Welcome to 2018! Now is the time when people start executing their New Year’s resolutions. One of the areas that doesn’t seem to make it to many resolutions list is investing in technology. Maybe it’s because people assume it’s too expensive or too hard to implement.
I’m here to let you know neither is true. To prove it, here are 13 tasks you can accomplish without being a tech whiz or spending a ton of money on equipment.
Change your passwords
If you’ve been using the same passwords all last year, now is the time to change them up.
I know you have fifty eleven-hundred passwords, so a trick I would suggest is using a password manager (I recommend LastPass) to suggest, save and manage your passwords as you visit each site to make that change. At the very least, I would start with changing passwords for any sites that keep personal/business/financial information.
Add 2-Factor Authentication
It’s about time you lock down your most important sites and services. The best way to do this is by adding an additional method of authentication to your accounts.
You’ve probably already used 2-Factor Authentication – If you’ve ever had to enter a special pin/code that was sent your phone or email after you entered your password, that was 2-Factor Authentication hard at work. Some sites/services turned it on by default, but I’m sure many of your most important accounts have that option as well.
So take some time today and add 2-Factor Authentication to any sites that store your personal/business/financial information.
Consolidate Your Cloud Sync Accounts
Yes, free storage space comes with pretty much every online service nowadays but, there is absolutely no reason for you to be using ALL OF THE CLOUDS.
Not only does it kill productivity because you have to search multiple sources to find your files, the risk of you forgetting about and possibly losing data as a result of a hack is increased if your data is all over the web.
So to increase your data security, and reduce your digital footprint, pick one cloud storage service that suits the majority of your needs and move your files to that service, then deactivate the others.
Backup Your Devices
It’s not a matter of IF your devices get hit with a virus, lost, stolen or damaged it’s a matter or WHEN…
There’s no worse feeling than for your gadgets to come up missing, or to turn on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and…NOTHING HAPPENS. So do yourself a favor and take the time to back up your devices early this year. That way, you won’t lose all the dope stuff you do this year.
Backup Your Website
While we’re on our backup flow, it doesn’t matter if your site was created to share your daily goings on, or it’s your main money maker, you need to make sure it’s backed just in case your site magically disappears.
One of my favorite quotes is “nobody can take care of you better than you”. So even if your website host claims that backup services are included in your hosting, now is a good time to double check and make sure your host is doing what they say they are doing.
Delete Your Computer’s Browser Cache
You can’t figure out why your computer slows down to a crawl on the web? In addition to all them damn tabs you have open right now, one reason could be that your browser cache is filled with junk.
It takes like 60 seconds to clear your browser cache, but it makes big difference in browser speed.
Delete Unused Browser Plugins
One way to introduce malware, spyware and viruses to your computer is by keeping old, unused and outdated plugins installed in your browser.
Take some time and look through your installed browser plugins. If you haven’t used them in months, or it’s been over a year since a plugin has been updated by the developer, it’s time to uninstall/delete them from your browser.
Clean Off Your Computer’s Desktop Screen
Your computer has to work hard to render all those files on your desktop screen, which slows down computer performance.⠀
So the easiest way to improve performance is by getting rid of all the clutter on your computer desktop screen. Your computer, and your eyes will thank you.
Clean Out Your Computer’s Downloads folder
How many files do you currently have in your computer’s downloads folder? Now ask yourself: How many of those files have you used more than once?
The downloads folder is not intended to be a permanent place to store files and can quickly fill up with one-time, throw away files. Now is the perfect time to move frequently used files out of the downloads folder, and delete the rest.
Delete Your Computer’s Unused Files
You’ve probably been dreading this task, but one of these days, you MUST go through all the folders and files on your computer and decide what you should keep and what you need to get rid of.
Hoarding files will bog down your computer with…junk and cause it to die before its time. Compress and archive the files you think you should keep to conserve space, and honestly, you will have to just jettison all those files that you haven’t touched in years.
Delete Unused Apps
Next up is looking at all the applications you use regularly. All those apps on your mobile devices and your computer that are frequently providing value should stay on your devices.
Those apps that you know you downloaded just because they will “someday” come in handy are taking up space and resources on your devices, even if you’re not using them.
So for now, get rid of them. when “that day” comes, by all means, re-download them go at it.
Empty Your Computer’s Trash/Recycle Bin
If you haven’t noticed, most of these tasks have been dedicated to getting rid of your device’s crap, I mean…outdated and unused folders, files and applications currently taking up space.
If you’ve been completing these tasks, all that stuff hasn’t been deleted from your computer yet…It’s all currently sitting in the recycle bin/trash folder on your computer.
To put the finishing touches on your data cleanup, now’s the time to empty the recycle bin/trash to permanently remove the data.
Scan Your Computer For Viruses
With a clean computer void of old, unused, outdated files and applications, a virus scan of your computer SHOULD be quicker, and find less potential threats.
Just because you manually cleaned your computer doesn’t mean you don’t have hidden data on your computer that could be found by running a virus scan.
So before you get too deep into 2018, now’s the time to find and remove any potential threats via complete virus scan to get your [tech] year started off right.
I know, I know…yes, another thing to add to your list. But taking the time now to make sure your tech is in order, will most definitely help you avoid issues in the future, ESPECIALLY for all entrepreneurs and small business owners who would lose money and their livelihood if their technology crashes.
Need help with any of these tasks, or want to build out a better personal/professional technology strategy, let me know.