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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Setting Up Your Smartphone

If you have recently acquired a brand new smartphone, then you have probably already opened the box, plugged in the charger, turned the device on and celebrated by sending a few texts or even making a phone call or two. (Yes, smartphones can still make phone calls!)

But then the anxiety sets in. Texting and calling are the easy tasks – after that, things start to get a little harder. How do you set up e-mail? How do you customize the home screen? How do you use the hotspot feature? and, more importantly, How do you install all those great apps that friends have been telling you about?

Until recently, learning the finer points of a new smartphone meant spending a tedious hour or two reading through the small print of a poorly written instruction guide. Even then, there was no guarantee of success, particularly when it came to setting up those tricky e-mail accounts. Fortunately, things are now much easier, with a wide array of helpful resources, both online and off.

Many new smartphones come with built-in tutorials, offering a step-by-step guide to choosing ringtones, selecting themes and backgrounds, and activating basic security features. You can also learn by visiting the Settings feature on your smartphone and working your way through the menu. Here you will find ways to access Wi-Fi networks, screen locks, battery saving tips, back-up options, and more.

However, if you really want to understand your new device, then the best option is to tap into some of the many online resources. For Verizon customers, that means visiting a ‘Get to know your device’ page. Just log on to the Verizon Wireless web site, choose the Support tab and select Get Help With Your Device. Here you can choose from hundreds of different devices, including smartphones, tablets, Jetpack hotspots, netbooks, and even the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Each ‘Get to know your device’ page is packed with detailed explanations of the device’s features, often including helpful videos, FAQs, links to informative articles, and even community forums. Can’t find the answer to a question? Just visit the community discussion pages and share your problem with a host of other users.

If you want a more personal touch, then you can attend one of the many Verizon Workshops which take place online or face-to-face at Verizon stores all over the country. Here you will meet Verizon experts, who know everything there is to know about your device and its various features.

So don’t be discouraged if your shiny new phone appears more complicated than you thought. Help is everywhere – you just need to know where to look!

The Online Mom receives a fee for participating in certain promotional programs for Verizon Wireless.

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