If you’re not sure what I mean by that, read on because you need to know.
If you are sure what I mean by that, read on to find out if you’re doing it right!
There’s nothing quite like a fresh start!
It feels great to be at the beginning of a project with ALL the opportunity laid out before you, when ALL the possibilities do indeed seem endless and before you get sidetracked or waylaid by duty or distractions.
That’s why I like to take the beginning of a new month to tune-up my tech!
There’s no better habit you can get into than to take a few minutes (and it really does only take a few minutes) to change your passwords (or at the very least your Master Password), clear out your browser cache and run a system cleaner to rid your computer of all the cyber-dross and dust it inevitably picks up and gathers as we go about our business on the web.
Changing of the Guard: Change your passwords
I know it’s unlikely you’re going to change all of your passwords, that’s pretty much not a viable proposition for most of us these days, especially if you’re running an online business or website. However, it only takes a minute or two to change the Master Password to your Password Manager and that’s something I recommend you do every month.
Check out this post for some great tips on How to Pick Strong Passwords. A simple system to create passwords that are easy to recall and in case you do forget, a foolproof way to write a hint that’ll help you figure it while hindering the hackers!
Yes, I hear you though, some days I’m doing well to remember what I had for breakfast (and that could be forgotten, by as early as elevenses), never mind a password I have to remember and remember to change every month to be properly secure…say it ain’t so!
So, for something that’s important and essential to be able to recall quickly, I might actually re-use the same STRONG password (I hear that sharp intake of breath) but I modify them with a 4-6 digit number.
The easiest way to modify an “already strong” password is to add a multi-digit month and year or switch up a special character or two at beginning and end. Check out the video in this post to learn how to Create Strong Passwords.
Browser Bloat: Tech that needs a tweak
As we go about the web, you can’t help but pick up what I call cyber-dust. This is the cyber-clutter that comes along with the wealth of knowledge and information that’s at our fingertips every time we touch our keyboard.
NEVER let your browser save your passwords, that’s really just asking for trouble. It would only take a few minutes on an unknown system searching the browser history to figure out which sites might be worth trying to access. But here are just a few other reasons not to allow a browser to save your passwords
- If/when you clear your cookies you’ll also be clearing your passwords
- If you lose your laptop/tablet/phone or someone accesses your system from outside (using a RAT – remote access trojan) they will have your passwords
- Anytime your system is left unattended, anyone who happens by and clicks on it could potentially access your accounts
Click here to learn how to clear Passwords already set in your browser.
The problem is that good info (on the web) typically comes along with a whole slew of temporary files and fluff. So by the time you’ve been tooling around the web for, oh about a month or so, you’ll have gathered a Texas tumbleweeds worth of trash in your browser. This is the cyber flotsam, you should jetsam (or jettison pardon the pun). This is the trash that will slow down your surfing and your system if you don’t dump it overboard before it causes you to crash on the rocks of painfully pitiful performance.
How to Clean Your Computer: Data You Should Dump
Likewise, your system will pick up data and dross as you go about creating new docs and such so it too needs a “virtual enema” to rid itself of unused and undesirable files and flotsam.
I use CCleaner Pro to keep my systems running like Usain Bolt. I run the analyzer which takes care of cleaning all browser caches and does a great job of finding files that can be safely deleted.
Then I run the Registry Keys function to find and fix any issues arising from adding or uninstalling programs. Registry keys often get left behind in that process so it’s a quick bit of housekeeping to clean those up while I’m going about optimizing computer health.
A Timely Habit to Get Into
So the first of the month is a great time to not only give yourself a fresh start but to invest a few minutes to give your systems a bit of a boost too. It’s easy-peasy and maintaining your computer’s health will save you gobs of time and money in the long run.