January means the start of a brand new year and with it come resolutions to do better. Most people make resolutions to quit bad habits like eating too much junk food and not exercising enough, but what about also kicking out your tech-related bad habits, especially those that relate to personal security? Here are 6 terrible tech habits you should vow to kick in 2014.
- Not updating your security software: We’ve all done it. That little notification window pops up telling us to update our security software and instead of doing it right then, we get annoyed and close out of it, promising ourselves that we will do it later…but we never do. There are so many risks your computer can be exposed to. Clicking on a link, opening email attachments, and downloading files are all things we do on a daily basis. If our security software is not up-to-date, these seemingly harmless activities can put our computers at a very high risk. So, the next time that little pop-up reminder “bothers” you, consider it a favor and update your security software immediately.
- Not backing up your hard-drive: We take our computers for granted, and we forget that they have a limited shelf life. Even when you’ve done everything right, your computer is fragile and at any moment, for whatever reason, it could simply quit working. When you’ve got a lot of important information and files condensed onto one hard drive, you’re taking a pretty big risk. Make it a priority this year to backup your data. That way, you are prepared if a disaster should strike.
- Using the same password for everything: This habit is one of the worst tech habits out there, yet somehow it’s also one of the most common. It might be easier to remember just one password for all of your various online accounts, but if one account is compromised, you can bet your others will be as well. Before you know it, you could find yourself having fallen victim to identity theft, and that’s one mess that is very difficult to clean up. If this is a habit you are guilty of, check out these tips for easily and safely managing your login information.
- Using Public Wi-Fi: Too many of us think it okay to use public wireless internet connections to do things like make purchases and sign in to our bank accounts. After all, public Wi-Fi is free, convenient, and it doesn’t eat up additional data on your mobile plan. Hackers, however, are counting on you to make this mistake. They are ready and eager to intercept any information they can from you. With one innocent online purchase, you could be putting your vital information at risk and once again expose yourself to identity theft. Protect yourself and put an end to this habit in 2014.
- Not paying attention to your Facebook privacy settings: Facebook changes its mind all of the time with regards to their privacy settings. Be sure you are paying attention and make it a priority to get it in full working order in 2014. Check out an overview of Facebook’s various privacy settings and options to make sure you are aware of who is seeing what on your Facebook profile.
- Throwing away old phones and computers: If you understood just how much vital information is on your old computers and devices, you would probably be a lot more careful when throwing them away. Your old devices can provide easy access to your personal information. In the wrong hands, much damage can be done. Don’t make yourself an easy target and be sure to wipe all devices of vital info before disposing.