, 4 December 2017

How Tech is changing Parenthood

In a world where tech is taking over as we speak, there is a huge impact on new mothers.

From gadgets and apps that make breastfeeding easy to tech that is simply giving parents a helping hand and complete peace of mind.

Take a look at these four new pieces of tech that are changing parenthood…

Smart SockA monitor that fits onto your child’s foot in the form of a sock? The Smart Sock is there to monitor important vitals such as heart rate and oxygen levels – all from your smartphone in real time! If there is ever an issue with your infants vitals an alert will be sent out to let parents know something might not be right.

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Sonata Medela recently released a smart breast pump designed for todays busy moms. Equipped with responsive pump technology, it can sense and adjust to your body to result in more consistent pumping sessions. Sonata also features tested pumping patterns to make sure your sessions is as comfortable as possible.

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SNOO Smart Sleeper Make your first few months a bit more peaceful with this smart sleeper that assists with some of a new parents duties. A white noise machine together with some gentle rocking helps to train your child to sleep throughout the night! Don’t worry you wont be completed replace by this sleeper – the SNOO will alert you if your baby doesn’t go back to sleep after three minutes.

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4momsInstalling a car seat can be a mission, but the 4moms car seat takes the burden off by adjusting and leveling itself! Not only has this seat been crash tested but it also has a reinforced belt path and gives your child that extra protection.

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When it comes to tech and parenthood, there is an endless list of new products, gadgets and apps that can help with the everyday issues that come up. Tech is here, and it is here to help moms and dads transform parenthood for the better!