In 2017, why not try a new kind of New Year’s resolution? Instead of just hitting the gym and dropping some pounds, consider changing some personal habits to simplify the tech in your life.
1. Improve your password hygiene.
Start off 2017 by spending a few hours logging into each of your accounts and creating unique, strong passwords. To make this easier, use applications like LastPass or 1Password, which are password-managing apps that let you use one master password to unlock a vault of passwords to log in to all of your internet accounts. They also automatically generate strong passwords for you.
Then add an extra layer of protection by enabling two-factor verification on your accounts whenever the option is available.
Taking these two simple steps will help safeguard you from the inevitable hacks that arise this year.
2. Maintain your devices.
After regular use, our smartphones and computers start to feel sluggish and short-lived, but a bit of maintenance can make them feel brand new.
First, check the condition of your batteries. With iPhone and iPads, you can hook the devices up to a Mac and run the app coconutBattery, which reveals battery statistics. With Android devices, you can use the app Battery by MacroPinch. If your battery is on its last legs, it’s time to order a new one or schedule an appointment at a repair shop to replace it.
If your devices feel sluggish, freeing up some storage can also make a dramatic difference.
Do this basic maintenance every six months and your devices will run smoothly for many years.
3. Upgrade Your Home Infrastructure.
We don’t hesitate to buy new smartphones every two years — but that ugly router tucked away in the corner of the living room is often neglected, despite it being the most important tech product in your home. Among all tech headaches, there is nothing more annoying than a sluggish, spotty internet connection.
Start off each New Year by doing some checks on your internet infrastructure. If your router is more than three years old, you probably need a new one that is compatible with today’s faster, smarter wireless standards. If you are relying on a router provided by your broadband provider, you could buy a more powerful stand-alone router.
4. Be Less Wasteful.
Unused gadgets and power cables take up lots of space in drawers and attics. This e-waste would be better off sold or donated to someone in need, or recycled for their precious metals.
During spring cleaning season, make plans to get this unwanted junk out of your life. Companies like Amazon and Gazelle offer trade-in services for selling used electronics, and there are many local e-cycle services that can pick up from your home.
Additionally, all Best Buy locations will take your used electronics and recycle them for free.
If you want to recycle business hardware or electronics, we highly recommend checking with your IT provider first to ensure all your sensitive data has been properly removed.