banner
Lifestyles

New Year's resolutions for your tech life

Posted January 2, 2018 2:07 p.m. EST

DAYTON, Ohio -- Among your typical New Year's resolutions of becoming happier or healthier, consider some resolutions for your tech life. You also want your computer and other gadgets to be happy and healthy, and here are some ways to do that in 2018:

Back up your data: One of biggest tech mistakes we see people make every day is not backing up your computer and other devices. Though IT pros like us can typically recover your data after a computer crash or virus, there are certainly times when we cannot. If you have photos, documents, and other files you don't want to lose, you should back them up.

There are two main backup options: back up to a secondary drive plugged into your computer or back up to an online service. Backing up to a drive allows you to restore your data quicker, if it's ever needed, and requires a one-time purchase of $20 to $85. Backing up to an online service better protects your backup from theft and local disasters, but requires paying a reoccurring fee, typically starting at $5 to $15 per month. Some popular online backup services include Carbonite, BackBlaze and Mozy.

If you take photos with your smartphone, I suggest using the backup feature of Android or iPhone to sync your photos online in case your phone becomes lost, stolen or broken.

Replace Windows Vista or XP computers: Keep in mind all support from Microsoft ended for Windows XP back in 2014 and for Windows Vista in April 2017. For security and reliability reasons, you shouldn't use computers with those operating systems anymore. It's typically not worth the time or money to upgrade them either, so I suggest replacing them with another computer.

Upgrade your computer: If your Windows 7, 8, or 10 computer is too slow, consider upgrading the inside components. This can still be a cost-effective way to increase speed and reliability without having to purchase a completely new computer.

One upgrade option is to replace your traditional hard drive with a new solid state drive (SSD), which is much faster than the traditional hard drives. I suggest seeking professional advice for upgrade options based upon your particular computer to ensure it's worth the investment.

Get a professional checkup: I suggest having a professional take a look at your computer each year, regardless if you have issues or not. They can do a general checkup and cleanup to ensure you're well protected, eliminate any junk, perform some maintenance and proactive checks, and maybe speed it up.

Utilize technology in more ways: There is much more to technology than checking your email and bank accounts, or even playing games. There are endless ways technology can help save you time and money, while also providing convenience and entertainment. Find some new ways to utilize technology to your advantage.

Maybe try ordering your groceries online for pickup at Kroger or Meijer. Or purchase an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device for a 24/7 digital assistant you can talk to. Or check out some new apps on your smartphone or tablet, such as the Groovebook app to get your photos printed on the cheap, the Nextdoor app to discover and converse with your neighbors, or DoorDash to order delivery from much more than pizza or Chinese.

Eric Geier is the owner of On Spot Techs, which provides on-site computer repair and IT services at homes and businesses in the Dayton area. Email: egeier(at)onspottechs.com. This article appeared in the Dayton Daily News.

Story Filed By Cox Newspapers

For Use By Clients of the New York Times News Service