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New Year’s Resolutions (For Computer Users)

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by | Dec 31, 2013 | Networking

It’s that time of year again.  We are deep in the holiday season and the New Year is only hours away.  Resolutions are being prepared and contemplated by many, and unfortunately most will break their goals at some point over the next 365 days.  The following are some easy-to-follow resolutions which will improve your technical experience for those of you who use your computer on a regular basis:

1)      Back Up Your Data

Backing up important files is crucial to their safety.  Unforeseen catastrophes can occur at a moment’s notice, and the time to consider data storage isn’t after it has been compromised.  There are simple cloud-based internet solutions as well as physical external hard drives which almost always cost under $100.  It is recommended that you backup your mission-critical files once per week.

2)      Delete/Organize Files

Old files can clutter computer memory like boxes in an attic.  Take some time to sift through old files, organize the important ones and eliminate the irrelevant.  Your computer will thank you, and you will see faster speeds and increased memory available.

3)      Email Management

Similar to organizing computer files, it is a good idea to sort out email inbox messages.  Spam and automated newsletters can clutter an inbox and use a ton of memory- manage your account by organizing important messages and deleting spam and old email addresses from your contact list.

4)      Protect Against Viruses

Machines are always susceptible to virus infections.  It is vitally crucial that you ensure your computer is protected from malware and other harmful bugs that can creep into your system and corrupt files.  Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and be weary of suspicious emails or alert messages on the monitor.

5)      Ensure Wireless Network Security

Hackers can easily gain access to your personal information, files and other private material if your wireless network is not properly secured.  Come up with an extensive password and put it in a safe location.  Older routers are easier to hack than more recent models, so do a bit of research to see if an upgrade may be a good decision for the new year.

6)      Keep Your Computer Cool

Computers run most efficiently in cooler environments.  Be certain that your ventilation system to the machine is free of dust (wiping parts down with a soft cloth or using a can of compressed air are good options) and running cleanly.  If you use a laptop, propping it on a stand to let the underside cool and ventilate is a great option.

7)      Try Something New

Switch it up.  Most computer users get familiar with a program or software and stick to it for as long as they can.  In the New Year, challenge yourself to utilize a new browser such as Google’s Chrome or download a different social media platform.  It can be rewarding to try new things!

8)      Spend Time Away

As much as we love to talk about computers, it is important to not let your life revolve around them.  Remember that these machines are only here to aid our work and entertain us- so don’t let them become your life.  Do some outdoor activities, spend more time with your family, or perhaps just limit your time spent in front of the glowing screen each day.