Technology New Year’s Resolutions 2015

December 30, 2014 Timothy Uncategorized

1. Clean your devices. In Italy, old brooms and dishes are tossed out the window on New Year’s eve. While tossing your keyboard and phone out the window could be done, why start the new year with clean devices. Flip your keyboard upside down and give it a few shakes. Then wipe the keys and surface down with a wet wipe. Ditto for your desk phone. Don’t forget to sanitize your mobile devices too.

2. Start the year malware free. Update your anti-virus and perform a full scan of your devices. Yes, we know. It takes sooooo long. Pick the most convenient time and perform a full scan. Hopefully you get a clean bill of health. If not, use your freshly updated anti-virus software to resolve the problem items.

3. Resolve to use a password manager. 2014 saw many more breaches of passwords. Resolve now to use longer, more secure passwords and to store them in a password manager. We’ve long used KeePass Portable for managing our passwords. The portable version works on your Windows desktop and from flash drives. Yu might also consider resolving to password protect all devices and resolve again to change passwords monthly or quarterly. (hint: use your existing long password and work a two-digit number into the sequence. For example, add “01” at the end to signify the month or quarter.)

4. Update your software regularly. You’re likely up to date on your mobile devices and perhaps your desktop too. What about your website? Are you installed the latest updates to your content management system or shopping cart? How about plug-ins and themes?

5. Delete old accounts and apps. The old rule of throw it out if you haven’t used it in the past year applies to digital. Delete any old social media accounts you haven’t updated this past year. That’s just another chance in the lottery to have your favorite password compromised. Ditto for old apps which may be sharing login credentials or exchanging private data. You might also take a look at old software you installed in windows and delete anything you no longer use.

6. Clean up your personal Cloud. iCloud and DropBox make it easy to pack rat digital stuff. Make time to go through your digital folders and files and remove out-dated files and folders. Burn photos to one or more optical disks and store in two “safe” places. (Come on, CDs and DVDs aren’t expensive.)

7. Clean up your social media accounts. Take time to clear out friends, following and favorites in your social media accounts. Strive for quality, not quantity.

a. Facebook – Unfriend anyone you don’t use regularly or who clutters up your Facebook life. Its OK.

b. Twitter – Go through your favorites and unfavorite old information and broken links. Double check your following list and drop the frequent, low value Tweeters.

c. LinkedIn – Check your resume and update as needed with new titles, promotions, skills and projects. Drop any low value groups. If you run a group, consider deleting the group if its infrequently used.

We hope these resolutions bring you continued success in the new year. The Arkansas SBTDC will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 5th.

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Timothy

About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.

Security, small business,

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