From your home PC to your smart TV, digital technologies play an increasingly important role in the American household. Yet, as we fill our lives with more and more of these connected devices, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) gets more complex, which can lead to performance issues or gaps for hackers to exploit, greatly impacting our work and play. Indeed, it can be a bit much for the average user and particularly older folks to get all these varied devices and networks to work together seamlessly and securely. Even your home “power user” — the house geek that relishes such tasks — may find the challenge pretty daunting.
That’s when it’s time to call in the experts. Trend Micro provides a wide range of support services designed to help you make sense of this growing complexity. These services include an Ultimate Service Bundle with Trend Micro Maximum Security, where we’ll do everything from setting-up your devices and network, to installing and configuring the bundled security software, to removing malware and optimizing your PC performance.
But first, let’s take a closer look at the need for such services.
Computer, peripheral, and smart device setup
A third of American households have three or more smartphones. Then there’s your home PC, laptops, tablets, wireless printers and a range of smart gadgets like TVs, refrigerators, IP security cameras, smart speakers, baby monitors, and more. In a few years it’s predicted there will be 13 networked devices and connections per person in North America, which could mean over 30 per household, depending on its size. Setting up these multiple devices, from multiple vendors running different operating systems, can quickly become a headache even for a techie. Doing it in a way which optimizes security and performance can be even trickier.
At the heart of the smart home is the network. It was pretty simple setting things up when you had just one PC and maybe a couple of smartphones. But with more gadgets than ever needing to connect, things get more complicated. Some devices may need to “talk” to each other on the network, like your router and extenders, while others simply connect out to the public internet. What if devices can’t see each other? Or bandwidth slows? Or connections keep dropping? All of these challenges and others arise as the home network, and particularly the gateway or router, come under increasing attack from hackers.
Configuring tricky apps
Once you’ve got your smart IoT devices, computers, smartphones and peripherals up and running and connected, there’s usually more to do. Your main working “office” apps may be first in line to be installed and configured, but most users today also use social networking software such as Twitter and Facebook with their own setup requirements. Users also have to learn to manage their photos, videos, and music files, using the respective apps to do so. And even something as everyday as email may need a certain degree of skill to configure correctly — as can simply learning to use your folder/file system in an optimal way, to keep yourself well-organized.
Regular weekly and monthly maintenance is also required to keep your systems secure and performing correctly. Thus, you’ll need to do partial and full data back-ups — ideally three copies, in two different formats, with one stored offline or “in the cloud.” Temporary computer files, unused programs and fragmented data can also accumulate surprisingly quickly, slowing down your computers. That makes a regular optimization effort essential to keep your system running quickly and cleanly.
Securing endpoints and networks, removing malware and unwanted programs
Finally, of course, there’s the issue of protecting all your various devices, endpoints, and network against viruses and malware. In 2017 alone Trend Micro blocked over 66.4 billion cyber-threats! Protecting yourself includes installing and configuring your security software for maximum protection, conducting security scans on a regular basis, and more basically, just learning how it is that you can get infected. And what do you do if you do get infected? Just how do you get rid of the virus or malware, particularly ransomware, and restore your computer to the way it was before the infection?
Trend Micro can help
Fortunately, Trend Micro offers a range of support services it provides remotely to help lead home users through this technological minefield — ensuring all devices and networks are properly setup and secured, optimized and free of malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
Among other services, we offer the following as part of our Ultimate Service Bundle:
• Security advice and network scan
Trend Micro support can conduct a home network scan for you, to check for misconfigurations that can leave your network wide open to hackers. These vulnerabilities include leaving the default password on routers, weak or no Wi-Fi passwords, and any open ports that can allow unwanted access to your network. IoT devices in particular are often shipped without adequate password protection, meaning they could be hijacked by hackers to launch attacks against you or the companies that produce the devices, impacting performance. Our highly trained technical staff are on hand 24/7 to make a virtual “house call” at any time of day or night, providing you with all the help and advice you need at the end of the phone.
• Setting up endpoint security
Your endpoint security solution provides a vital layer of defense against a wide range of cyber-threats — from info-stealing malware to ransomware, spyware, phishing attacks, spam and more—and Trend Micro experts can help you set it up. Since Trend Micro Maximum Security offers users a range of highly configurable controls to meet customers’ specific requirements, support can enhance your protection by configuring the options to optimize your setup — for example, by maximizing protection against phishing threats, which span a range of Web, email, file, and Wi-Fi protections available inside your endpoint security.
• Computer/device optimization and clean-up
Cyber-threats and PUAs can slow your computer down, but so can daily usage that results in things like temporary files cluttering up your system. Trend Micro Support engineers can help you remove PUAs that may pose high risk to your security and/or privacy. They will also run a health check to clean-up temporary files and your registry, speeding up the machine. During the checking process, they can also ensure Windows and AV tools are running the latest and most secure versions, review any software that is slowing down your machine, and defrag your PC to further optimize performance.
• Virus and spyware removal
Last (or first!) but not least, you might have been unlucky enough to have been hit by viruses or malware installed on one or more of your home devices prior to installing Trend Micro Security. In this case, Trend Micro Support can also remove these infections by using our proprietary forensics and clean-up tools, while further educating you on what you can do to help prevent such infections in the future.
In short, our support engineers are fully equipped to handle a wide range of issues confronting users in the age of the Internet of Things — but you don’t have to take our word for it! See what these Trend Micro Support Services customers have had to say:
“I have encountered only two major issues, one of which was my fault, the other was a major virus. In both cases the engineer completely resolved the issue for me. Additionally, I have called in a number of times with minor issues or questions – they are always resolved quickly and to my complete satisfaction.”
“Very friendly and at the same time very professional. Made me feel like I was working with someone I know.”
“The premium service is excellent. Please keep it up!”
The solutions highlighted here are just a quick selection of the wide range of support services Trend Micro offers to home users. To find out more, visit Premium Support Services and take a look especially at our Ultimate Service Bundle which includes Trend Micro Maximum Security for 5 devices.