New Dpcm: what changes and how to deal with it in a smart way

With the sharp rise in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is about to present a new Dpcm that returns to restrict travel, encourage smart working and distance learning and closes gyms and swimming pools. A "semi lockdown" with limited restrictions up to local lockdowns in specific areas or regions of the country to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. It will not be a "lockdown 2", with the total closure of bars, bakeries, restaurants and pizzerias, but there will be a limit to travel and the closure of shopping centers on weekends and holidays and distance learning for high schools throughout the territory.

Once again, the answer against the virus is the reduction of social contacts and an increase in smart working, in addition to the advice to limit even contacts at home with relatives and friends. We find ourselves making sacrifices again, going back to being more digital and less physical, and all we have to do is prepare for "Lockdown 2.0". Here are some tips for managing your daily digital life, work, study, and fun inside the home well, from the experience gained during the first lockdown. To learn more, we invite you to click on the links: we have collected the best information on each of these topics.

Lockdown 2, how to strengthen the defenses at home

Our home will have to be well protected from digital threats to allow us to cope with the new restrictive measures that lead us to stay more time at home. In the next month we'll be shopping more online, watching more TV series, working from home, and all of it will come through the Internet. And from our router.

The first thing to do to defend our digital home is therefore to armor the Wi-Fi router. Let's start by looking for a possible firmware update: if the modem-router is on loan, the updates are automatic and managed by our Internet Service Provider, while if it is a "free modem" that we have purchased, then we have to do it by ourselves.

Going to the manufacturer's website, it is possible to find the possible update and the explanation of the procedure to perform it. Still on the subject of the router, then, it's time to change the default username and password of the Web interface: by now hackers know by heart the combinations of thousands of models and take a second to access the router settings if they manage to violate the encryption.

Finally, it's also time (but it's already been a long time) to install a good antivirus suite both on home computers and on smartphones and tablets. Immediately after we have to set automatic updates of virus definitions, to stay always protected from viruses and malware.

New Dpcm: increased smartworking

With the new Dpcm  will increase the smartworking, that is the hours of work from home away from the office, for this reason security is even more important. Both if the computer we use is ours, and if it is a company, during smart working we work on files that could be very important for the company (and confidential).

The best would be to use a VPN to connect from the computer with which we work remotely, but if the device is not ours this choice is not up to us. If we're self-employed professionals, however, that's exactly what we need to do to add an extra layer of protection to our work.

Once we've secured the security of our remote workstation, we'll need to choose the productivity suite to use for smartworking: Google Workspace (which has replaced G Suite), Microsoft 365 and Teams, Slack, Trello are the most popular online collaboration tools dedicated to work.

For video conferencing we can use Teams (which has replaced Skype Business), Meet (which is included in Google Workspace), Zoom, GoToMeeting, Slack.

All these solutions have pros and cons and a free version as well as a paid one. If you want to work online seriously and without problems, however, it's time to invest a small monthly amount (usually less than 15 euros) to get the most out of your chosen platform. It's not about making video calls to grandma, we're talking about work.

The choice of platform, however, depends on the company we work for. If we are freelancers, however, we can choose it ourselves, and the advice is to find out which platforms our clients use the most and to choose the one that is most widespread.

New Dpcm, 100% distance teaching for high schools

If the teaching for elementary and middle school children remains in presence, the boys and girls who attend high schools will return to 100% distance teaching with the new Dpcm. In this case usually use the free versions of the video conferencing services already mentioned, so as not to force millions of families to spend for a monthly subscription to the Pro versions.

In fact there are also three platforms recommended by the Ministry of Education (Google Suite for Education, Office 365 Education A1 and Weschool), but it is left free choice to individual schools and teachers on what to use.

Low-income families who do not have a fast Internet connection, on the other hand, would do well to take advantage of the 500 euro PC, Tablet and Internet Bonus provided by the Government and which will be supplied by Internet Service Providers.

