GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - With many students heading back to school over the next couple of weeks, we have some ideas for some must have tech gadgets as well as some online safety tips to protect your information.

Best Buy's technology education agent, Noelle St. Andrew, says there are three tech gadgets this season that can help students study smarter, not harder.

Voice Assistants

"What's kind of up and coming is the Google Home and the Alexa, because if I need to spell a word quickly or if I need to know a fact quickly, I could just say Alexa how much does an elephant weigh and she has an answer for me right away while I'm still writing my paper," said St. Andrew.

Stylus Ready Computers/Tablets

Any tech that will allow you to write on the screen, like the "Lenovo" laptop. Just make sure, taking a lot of notes and your computer is pen-enabled so you can write on the screen. You can actually write out equations, help you solve it and translate it into text for you,” said St. Andrew.


"Lighting is always important. We want to make sure we are easy on the eyes so something like illumining Phillips they make sure you have that right lighting that you can also change over to normal lighting," said St. Andrew.

With all of this technology, it's important to remember online safety. She says public wifi is great but make sure you log on correctly.

"People will put out fake or bogus names and have you connect to it with no password, so just double-check with the institution that you are using the network, make sure you have the correct network and password," said St. Andrew. "Check into a VPN or a virtual private network service. There are a lot of cheap options even free. What you do is it creates a little bubble of safety for you."

Also, make sure you have secure passwords. "And don't use the same password and that you are using really secure passwords. Replacing certain letters with symbols and other special characters and numbers and really randomizing it creates an encryption that's a lot harder to break," she said.

St. Andrew also recommends Chromebook, opposed to a regular laptop or tablet, as an affordable option for students. A Chromebook can do a lot of what students need it to do, like checking the syllabus online, emails, or writing papers. She says Chromebook is less likely to get a virus.