You may use your gadgets so often that you don’t consider how you use them. Whether it’s your smartphone, computer or home security system, you can change the way you interact with your devices to lead a safer, healthier life. These are the habits you should adopt in 2014:
Use Home Automation
Automation systems help you manage energy consumption in your house or apartment by giving you remote control. Plug a lamp or other appliance into the appliance module to begin use. Once the module is plugged into the wall, you can turn your devices on and off from your smartphone. Now when you forget to turn off the lights before leaving you don’t have to worry about wasting energy.
Set Up a Backup System
The files on both your computer and smartphone are important. Schedule regular backups so that you won’t lose that information should something happen. Having a backup will give you peace of mind if you drop your phone or your computer dies. Most gadgets use an Internet storage system, such as the cloud, and they allow you to program repeating, automatic backups.
Though the cloud is a reliable location to store files, you may also want a hard copy in case you don’t have Internet access. Download your files onto a DVD or a flash drive – maybe even both.
Vet Your Social Media Friends
Interacting with people via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is fun, but it’s easy to hoard friends without realizing it. Do you really talk to the girl from your high school math class? If not, take her off your friend list. Social media contains personal information you may not want every acquaintance and work friend to see. Use this rule to help you sort through the masses: if you saw these people in public and avoided making eye contact, you should delete them.
Recycle Old Devices
Your smart home keeps getting smarter, which means you have old devices lying around. Don’t throw your laptops, phones cables and more in the trash. They’ll just sit in landfills. Most devices nowadays aren’t hazardous, but older versions can be. Donate your gadgets – once you’ve wiped the hard drive – or recycle them via a community technology program. Check your town’s website for upcoming recycling drives. Sometimes libraries will have a large box in the lobby where you can place the items.
Protect Your Home
Some people use technology for all kinds of crazy things – like automating housecleaning – but not everyone applies this level of creativity to security. Technology is at a point where home security is affordable, easy to use and compatible with other devices. For example, you can use a SMART Connect app to monitor your house or apartment from your smartphone.
Change Account Passwords
Changing passwords periodically helps secure your account – whether it’s Netflix or LinkedIn – as does using a new password for each account. Many people use the same three passwords for all of their accounts. Though this method may help you remember, it’s not secure. If one site gets hacked and leaks your information, all the accounts you use with the same password will be in jeopardy.
If you’re really having a hard time, pick a phrase and then add a different number for each account. You can also alter which letters are uppercase and which aren’t.
Stop Checking Email
You probably have your work email linked to your smartphone. Whenever you hear that beep, you whip out your phone and see what the news is. However, being constantly plugged into your job can be stressful. Either refrain from looking at the email or change your settings so that you don’t receive an alert when your inbox is filled.