Saturday, January 2, 2010

5 New Year's Resolutions

Five Easy Steps for a Safer, Happier Year in Technology

Get a good start on 2010 by embracing a few simple principles that can do wonders for your safety and productivity:
Run your backups - Everybody says they’ll back up their machines, but how many of us actually do it? And even if your workplace is running automated backups, you should still get in the habit of backing up your own work to an external hard drive or to the corporate server. That way you won’t have to bother your IT guy if you’ve been working for several days on an important project that suddenly vanishes from your machine.

Update your virus definitions - This is another task that people promise to do periodically, rarely actually get to, and are generally safe anyway because the service runs automatically. However, if you have your antivirus software set to update and scan during the day, it can slow your machine down to the point where you’re constantly suspending or cancelling the update just so that you can get some work done. That leaves you vulnerable to new virus attacks. So to be on the safe side, make sure your antivirus software updates regularly at night or during hours when you’re usually not working.

Clean your keyboard - Have you ever dismantled your keyboard and seen what’s floating around in there? Enough said.

Empty your temporary files - Temporary files are backup versions of open files created automatically by many programs. In the event that the program unexpectedly crashes or quits before a user has a chance to save their most recent changes, the temporary file will offer the most up-to-date version of the file. They’re handy for that reason, but over time, temp files can take up a lot of space on your hard disk. Look for the Temporary Files folder on your hard drive. Verify that you don’t need any of the files, and simply move them from the recycle bin.

Change your passwords - Even the most foolproof, uncrackable passwords should be rotated out once in a while. Just make sure you remember the new ones!

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