The top tech resolutions you should make for New Year

From better security to better life balance

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

New year, same tech. But what resolutions could you make to improve your life in 2020?

Stop procrastinating

No one likes updates. They’re time consuming, they take over your device and render it useless for a short period of time, and in the worst cases, they’re buggy and make your smartphone or laptop frustrating to use. But you have to install the update some time. And while we’re all for caution when it comes to updating your software - a few days on your non-critical updates to make sure they are working correctly doesn’t hurt - putting it off indefinitely could leave your system vulnerable. Stop clicking postpone and get on with it.

Do better on security

Speaking of security, it’s worth upping your game on that one. Your smartphone, for example, needs a strong passcode (no, not 11111) to keep people out of your apps, email and social media. And while you are at it, don’t reuse your passwords. All it takes is one breach - and there have been plenty in recent years - to find your “secure” password you use for absolutely everything is now available online to everyone who knows where to look. Take a look at haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email address has been involved in any breaches. To make sure your passwords are safe, you can use a password manager to help create random secure passwords, such as Dashlane or LastPass. Just remember to put a very strong password on your password manager, or you’re back to square one.

Watch screentime

We’re all guilty of it: first thing in the morning, last thing at night, numerous times during the day, gazing at a smartphone screen. But while we are so intent on watching what’s going on online, we are missing what’s going on around us. So 2020 is the year to take back control, and lay off the screen time. There are several apps you can use to do that - iOS has built in tools to monitor and report on screen time each week; Android has Digital Wellbeing. Other apps such as Moment and Space are also available.

Clear out your inbox

If you have thousands of unread emails - or thousands of emails full stop - sitting in your inbox, it’s time to take back control. First of all, delete the marketing emails you’ve probably never even opened. In fact, unsubscribe from them all; email has a carbon footprint, and rubbish email is just a waste of resources. It may be a case of taking a handful a day and regularly unsubscribing to get rid of the worst offenders. Then use filters to highlight the most important senders, and try to deal with emails daily, clearing your inbox of everything but the emails you need to keep.

Back up - regularly

Accidents do happen, so if you regularly perform backups you will minimise the data you lose in the event of disaster. If you are on iOS, you can back up to iCloud automatically once the phone is connected to wifi and plugged in. Open Settings and look for backup, making sure your backup is set to either Google account or your manufacturer’s own back up service - Samsung offers its own service for example.