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  • Writer's pictureShay

End of Year Tech Clean-Up Tips

As the year draws to a close, it's a good time to take stock of your digital life and do some much-needed clean-up. Your tech devices are probably overflowing with files, apps, and emails that you don't need, making it harder to find the things you do need. Here are some tips to help you declutter your digital life and start the new year with a clean slate.

1. Organize Your Files

Start by going through your files and organizing them into folders. Delete any files you no longer need and create a system for naming your files that makes sense to you. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for when you need it. Use an external hard drive for any files that you do not need immedate access to.

2. Uninstall Unused Apps and software.

You probably have a lot of apps on your phone or computer that you don't use anymore. Uninstall them to free up space and make your device run faster. Make sure you virus protection is up to date and verify when it is set to expire so that you can make a note on your calendar to renew it.

3. Clean Up Your Email Inbox

Your email inbox is probably overflowing with unread messages and spam. Take some time to go through your inbox and delete anything you don't need. Use filters to automatically sort emails into folders and unsubscribe from any newsletters or mailing lists you no longer want to receive. Create email accounts for different needs. I have an email account just for signing up to recieve online discount codes, coupons to different compaines I shop at etc. I have a "catch all" email account, then I have an email that I use only for important items such as credit card statements, bank statements, electronic bills, etc.

4. Backup Your Data

Make sure you have a backup of all your important files and data. This could be done using an external hard drive or a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. If you are using an external hard drive make sure that you have that password protected. Ensure your laptop and desktop have the hard drive encrpyted and that you have your recovery key printed out or stored on an external device.

5. Secure Your Accounts

Review your account security settings to ensure that your sensitive information is protected. Enable two-factor authentication and update your passwords to something strong and unique. Do not save your passwords in your web browsers. Are you one of those people who keep a master spreadsheet of your passwords? If you are; don't forget to add an extra layer of security by password protecting that spreadsheet. It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your personal information, right?

6. Clean up your cabling

No one likes the mess that ethernet cords and power cables become. Get a cable organizer, zip ties or velcro to tidy up the cables so it is easy to locate the correct power cord. Label your devices in order for rebooting purposes and print out a step by step for how your devices should be power cyceled. For example item 1. Cable modem reboot first, item 2. Swtich reboot 2nd, etc. This makes it easier when things feel sluggish.

7. Update your devices.

Run any software and firmware updates on your device. This includes the firmware updates for your printers, wireless access points, routers such as a netgear orbi system, netgear nighthawk, google mesh, etc, any firewalls or switches that you have. Update your cameras and video doorbells and any other smart applainces that you might have in your home.

8. Have a guest WiFi network.

Have a guest WiFi network for friends or family visiting to ensure that your internal nextwork is secure. I take it a step further and have a seperate network for my cameras, alexas, tv's, etc. Make sure all of your WiFi networks are password protected and update your passwords every 6 months.

9. Subscriptions.

Go through your subscriptions and cancel any you dont use, apps on your phone, tv supscriptions, audible, music, etc.

By following these simple tips, you can declutter your digital life and start the new year with a fresh start. You'll be able to find what you need more easily and your devices will run faster. So, what are you waiting for? Start cleaning up your tech today!

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