If you’re like most people around the globe these days, you spend a large number of hours every day on your smartphone, talking, texting, watching content, or researching; as well as plenty of time in front of the television, on your computer, or using other technological tools.
While we all feel that we “need” these tools these days, and they certainly do come in very handy for work and personal use, the costs of using them can quickly add up. If you’re keen to cut your technology and telecommunications budget this year, read on for some tips you can follow today.
One of the things you can do straight away to cut your costs is to contact telecommunications providers and ask what discounts they can offer you if you combine services. Rather than having your cell phone plan with one firm, your home phone plan with another, and your internet plan (and even potentially mobile Wi-Fi plan) with yet another, investigate using just one company for all of these services.
Contact the various providers you’re currently using, as well as other potential firms who sell the services you need, to see who can bundle all the services into the one bill for a significant discount. You will generally find that most telecommunications companies are keen to get as much of your business as they possibly can, or to get you on board as a new customer in the first place. As a result, you can often cut your monthly bills substantially by doing your research and making different firms compete for your business. Over the period of a year, you can end up saving quite a bit.
Utilize Free Services
Another handy way to save yourself some money when it comes to technology and telecommunications costs is to utilize the free services which are readily available on the market now. For example, don’t forget that you don’t always have to pay for all of your text messages and phone calls when you stay in touch with friends, family members, colleagues, and the like.
Instead, you can take advantage of the free services provided by companies such as Skype, Viber, and What’s App. Signing up for an account with these well-regarded tech firms can particularly save you quite a bit of money when you’re traveling overseas, since the costs of international calls and messages on your regular phone service can rack up to hundreds of dollars very quickly.
Another no-cost service that is well worth taking advantage of when you’re traveling, or otherwise away from home or your office, is free Wi-Fi location apps. Download one to your smartphone or tablet (search the Android or iOS app stores for options and you’ll find many) and then you can find a cafe, library, hotel, or other space in your vicinity which has free Wi-Fi available to use. This can save you a huge amount of data each year, which translates into much lower phone bills.
Install Security Software and Firewalls
Sadly, while this tech-driven age has plenty of benefits for consumers, one of the problems that comes up as a result of dependence on computer-driven devices is that of hacking. Cybercriminals develop more and more sophisticated ways to get access to personal and financial data these days, which in turns costs millions of people across the globe both time and money each year.
If you want to keep your identity and other information secure, and stop yourself from having to pay hackers for access to your data after a ransomware attack, or IT technicians to fix crashed systems after someone hacks into your network, it pays to purchase maximum security software for your computers.
Take a look online and you’ll find plenty of different products available at an affordable price. Make sure you purchase a product though that features comprehensive antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-malware and anti-ransomware protection so that hackers cannot illegally gain remote access to your data or networks. Antivirus software can:
- Keep nasty codes from being run in the background of your computer without you realizing
- Maintain your user privacy online
- Block phishing emails and potentially dangerous websites
It is also helpful to install firewalls on your computers. These act as the first line of defence against hackers, and essentially put barriers up around your networks. They work to filter out any potential incoming threats from actual credible data too. Check your computer to see if you have a built-in firewall already installed (this does come on many products but isn’t always automatically enabled, so you may have to update the settings) or pay for a professional third-party product.