Here we are about to go into 2018! You probably already have a slew of New Year’s promises you are ready to commit to for yourself, but what about your computer? Challenge yourself to sticking with these 8 habits, so your device can stay happy and healthy beyond 2018!
Resolution #1: Back it up!
Usually, we learn this lesson the hard way. But we really can’t stress this enough — don’t risk your important documents and files anymore! Backing up takes almost no extra time and can save you from a world of hurt. Even if you are super careful when deleting, you just never know what could happen — your laptop could get stolen, your device might give out without notice, your computer could get malware…the list goes on!
Resolution #2: Restart your computer.
We get it, restarting can be annoying. It feels so good to just close your laptop and have it start right up when you return. But just like you, your computer needs time to recharge! Set a restart schedule for the days when your computer use is light, and you’ll never have to think about it. Once a week is a good rule of thumb. This also goes for shutting down your computer when you’re not using it for extended periods. It’s good for the device, but also good for your power, and the environment. Another bonus? You won’t have to wait so long for updates if you have auto-updates and a weekly restart schedule.
Resolution #3: Stop running a ton of programs at the same time.
We’re all guilty of this one! We live in a world of multitasking, and our computer life is no different. But if you’re constantly running a lot of programs, your computer will slow down and possibly freeze. So, whether you’re running a ton of programs or opening a bunch of browsers — go through every hour or so and close the ones that are not in use. We multitask to try and save time, but a slow computer does the opposite (not to mention multitasking is bad for you).
Resolution #4: Stop eating/drinking around your devices.
This can be a very hard habit to break. Since we spend a good chunk of time in front of a screen, there’s a chance you’re probably eating some meals or snacks while you’re working. Not only are you risking ruining your device with a spill, but you’re causing it to be really disgusting, too. How disgusting? Studies show the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Yuck!
Which leads us to two other points: wash your hands after each use, and clean your devices often!
Resolution #5: Form good password habits.
A good password is your #1 defense against hackers. But even knowing this it can be really easy to fall back on that one trusty password that will stick with you forever. This year, commit to at least having strong passwords for sites where money and secure personal information is involved (online banking, shopping sites, etc). And please don’t write your passwords next to your computer! If remembering passwords really isn’t your strong suit, then we recommend getting a password manager. For more tips on creating a strong password, check out our blog post!
Resolution #6: Stop staring at the screen for so long.
When you are really absorbed in your task, you probably often forget to take breaks. But taking some time away from screens is important. Your eyes are not meant to handle staring at blue light for extended periods of time, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of eye strain.
- Make sure the lighting in the room is good. Eliminate exterior light and reduce interior lights. Also, make sure to eliminate or minimize glares.
- Don’t have your computer’s display be so bright if it’s not needed. And if you are not working on something that requires design, use the Windows amber light tool to combat the harshness of the blue light.
- Take breaks as often as you can! Even if it’s just getting up and walking around for a few minutes every hour, your eyes (and your body!) will thank you.
- Try eye exercises.
- Invest in a pair of computer glasses
Most importantly, don’t stare at a screen right before bed. Not only is it not good for your eyes, but it can cause insomnia. The blue light from screens alters alertness, sleepiness and affects melatonin levels, which are vital to falling asleep.
Resolution #7: Put old tech to good use.
The average person is getting a new computer every 3-5 years, and a new phone every 22.7 months. That’s a ton of discarded devices! Instead of throwing your old tech away, or leaving it to gather dust in an attic, consider donating to someone who could really use it. We’ve compiled a list of local and national nonprofits that will put your computer or phone to good use. Even if it’s bad repair, most places will handle recycling it for you. Just remember to wipe the device clean before you donate it, or find one that will do it for you.
Resolution #8: Clean house.
We’re not talking about actually cleaning your house, although, you should do that, too. We mean keeping up with basic computer maintenance. This means going through every month or so and deleting all the stuff you don’t need and never use — programs, apps, bookmarks, the whole deal. Keep your computer running smooth and clutter-free by utilizing cloud services and USB drives. You love coming home to a clean house, and you’ll love working on a clean computer!
Already mastered these habits? Don’t stop there! Here are some healthy computing habits you should incorporate! Want to get your device to running better-than-new but don’t know where to start? Make an appointment and we’ll make sure everything is ready to go for a bright new year!