If your typical New Year’s resolutions lasted about 30 seconds, you’re not alone. Pledges to eat better, start running, and learn how to juggle can easily be rebooted again next year.
This year, we challenge you to consider your tech health with six resolutions you’ll want to keep:
1. Running the Best Security Software
Most computers today run at least some form of basic antivirus. In the modern day however, threats have evolved to be more sophisticated, more damaging, and much more common. Ransomware, malware, phishing, and zero-day attacks all work to attack unpatched systems without strong security.
Today, to keep up with increasing threats, you need a complete internet security package. A layered system means more than just virus scanning. A comprehensive security package includes prevention, detection, firewall and system monitoring at a minimum. These layers work together to provide security many times stronger than a stand-alone system.
Reliable, up-to-date, security keeps you safe online. It’s a resolution you simply can’t afford to skip.
2. Clean Up Files
Cleaning up unnecessary files is the number one way to gain additional storage space on a typical device. It’s cost-effective without any extra hardware purchases too.
Almost all computers have files hanging around from old software, data, or applications they no longer need. Just like tidying the spare room or de-cluttering the kitchen, clearing files off your desktop and organizing your emails will leave your computer feeling refreshed and new again.
3. Restart Your Computer
Fully shutting down a computer and rebooting can take time. When you are watching the clock, waiting to start a task or get work done, it can feel like an eternity. Most of us enjoy simply opening the lid or powering on the screen to have everything ready to run.
At times, a computer may not be fully restarted in weeks or even months. Our poor habits can cause issues with running software and the operating system too. Hardware updates, security patches, and critical updates often wait for a reboot before they install. Waiting too long can leave security flaws open and the system vulnerable to attack.
Merely performing a reboot every once in a while can secure your system and help get rid of software problems. Often updates prevent new issues from cropping up too.
As far as resolutions go, start small. Challenge yourself to restart your computer at the end of every workweek, and then build up to a nightly reboot.
4. Use A Password Manager
Hacks of large institutions and popular websites are frequently in the news today. Almost every month a major service reveals they have been hacked, their database compromised, and their customer credentials have been stolen.
For this reason, it is very unwise to use the same password to access multiple websites. This can be a challenge for many. It’s clearly impossible to remember a unique and secure password for every site you visit. We recommend using a password manager that can store and recall your passwords for you.
A good password manager relies on just one, very secure, remembered password to safeguard an encrypted database of all your login credentials. The password database is often stored in the cloud to allow access from all your necessary devices. A manager can typically assist in creating a strong, secure password for each of your accounts too.
Using a good password manager and unique password for every site protects you against the attacks commonly in the news. Hacks compromising major services from your providers will be powerless against directly affecting your other accounts and services.
5. Keep Your Computer Away from Dust
Dust, hair, and household debris are one of the major causes of premature death for computers. Fans, used to cool components, suck in house dust as well as the air they need. This dust often clogs up the inside of the device and overheats internal components.
If possible, keep a tower PC off the carpet, don’t run your laptop sitting on the floor, blanket, or soft furnishings. Cleaning out your device is as good a resolution as any, and there’s never a better time than now.
6. Backup – No Really, Backup
“I’ve been meaning to backup” is the cry of someone who just lost all their photos. Good intentions don’t count AT ALL in data security, because once the data is gone, it’s gone. With new cloud backup options, there’s no reason to put this off, because backup apps are now easier and more accessible than ever before. You can also backup to local drives, but this will take a little extra remembering on your part, as you’ll want to have at least one drive that stays disconnected in case of viruses.
There you have it: Six New Year’s resolutions you can easily keep and will make a real difference in your year. Your computer will run like new, you’ll be a spectator only in any future password leaks, and your precious files will be safe against all manner of disaster. Feels better than any diet, doesn’t it?