Many people make New Year's Resolutions to set goals for bettering themselves at the start of a new year. Why not set a few technology-related goals for yourself?
Today, we'll recommend a few simple ways anyone can improve their digital life in 2018.
1. Strengthen Your Old Passwords
We've shared the importance of good passwords before. In most cases, a password is the only element protecting your accounts from other people accessing them. While it's not the most glamorous task, updating some of your weakest passwords will do wonders for your security this year.
Start by logging into anywhere you use a weak password. Weak passwords are short and easily guessable, containing simple elements like your pet's name, birthday, or other common information. Simply adding a few characters to your password with some symbols and numbers will improve them immensely.
— Authy (@Authy) December 28, 2017
Try to avoid re-using passwords on multiple sites if you can, and reserve your best passwords for your most important accounts. Anywhere that holds your financial info, like PayPal, is a big target for attack. Your email password is also vital, as breaking into your email allows hackers to reset other account passwords.
To go the extra security mile this year, you can also set up two-factor authentication.
2. Keep Everything Up-to-Date
2017 saw some brutal security attacks, particularly the global ransomware attack in May. In many, but not all, cases, users who had kept their computers up-to-date were spared from these issues. And installing updates is the quickest way to remove these vulnerabilities, like with the Wi-Fi vulnerability that iPhones had in July.
Thus, in 2018 you should make it a priority to keep all your devices up-to-date. When you see a prompt to install Windows updates or a new version of iOS on your iPhone, take the time to do it as soon as possible. Delaying these updates puts your device at risk.
3. Work Smarter on Your PC
Chances are, trying out a few shortcuts and tricks could help you do your job more efficiently. In 2017, we covered basic Windows productivity tips and highlighted some basic tricks of the operating system.
And since most people spend a good amount of their day using email, you should review our tips for better email communication and how to make Microsoft Outlook more conducive to productivity. If you're someone who can't keep everything straight in your head, using Microsoft's free OneNote app could be the perfect solution for you.
With some new tricks in place, you'll be all set for a more productive 2018.
4. Clean Up Digital Clutter
Over time, most people (unintentionally) create a big mess in their digital lives. You probably have apps on your phone that you never use, ancient emails in your inbox, old files on your computer you don't need, and other such excess. It's worth taking the time to clear up that old content that's no longer necessary.
Not only will you have less distractions and junk floating around, but your devices will also run more smoothly. There's no use in running programs or apps that you never use -- they're just taking up resources. A digital cleaning is quite handy!
If you have any digital New Year's resolutions you'd like to share, please let us know about them in the comments!