SOURCE: Norton Live

February 14, 2011 05:00 ET

Get Digital Peace of Mind

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - February 14, 2011) -  (Family Features) If you've ever had trouble transferring photos from your Blackberry to your PC, or connecting your work laptop to your WiFi at home, you're not alone. With all of the latest technological gizmos and gadgets available on store shelves, even the least tech-savvy folks can experience a level of connectivity unimaginable a decade or two ago. But along with convenience comes an increasing level of complexity that may leave some confused or frustrated.

Consumers today have a household full of digital devices -- computers, laptops, tablets, wireless routers, smartphones and WiFi-enabled printers -- just to name a few. Adding to the growing sophistication of these individual devices is their dependence on each other for functionality, data transfer, and access to the Internet.

In May of 2010, The Consumer Reports National Research Center published a survey about living with technology which found that computers topped the list of user frustrations. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said that they'd had some kind of computer problem that needed solving, but only one-third of respondents reported reading the instruction manuals. In a separate report recently conducted by Harris Interactive in December 2010, 45 percent of people said that they would rather do household chores than to try and fix their computer or digital devices on their own and almost 1 in 2 people (41 percent) found it difficult to troubleshoot digital device problems by themselves. Clearly, consumers need help.

"When you finally come home with the latest must-have computer or gadget it can be incredibly disappointing to realize you don't have the technical skills you need to make it work," said Kevin Chapman, vice president and general manager, Worldwide Consumer Services, Symantec. "Most people don't want to read lengthy instruction manuals required for set-up or to trouble-shoot problems on their own."

Small business owners face similar issues. The 2010 Small Business Technology Survey found that 43 percent of owners spent more than two hours a week on technology problems, while 49 percent said that the cost of maintaining their business technology is a significant challenge.

Fortunately, some companies have recognized this void and are finding creative ways to help consumers connect the dots. One example is the new Norton Ultimate Help Desk. Norton, best known for its computer security software, has introduced a consumer help desk service to deliver 24-hour access to expert assistance for technical problems.

The subscription-based service provides both general consumers and small businesses live technical support for almost any electronic device or network.

In addition, Norton Ultimate Help Desk offers solutions for slowly running and virus-infected computers. For example, technicians can remotely access an Internet connected computer to help with a tune-up, run virus scans, remove malware and viruses, and other similar trouble-shooting activities.

"As our lives increasingly become digital with Facebook, Twitter, emails, important documents, photos, home videos, music, etc. all stored on computers or online, losing access and data can be devastating," Chapman said. "Knowing there is a help desk service for consumers to turn to that is available anytime offers great peace of mind since computer problems always happen at the worst time, like just before a big presentation or right when you want to show your friends your recent vacation photos."

For more information, visit www.nortonlive.com/helpdesk or call 1-888-843-4703.

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