Top 5 Tech Resolutions for the New Year


Featured image courtesy of Daily Mail.

Congratulations on making it through another holiday season! As you scheme about new, creative ways to drop the 5 pounds you may have gained over the past few weeks, we thought we would help you pinpoint a few easy-to-achieve tech resolutions for 2015. Sadly, we don’t have directions on how to mount your laptop to a treadmill, but these tips should help in other areas:

1. Get better sleep.

It’s undeniable: the tech mania of modern times has more and more of us using our tablets and smartphones up until the point of sleep, only to reach for our devices first thing in the morning—hey, you’re already shutting off your alarm, why not check your Facebook or Twitter feed in the process? Multitasking!

As it turns out, this is wreaking havoc on our sleep and ruining our eyes. Why not give yourself 30 tech-free minutes to unwind before bed? We know “read more books” is probably on your resolutions list as well, but that Kindle screen isn’t helping either. Keep your iPhone and iPad in a drawer while you sleep.

Pro tip: this isn't helping you sleep. Image courtesy of Daily Mail.

Pro tip: this isn’t helping you sleep. Image courtesy of Daily Mail.

2. Update your software…regularly.

You know those pesky “We have an update to your software” alerts that you’re constantly ignoring? Yeah…stop doing that. Those updates come through for a reason, and that reason is usually that a vulnerability in the version you’re using has been exposed.

If you don’t update your software, you’re practically inviting those vulnerabilities to directly affect you. This is especially important to keep in mind as cross-platform solutions like Parallels Desktop and Parallels Access continue to enable users to easily access their work or home computers from anywhere at any time and on any device. As we rapidly move towards an always-on culture, you don’t need to completely blur the lines between work and life, but you do need to ensure the devices you rely on are updated and secure.

3. Stop reusing passwords.

According to experts, hundreds of millions of passwords are stolen every year, and the problem of being hacked is only compounded if you’re reusing passwords across multiple sites. You don’t need to create your own unbreakable Navajo code to make it through the New Year unscathed, but ensuring that each of your accounts has its own unique password will go a long way to make sure you contain problems at the source. One important reminder: if you don’t have anything nice to say about Angelina Jolie, don’t say anything at all. Looking to offload the task to a password manager? Here’s a list of the best ones on the market (we’re big fans of 1Password).

4. Declutter your desktop and inbox.

Despite our best efforts to cut down on spam email, it’s bound to happen. Sign one petition declaring your support for Net Neutrality and before you know it, you’re getting five new emails a week from other organizations seeking your advocacy. The point is, it snowballs quickly. In your quest to achieve Inbox Zero, give Unroll.me a try. This free service lets you take a look at every email newsletter you’re currently subscribed to and unsubscribe en masse. Having trouble locating that nice vacation picture you took underneath all the documents living on your desktop? It only takes 5 minutes to create a straightforward filing system. What’s the hold-up?

5. Utilize iCloud or another cloud service to back up your data.

Better yet, why not move some of your less sensitive documents to iCloud or Google Drive instead? According to the ToS, Google does not use your Drive data for marketing purposes, meaning the company won’t use your sensitive documents to create a marketing profile for you.

As an added layer of security, Google offers two-factor authentication and provides login information that lets you see if any recent logins came from an unusual location or occurred at an unusual time. You can also print out a code sheet that can be used to regain access to your account if someone swipes your password, logs in, and then changes the password to something you don’t know. This is not a likely scenario, but it’s comforting to know there is recourse in a worst-case-scenario event.

 

Any shrewd advice to share? Feel free to offer your tips and let us know about your own technology resolutions for 2015 in the comments or on Twitter @ParallelsAccess.

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