It’s natural to bury your head in the sand when you think of all the things you should be doing – but ultimately aren’t. Thankfully, each January we have an opportunity to begin anew, strengthening our resolve to run a mile, read more or finally organize the garage.
To start off on the right foot, why not tackle something a little more low lift to boost your confidence? Completing these cyber-resolutions will put you in the right headspace to make 2023 your best – most secure – yet.
1. Stop giving away your private info.
Default privacy settings only benefit one entity: The companies who created them. If you don’t want these organizations to have overly personal details to sell you more finely-tuned ads, read and rethink the permissions you give them.
2. Get and stay organized.
Whether you’re unsubscribing from outdated email lists (when did you sign up for that Bingo newsletter?) or deleting old downloads that clog up your computer storage, give some attention to the things you normally put off. Once you do, it will be easier to keep up with them as the year continues.
3. Complete your updates.
Change is hard, but updates are good. We know how easy it is to hit ‘remind me tomorrow’ and go about your life – believe us. But if you do only one thing this year, get your devices up-to-date. Security threats are off the charts and these newer software versions are your first line of defense.
4. Give your eyes a break.
All those momentary glances you give your screen really add up. Use your phone’s built-in screen-time tracker to help you practice more mindfulness and save your brain from liquifying.
5. Be pro Antivirus.
Don’t be basic either. Upgrade to a layered system with more than virus scanning alone. You’ll want a program that at least includes prevention, detection and firewall. Bonus points if you get a package that also has some system monitoring.
6. Back-up all your files.
2023 will be off to a very sad start if you lose the work you did last year or all those sentimental pictures of you and your grandma get held up in a ransomware attack. Make sure anything important exists in at least two places. No excuses.
7. Invest in a password manager.
If you hear, “you need a strong, unique password for each account you have” one more time you’ll scream. But that frustration is nothing compared to what you’ll feel if you get hacked or locked out of your accounts. Password managers collect and protect each one in a database, logging you in automatically once they’re all set up.
8. Tackle your inbox.
Even if you don’t get your inbox down to zero, you can still clear out the old to make way for the new. After doing a big purge, check your email settings to see where you can filter out the fluff.
9. Deep clean your device.
No need to wait for spring to clean your computer top to bottom (or inside out). Use a checklist like this one from Wired to take you from cleaning the keys and screen to defragmenting your hard drive and removing apps you no longer use.
10. Check on your progress throughout the year.
This isn’t a one-and-done deal. But after you make this big, initial push, the upkeep will be considerably more minimal.
It takes considerable effort to make true, transformational change in one’s life. But if you can set aside part of an afternoon to complete these tech resolutions, it will inevitably set the tone for your entire year.