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Learn some tech tips before heading back to school

Take care to backup your computer and use a strong password.

SEATTLE - It's the stuff of nightmares for many students. One minute you're hard at work on an important paper, and the next - your computer crashes.

We've all been there. And it wasn't so long ago, this might spell the beginning of a long night off coffee drinking for the all-nighter needed to pull off an academic miracle. (If you weren't pulling one already, that is.)

Today, with services like the "Cloud," we can all rest a little easier. Still, tech experts say it's imperative any college student headed off to school remember to install an automatic back-up for their computer files.

"We recommend online backup storage," says Adam Silkey with the Best Buy Geek Squad. "Consider Pogoplug, Apple iCloud, or Google Drive. These services will automatically back your data up so you don't have to worry about it when you lose something."

Equally important, Silkey says, is a strong password to protect your computer, smart devices, and online accounts. Experts say a good password has at least one number, one capital letter, and one symbol or punctuation mark.

This is especially true for personal WiFi. If your account is hacked, Silkey says it may not be any safer than if you were using public WiFi.

"Anything on a public, unsecured WiFi can potentially be seen by other people," Silkey says. "Don't do anything sensitive, like banking or shopping, and don't visit websites you wouldn't want others to see."

KOMO News is helping you and your children get ready for the school year. Need more tips about going back to school? Check out our back-to-school page.

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