CLEAN SWEEP

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Why ev­ery­one needs a back- up plan.

IT SOME­TIMES takes a bad han­gover to teach us to drink less. Sim­i­larly, it of­ten takes a ma­jor tech dis­as­ter for peo­ple to re­alise they need to back- up their ma­chines.

Don’t wait un­til you’ve lost all of your baby pho­tos, your re­cently recorded al­bum or next week’s work plan­ner. Set a new year’s tech res­o­lu­tion to clean up your act.

Have a back- up plan: Back- up your data on your choice ( or a com­bi­na­tion) of USB sticks, ex­ter­nal hard- drives, net­worked stor­age sys­tems and online stor­age ser­vices. Make dou­bles of your back­ups and keep them in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions ( at home and at work). You can also au­to­mate your online back­ups to re­fresh them­selves at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. Get up to date: If you use Win­dows, reg­u­larly run a Win­dows Up­date ( lo­cated on your Start menu). You can also set it to up­date au­to­mat­i­cally by ad­just­ing your main­te­nance set­tings. Sync your gad­gets: Are you us­ing more ma­chines, in­ter­faces and gad­gets than you need? Con­sider down­siz­ing your tech col­lec­tion by as­sim­i­lat­ing your in­ter­faces for sim­plic­ity’s sake. You can also ex­plore op­tions of Google Chrome and other Cloud ser­vices to keep lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open be­tween your in­ter­faces. Sim­plify your us­age: Are you pay­ing for sev­eral mo­bile broad­band ser­vices when you could just share one, or do you have sep­a­rate home in­ter­net and mo­bile ac­counts? It might be cheaper to take stock of what you’re pay­ing for, what you’re us­ing and what you need. Talk with your ser­vice provider about a sim­pler and cheaper way to man­age mul­ti­ple ac­counts for phone, in­ter­net and mo­bile in­ter­net. Ex­er­cise eti­quette: If you can’t say some­thing nice, say it con­sid­er­ately and with some re­spect. But feel free to ig­nore, delete, un­tag, deny, block and re­port as you see fit. Don’t be a slave to the in­ter­net – set your own terms and get around to it when you choose to and how you choose to. It’s your online life, so craft it how you will. Dump your cache: Dump­ing your in­ter­net browser’s cache – his­tory, cook­ies and other site data – can make a huge dif­fer­ence in the amount of space your com­puter uses and how fast your ma­chine runs. Empty the cache once a month to keep your ma­chine run­ning smoothly. Have a pass­word au­dit: Change the pass­words for your bank ac­counts, email ac­counts and com­puter and use dif­fer­ent, strong pass­words for each. If they’re hard to keep track of, use a se­cure pass­word man­age­ment app such as Keeper, ewal­let or Pass­word Pro. Sort your docs: Cre­ate files on your C Drive with fold­ers or­gan­ised by year. Then you can eas­ily move your old files to ex­ter­nal stor­age or zip them to com­press the space they take up. Up­date your pro­file pic: It’s a new year, so choose a re­cent photo or take a new one and use it con­sis­tently across key so­cial me­dia sites. It’s a quick and ef­fec­tive way to re­fresh your online per­sona.

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