6 TECH RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR

2014 tech resolution

If you take care of your technology investment, it will take care of you. Here are 6 things you can do to minimize your technology troubles in 2014.

1. IMPROVE HOW YOU USE PASSWORDS

Please stop using the same password for every account. Please stop using simple, easy to hack passwords. We all have way too many passwords to remember. I have a solution for that. I wrote about it last June. Click on the link below for the article.

https://technologyjones.com/2013/06/26/an-even-better-password-plan/

2. HAVE A BACKUP

There are two types of hard drives, those that have failed and those that will…if you use it long enough. Backup your important files, documents, photos, etc. to an external hard drive, thumb drive, online storage or CD\DVD discs. I always say, if it is important to you, have it backed up in three different places. Click on the links below for some possibly helpful backup options.

http://www.secondcopy.com/

http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2288745,00.asp

https://www.backupify.com/products/personal-apps-backup

3. USE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

New viruses are created every day. The virus writers are getting trickier all the time. Use a good antivirus program and keep it updated. The free version of Avast has worked very well for me.

http://www.avast.com 

4. UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE

Companies are always finding bugs\problems with their software and produce patches and updates to improve their products and increase security. Always keep your software updated, especially your operating system (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8) and your antivirus software as well.

http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/help/windows-update

5. BE CAREFUL WHEN USING PUBLIC WI-FI

I know it is easy and very convenient to access the Internet using public Wi-Fi. Make sure you are using the actual Wi-Fi connection provided by the store, restaurant, business or organization that you are at. There are hackers that setup their on rogue wireless access points in public places and then sniff (gather your information) as it enters the wireless access point. Before connecting to any public Wi-Fi, if you can, speak to an employee and ask about their Wi-Fi link, password and ask if the connection is secure. A website that has HTTPS:// in the address is more secure than one that just has HTTP://.

Another security step you can take is to use VPN software to protect your connection. With VPN, all of your data is encrypted (scrambled) before it leaves your computer. If you do connect to a fake malicious wireless network, the bad guy should not be able to read your information.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390381,00.asp

Regardless of how secure your computer is, never access your bank online or any site that stores your credit card information when using public Wi-Fi.

6. MANAGE SOCIAL NETWORK PRIVACY SETTINGS

Many of us use several different social media sites. We often give these sites access to our personal information. Social networking sites often go through updates. These updates may mean a change in privacy settings. You should consistently check your privacy settings. Below are links to sites that make it very easy to manage your settings.

http://mypermissions.org/

http://adjustyourprivacy.com/

http://blisscontrol.com/

Happy Computing in 2014

John L. Jones

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