5 Tech Resolutions to Consider this New Year

As we get ready for a new semester and new year we’ve been thinking about our resolutions. Tech resolutions to be specific.

Aligning the way we should use technology with the way we actually do can be as wishful as our other more lofty resolutions. Whether you want to become more secure online, maintain a better life balance with your tech or just make a good new habit, we know it can be harder than it looks. This year we’ve put together a few small ideas that can make a big difference; and some tips to make them stick for real.

Check out our five tech resolutions and be your best tech self in 2017.  

  1. Stop re-using passwords- Everyone’s dirty little secret is that password from middle school that you use for everything. We know it isn’t secure, but it persists because that’s the path of least resistance.  Don’t let yourself get hacked before becoming more secure; retool your passwords to meet or exceed the strength requirements of the account. Having a hard time keeping track? Password managers like LastPass and 1Password make things easy by storing strong randomized passwords in one place. All you have to remember is the app password (or better yet, set up Touch-ID). Visit OCIO security for more information about passwords and staying safe online.
  2. Back up your files- No one wants to be the person who loses their twenty-page term paper in a freak coffee-meets-computer accident. That being said, many of us are criminally bad about backing up files on our computers, or don’t even own a backup drive in the first place. If you own a backup drive, set up automatic daily backups with either Time Machine (Mac) or by enabling File History (Windows). Saving work to a cloud service can be a great solution if you don’t want to buy a backup. BuckeyeBox can be a fantastic option and has unlimited storage for university students, faculty and staff.
  3. Stop throwing out old tech- Not only is it bad for the environment but you could be losing out on some money.  Sites like Gazelle or Glyde will buy your old gadgets and find new homes or uses for them. There are also a variety of ways to donate your working devices to help those in need, or simply recycle your non-working tech in a conscious way. Make a day of it and go through your room at home, dorm or apartment and part ways with anything you aren’t using.
  4. Get your email under control- Email may not be high-tech or glamorous, but it is an integral part of most of our days. Whether you check it on your phone, laptop, tablet or a combination of all three; the stress of a too-full inbox is familiar to everyone. While there is no one-size-fits-all way to tackle your inbox, finding what works for you now will pay off in the long run. School is fleeting, emails are forever. Check out ways to manage email overload and if you’re looking to get to inbox zero, here is one of our favorite articles to help you find your ideal method.
  5. Disconnect before bed- Our final resolution suggestion is probably the most difficult, but we promise is worth it. Beyond the stress of working on papers right before bed, the blue light from your laptop, phone or tablet can mess with your sleep. It mimics daylight and can make sleep shorter and less restful. Experts recommend powering down half an hour before bed. If you still find yourself using devices before bed, apps like flux (desktop/android) or iPhone night shift can limit blue light by yellowing your screens as the sun goes down.  

Add these to your existing promises to eat more celery and actually go to office hours, or come up with your own. Let us know how you are doing on Twitter and check out some of our tech picks to help keep you on track with any other resolutions you may have.

Happy 2017!