I’ve never really been one to make New Years Resolutions, but this year I’ve come up with 10 of them that can help all of us keep our computers running smoothly and the hackers at bay. I hope you find at least a few of them useful.
Note: All of the links contained within the following list of resolutions will open in a new window. This will make it easy to return to the next resolution by simply closing the current browser window or tab.
Rick’s 10 New Years Resolutions for computer users:
1 – Resolve to install a quality anti-malware program on your computer and make sure you keep it updated. And if malware still manages to find its way onto your hard drive, get rid of it as soon as possible in order to minimize the damage.
2 – Resolve to install Windows Updates as soon as possible after they are released. And don’t forget to keep your applications up to date as well. Most software updates are released in order to patch security holes and squash bugs, not add new features.
3 – Resolve to keep your hard drive free of clutter. Orphaned files and over-flowing temp folders can slow down your PC and cause system instability. You can clear out the clutter manually, but an awesome free download called CCleaner makes it easy.
4 – Resolve to make regular backups of your data and store them in a safe place. The easiest way to back up your hard drive is by creating a system image. Here are step-by-step instructions for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
5 – Resolve to remove any and all unused programs from your computer. Unused programs waste hard drive space and can potentially cause a whole range of problems with your Windows installation. You could use the native Windows “Uninstall a program” utility, but I use and recommend the excellent (and free) Geek Uninstaller.
6 – Resolve to use strong, yet easy to remember passwords. This post explains how to create them.
7 – Resolve to protect your online accounts from hackers by enabling “Two Factor Authentication”. To make it easy, I have written a series of posts explaining how to set it up on Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and PayPal.
8 – Resolve not to click links in emails and/or download files from untrusted sources since these are the preferred methods that hackers use to distribute malware.
10 – Resolve to update Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. The update is absolutely free, and it makes the “new” Windows look and work a lot more like the “old” Windows.
Image Credit: Billy Alexander