With the new year ready to start, you're going to workout 4 times a week, become organized, enjoy life as much as possible, and... well who are we kidding?
Everyone sets resolutions, and by the weekend, they're usually a thing of the past. So, instead of making unrealistic commitments to yourself, how about we start with something a bit more realistic? I have some suggestions for useful things you can do with your technology in the new year to keep you happy, more productive, and maybe less worried.
Even if you simply tick one or two of these items off your 2022 to-do list, I guarantee you'll be happier.
1. Backup Your Cloud
No matter how many times well-intentioned advice columnists advise us to back up, we find reasons not to. As a result, there is no backup available if (not if) a terrible disaster leaves the data on our PC or smartphone utterly inaccessible. Or maybe there's a backup from a few months ago that's missing everything you've done recently.
The cloud becomes a digital life saver in this situation, recording the bits that document your digital existence. It's simple to set up your smartphone to backup every photo and video on your camera roll to whatever cloud you prefer: Google Photos, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Apple's iCloud.
Meanwhile, sync your crucial data files to the cloud on your PC or Mac.
2. Choose Your Passwords Carefully
Using a lousy, easy-to-guess password might completely upend your life. Just ask anyone who has ever had their bank account hacked. Reusing any password, no matter how strong, is just as terrible. If a careless website permits your credentials to be taken, a determined criminal will try them on other sites.
So, how do you create a strong, one-of-a-kind password for each account, and how do you remember them all? Make use of a password manager.
Also, do not use your birthday or the name of your pet as your passwords. It is nearly as awful as "123456. The objective is to choose passwords that you can easily recall but no one else can. If you're stuck for ideas, try one of the numerous random password generators.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Everywhere
If, despite your best efforts, an online thief takes your credentials for a critical website or service, you now have another hurdle on their path. Add multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication, or 2FA) to all critical online accounts. This is especially critical for email passwords, any type of banking or payment service, and any of your social media accounts. In fact, if a critical service does not provide 2FA as a security option, you should inquire as to why.
Google and Microsoft both have simple, attractive smartphone authenticator apps.
4. Do Not Tweak Things to Make them Better
Computers were similar to the Ford Model T in the early days of the PC revolution. If you took one out on the road, you'd need a full toolbox and be prepared to get quite greasy while fiddling beneath the hood.
The Model T's heyday was almost precisely a century ago. In the twenty-first century, when automobiles are essentially code, going in and altering some config files isn't going to make your Tesla move quicker. The same is true for computers. I frequently come across folks who believe that by making a few registry changes, they can make their computers run at a fast pace.
However, when I dig deeper into those miraculous adjustments, I almost never discover that any of these little changes genuinely make a difference, and each one carries the potential of unforeseen, performance-depleting repercussions. After all, most modern computers are basically physics. Do you need a faster computer? Increase your memory capacity or replace your old spinning disc with an SSD.
5. Update Your Things Regularly
It is fashionable among the tinfoil-hat crowd to argue that true experts focus their efforts on preventing software developers from installing updates. After all, they feel that the finest version of your operating system was launched three years ago (or five, or even 10), and that everything that has transpired subsequently has been a complete catastrophe.
Meanwhile, on Earth, every major software platform is constantly updated automatically. Problems with updates are uncommon and are usually resolved within a few days, if not a week or two.
If you choose to be cautious, you may postpone updates for up to a month while you wait for others to uncover any problems. However, wasting time attempting to override built-in update code is only going to waste your time.
6. Get Rid of Antiviruses
A decade or two ago, there could have been a reason for installing third-party antivirus software on a Windows PC, but today? Not at all. Windows Defender, which comes standard with every copy of Windows 10, is adequate.
That's not just a case of cursing with false praise.
Nowadays, the only reason third-party antivirus exists is so that PC manufacturers can benefit from the bounties they receive for pre-installing this junk on inexpensive new PCs for customers. The vast majority of dangerous software should be stopped long before it reaches your computer, utilizing the built-in security given by your email provider, ISP, and web browser.
In reality, third-party software is just as likely to obstruct an update or quarantine a critical system file. Spend your money wisely and get rid of it as soon as possible. If you have a PC with one of the big third-party security systems preloaded, you may need to use a specific tool to entirely remove it.
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There is no offer to sell, no solicitation of an offer to buy, and no recommendation of any security or any other product or service in this article. Moreover, nothing contained in this PR should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any investment or security, or to engage in any investment strategy or transaction. It is your responsibility to determine whether any investment, investment strategy, security, or related transaction is appropriate for you based on your investment objectives, financial circumstances, and risk tolerance. Consult your business advisor, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your specific business, legal, or tax situation.
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