Computers have become a part of our lives, and to make the most out of them, we need to develop good computer habits for 2021. Once we familiarize ourselves with what to do and what not to do, our digital life will be much easier.
Keeping our files, data, and personal information safe can help us peace of mind while navigating the digital landscape. Computers can make our lives easier or miserable depending on how we use them.
How many of us have experienced having an important computer file corrupted and can’t recover the data? Have you ever spilled water or coffee on your MacBook Pro and spend an arm and a leg to have it up and running again?
Unlearning bad habits can lead to safer computer practices. When you practice good computer habits, you’ll notice increased productivity, security, and well-being. Here are the best practices you can do for your laptops and desktops this 2021 and beyond.
1. Restart Your Computer
Computers need to recharge to work more efficiently. If you notice your computer running slowly, try a reboot. Whether you are using a Mac or PC, not restarting your computer is a bad habit you need to fix.
If your computer has been working for so long without rebooting, your internal hard drive may encounter problems. Once you notice sluggish performance, restart your computer right away. At the end of each workday, make it a habit to shut down your computer and not leave it in sleep mode all night long. Your PC or Mac will thank you as you boot it up the next day.
2. Don’t Eat or Drink in Front of Your Laptop
Who doesn’t eat or drink in front of our computers? Most of us have. This is a bad habit due to hygiene issues and the potential to ruin your computer by accident. Studies have shown that keyboards are a primary source of dust, dirt, and bacteria. Mixing this up with what we eat is not a good practice.
A coffee spill can cost you hundreds of dollars on repairs. It’s better to kick the habit of eating in front of your computer and clean it frequently as well.
3. Back-Up Your Data
Losing your data without any backup can be a nightmare. We keep so much of our data on our devices, and we fail to realize that their storage capacity is limited and has a lifespan. Not knowing when your hard drive will break down is disastrous if you haven’t backed up your files.
We also can’t control data loss due to human error. We delete files in a hurry and find out later that some important files got deleted as well by accident. To avoid this, you need to make it a habit to back up your data. You can choose from an external hard drive or on the cloud via Google Drive or Dropbox.
4. Take Breaks
Staring at your monitor for too long can cause eyestrain and headaches. Sitting for long periods also impedes blood flow which is bad for our health. Take breaks every 50 to 90 minutes of working on your computer. This helps relieve stress and fatigue, which would benefit your overall health down the road.
5. Use Strong Passwords
If you are one of those users who utilize the same password for all your online accounts, you are at the mercy of hackers and cybercriminals. Hackers can take advantage of weak passwords and use them to log into all your vital accounts.
We know that it’s hard to create different passwords for every account, but password apps can help. Some users don’t trust password app companies, so the best recourse is to use strong passwords, especially online banking and shopping.
6. Remove Unused Apps and Plugins
Clutter is not a good practice, and this applies to our computers as well. When you have unused apps and plugins taking up space on your hard drive, you need to get rid of them. Unknowingly, they can run in the background and use up valuable resources. Clearing them from your hard drive gives you more space for stuff that you use.
7. Erase Old Hard Drives
Studies show that people replace their computers every 4 and a half years. In America, cell phones are replaced more often, with 51% of iPhone owners upgrading to a new model every 2 years. There’s nothing wrong with upgrading to newer devices, but the problem lies with handling your old devices properly.
If you forget to erase your data on your old device, you open yourself to data theft. Make sure to back up all important files and erase all your data before reselling or donating your computer.