In 2020 and beyond, you’ll need to kick out some of the toxic bad habits that hurt your privacy, security and even your health. To get you started, we’ve listed 10 habits that are very common among internet users.
Take a little time today and spend time improving your tech habits so that 2020 can run more smoothly for you.
1. Having weak passwords and password reuse
It is already 2020, and we are still having weak and bad passwords issue. Having a weak, easily guessed password is bad on so many levels. Not only is it easy to crack and put your own privacy/security at risk, if one of your accounts gets compromised, all your accounts that use the same email/password combination will be at risk too. And creating a strong password for each website you use is not as hard as it sounds; just use a password manager.
Whatever you are doing to record your password (you can write it down if you want to), just don’t use a weak password and the same password for every account.
2. Too much screen time
Spending too much time using your laptop or phone has been linked to sleep deprivation and loss of social skills. Make sure to take regular breaks and limit your screen usage as much as possible. If you must use your devices at night, at least use a blue light filter (also known as Night light) to help preserve your sleep cycles.
3. Leaving your devices unlocked
We keep a ton of personal information on our devices and it is important to protect them to prevent unpleasant consequences. The easiest way to do this is to create a strong password to prevent unauthorized physical access to your device. Even if your device gets stolen, you know that, at the very least, your data cannot be accessed (easily).
If unlocking your phone with a password every time you want to use it seems like too much work, most modern devices implement some form of bio-metric authentication that is just as good security-wise, but much more convenient.
4. Using pirated software
Using pirated software might save you some money (illegally), it should be strictly avoided as it is one of the ways malware and spyware are distributed. Apart from the fact that possessing pirated software is illegal, by using it, you are putting yourself at risk of infecting your device with malware that can steal your data or do other nasty things. If you cannot afford to pay for certain software, find a free or cheaper alternative. You will usually find one that is good enough to replace the proprietary program.
5. Failing to back up your data
The pain of losing important work or memories can be excruciating. Take advantage of the many cloud storage services that exist. They are easy to use, and for a few dollars per month, you can get a ton of storage space. You can even encrypt your data before uploading to the cloud if you want to be absolutely sure that it cannot be accessed even if the cloud service you use gets hacked.
If you don’t want to go down this route, at least buy an external hard drive and back everything up there. Just don’t forget to update your backups on a regular basis and keep the drive in a safe place.
A complete back up plan should include backing up a copy on your computer, on an external hard drive, and on online storage.
6. Sharing one account with multiple users
It’s not okay to share your accounts or passwords with any other person. Aside from privacy issues, accidents can happen. We’ve all had that friend who accidentally deleted some important files on another person’s computer. All major operating systems support multiple user accounts. You can even create guest accounts in some cases.
7. Not updating software
New security vulnerabilities are being discovered on a regular basis. Security updates are often sent to fix these vulnerabilities. If you fail to update the software on your devices quickly, you will be an easy target for hackers looking to exploit these vulnerabilities. Aside from this, you’ll also miss out on bug fixes, performance improvements and new features.
So make it a habit to update the software on your device regularly. You can even setup automatic updates so you don’t even have to think about it.
8. Working with your laptop on your lap
It’s not okay to put your laptop on your lap for a prolonged period of time even if the word “laptop” seems to imply that. Research has shown that this practice could have health implications due to the heat and radiation that most laptops emit. Lower sperm count and skin infect are some of the risks.
Try to find a table top where you can place your laptop while you work, or at least place a barrier between the laptop and your skin.
9. Sleeping with your phone
A lot of people are guilty of texting or checking social media right before bedtime. Many even fall asleep with their devices in bed with them. This is a sure way to not get a good night’s sleep.
A simple solution is to put your phone away one hour before going to bed. Charge it in another room. And if you need an alarm clock to wake you up, buy one.
10. Poor ergonomics while working
It is important to work in a well lighted area and maintain good posture while working. Make sure your monitor is well placed and your chair and desk are just right for your figure. Sitting at your desk for a long time is not a good habit. Take regular breaks that involves physical activity or get a standing desk.
What bad tech habits are you looking to ditch in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.