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3 steps to make your phone safer for emergency services and more

I’ve answered all of the technical questions. More than ever, I’m hearing from people who are inundated with requests from elderly relatives to repair their devices.

Perhaps they clicked a bad link, and their computer is acting strangely. Tap or click to reveal eight indicators that it is infected with malware or other malicious software.

The issue could be something more mundane, such as text that is too small to read. A few taps in the settings menu will greatly simplify their life. To make text larger on a phone, tablet, or computer, tap or click here.

Gifts are wonderful, but here’s one that will last your loved one all year: A privacy and security check for your phone. Do it during the holiday season.

  1. Enable the emergency and health settings.
    If properly configured, a smartphone can save your life. Setting this up is critical.

Even if the phone is locked, emergency responders can access the iPhone Health app in the event of a medical emergency. To provide more information to first responders, include details such as your – or your loved one’s – name, age, medical conditions, allergies, and emergency contacts.

How to Configure an iPhone’s Emergency Settings
When you launch the Health app on an iPhone for the first time, you are prompted to enter basic health information. You can always return to update your Health Details.

After you’ve completed the Health Details section, you’ll need to create the Medical ID.

• Launch the iPhone Health app and select the profile picture.

• Choose Medical ID > Begin or Edit. Enter any health-related information.

• Select Emergency Contact and enter the information of a trusted person.

• Press the Done button.

Allow emergency services access to the Medical ID even if the phone’s screen is locked. Here’s what you should do:

• Launch the Health app and select your profile picture.

• Select Medical ID > Edit.

• In the Emergency Access section, enable the toggles next to Show When Locked and Share During Emergency Call.

First responders will now be able to see critical medical information.

How to Configure Android’s Emergency Settings

Follow these steps if you or a loved one has an Android phone. Please keep in mind that the steps differ depending on the phone you’re using.

• Navigate to Settings > Safety and emergency.

• Click on Medical Information to enter information such as your name, blood type, allergies, and medications.

• Toggle this setting on at the bottom of the screen: People can view this information without unlocking your device in an emergency.

Finally, make a list of emergency contacts. Simply navigate to Safety & Emergency Preferences > Emergency Contacts > Add Contact.

Unknown callers, please remain silent.
I get calls from people who want to help their parents or grandparents who have fallen victim to phone scams. Crooks are smarter than ever, and once they get someone on the phone, it’s much easier than you’d think to get that person to hand over personal information or money.

This tip will save your relative from having to deal with spam. It should be noted that if unknown callers remain silent, they may miss a legitimate call. A real person who needs to reach you, in my experience, will leave a voicemail.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers to silence unknown callers.

• Toggle the switch next to Silence Unknown Callers.

When an unknown number calls, the phone no longer rings. It will be muted, routed to voicemail, or appear in the Recents list. Incoming calls from familiar numbers will continue to ring normally.

Texts from unknown reminders can also be hidden. Here’s how it’s done:

• Navigate to Settings > Messages.

• Toggle the Filter Unknown Senders toggle.

On an Android phone, follow these steps to block calls from unknown callers:
• To begin, go to the bottom of the screen and tap the Phone icon.

• Tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner.

• Navigate to Settings > Blocked Numbers.

• Toggle the switch next to Block Calls From Unknown Callers.

Give knowledge to the vulnerable people in your life. Tap or click here to avoid scammers’ most common methods for duping elderly people.

Maintain your technological knowledge.
“Kim Komando Today” is the name of my popular podcast. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers from all over the country with tech questions like yours. Look for it wherever you listen to podcasts. For your convenience, you can view a recent episode by clicking on the link below.

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