Most of us make New Year's resolutions for ourselves, like eating better, reading more or meeting new people. But what about your computer?
Here are 5 new year resolutions for your computer.
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.
Should I Become an Early Adopter?
Early adopters are people that anticipate the release of new tech, wait in line on release day, and pride themselves on having the latest gadgets to hit the shelves. If you recognize yourself in this description you are likely to snap up the latest devices the day they are released. This eager anticipation, however, is not always the way to get the best deals or the best gadgets.
Companies often rely on new product hype to give sales an early boost. Waiting for the marketing and hype to subside, even a little, can save you a lot of money.
After initial sales fall, companies often mark down their prices to keep their devices attractive and sales high. When newer, faster, sleeker devices hit the market, companies cut prices to maintain strong sales figures. For the budget smart consumer this is an opportunity for a bargain. A device good enough to buy on launch day is well worth waiting for.
Plus, waiting a little allows any issues or pitfalls to surface. In some cases you might be glad you waited should a major bug or security issue be found shortly after release.
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.
If you're unsure about whether you may need a file that you have saved, send it to the recycle bin and leave it there for a couple weeks. This way it's not cluttering up your desktop or documents folder but is still available should you need it. Once those couple of weeks have gone by, empty the recycle bin to permanently remove the files that you now know won't be needed.
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. An important note about restarting: Make sure that you choose "restart" instead of "shut down". More modern operating systems don't fully restart when "shut down" is selected and, as a result, you may not be fully installing updates or clearing issues.
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 for 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.
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. Compressed air is generally the go-to option for cleaning out a system as it helps blow dust out of tiny crevices. Vacuum cleaners on the other hand are not recommended as there is the potential to damage components while cleaning.
For a little help sticking to your digital new year resolutions and starting off on the right foot, give us a call today.