New Dpcm: online shopping

Doing your shopping online and having food (including brewer's yeast) and household items delivered to your door is now widely possible. Besides avoiding the assemblages inside the supermarkets, and the possible queues in front of the stores due to the staggered entrance, it is extremely convenient and does not have costs much higher than doing the shopping going physically to the market.

All the major Italian supermarket chains now have an app for online shopping: Conad, Esselunga, Coop, Todis, Pam, Crai, Lidl, Carrefour, Eataly, just to name the most famous ones, plus Amazon Pantry and various services such as Supermercato24, MyHomeFood and Cicalia, which actually only offer delivery, but take products from supermarket chains in the customer's territory. To deepen the topic, you can read our guide to online shopping.

New Dpcm, we focus on takeaway and deliveries

With the new Dpcm of Conte, places like bars, restaurants and pizzerias will be able to continue to work by offering the takeaway service of food and drinks, or home deliveries.

If you can't go out to eat in a pizzeria or restaurant, you can always have your pizza or food delivered to your door by one of the many food delivery services. In this case the price difference is a little bit felt, especially on small orders, as well as the percentages that the owners of the restaurant business have to pay to the service they rely on for deliveries.

But, if there is no alternative, the choice is wide: Just Eat, Uber Eats, MyMenu, Deliveroo, Glovo are the most famous, but not all major Italian cities are covered by their respective services. All services, however, have a special app for smartphones from which to check coverage and place orders.

In small towns and cities not covered by any of these services, the good old "pizza box" is often available, which in the pre-digital age was the norm, but is now disappearing. In any case, it is good to check if our favorite restaurateurs have a social page (usually Facebook) on which we can find contact information and any directions on home deliveries.

New Dpcm, closed cinemas and theaters: entertainment at home

Cinemas and theaters remain closed, but to have fun at home you can take advantage of the huge offer of streaming content, for sale or rent today available.

Today in Italy there are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Infinity, Now TV, Google Play, TIM Vision, Rai Play and other minor services among which you can choose literally thousands of streaming movies and TV series. The prices of subscriptions to these services, on average, are around 10 euros per month but vary a lot depending on the amount of devices that can be used at the same time.

The new Dpcm obviously prohibits concerts too. The only thing left to do is to listen to streaming music, for which we have Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer and many other services, whose monthly costs vary from around 5 euros to 15 euros.

Lockdown 2: video calling apps

To stay in touch with friends and family, without seeing each other in person, the best option is to use one of the many video calling apps (one to one, or group) available. Some of them are the same as those already listed for business video conferencing, while some are dedicated more to personal communications.

Microsoft Teams and Skype, Facetime (for iOS devices only), Google Duo (built into all Android devices), WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook Rooms (which allows group video calls, up to 50 people) and Messenger are just the most popular.

Aside from WhatsApp, Messenger and Duo, which practically everyone has, the choice of one of these apps is mainly linked to the convenience of use and how well it works with our home network: each of them, in fact, has a different type of audio and video compression and weighs more, or less, on our connection.

App Immuni: download and use it

In Italy today there are almost 400,000 active infections, to which we must add an unknown number of undiagnosed asymptomatic people. Downloading and using Immuni, the official contact tracing app chosen by the Italian Government, is therefore a gesture of responsibility that we should all take. The government, on the other hand, has extended the period of operation of the app by one year because of the surge of infections and with the new Dpcm of October 25, reporting your positivity will not be the task of the citizen, but mandatory for the health worker.

The app is currently used by over 9 million Italians and has sent over 25 thousand notifications of exposure to the risk of contagion to its users, receiving in turn over 1200 from users who have declared themselves positive to Covid-19.

It is now clear that from the point of view of privacy the app is safe and the data collected are encrypted in a sufficiently robust and completely anonymous. Finally, Immuni works via Bluetooth Low Energy, so it doesn't have access to our precise location.