It’s time to ready your tech resolutions for the new year! Apply these to 2019 to live a happier and more secure life with your gadgets.
11 Tech Resolutions You Should Try to Keep in 2019
1. Update Your Software
We start our techie New Year’s resolution list with something simple that anyone can do in a few easy steps. It’s about time to update your computer and smartphone operating systems, password management apps, antivirus software, and your browsers! Updating all your software will not only ensure you have the most up-to-date versions, but it also removes those annoying notifications we all get. Keeping your devices updated is also very beneficial, because of constant security and stability updates.
2. Avoid Using Your Phone in Bed
We’re all guilty of just scrolling through social media or watching videos on YouTube in bed. Unfortunately for all of us bedtime users, studies show that using devices close to bedtime can ruin one’s quality of sleep. If you notice yourself waking up tired even after a long nights sleep, maybe it’s time to stop with the late night social media. Try not sleeping within an arm’s length of your gadgets, place them in a different room or on a table across the room, so it’s harder to reach for them while you’re in bed.
3. Limit Screen Time
This is probably a new year resolution we all need to make. We are all constantly looking into a screen for many hours during the day. Keeping our eyes glued to a screen can be caused by a multitude of reasons, like work, watching Netflix, playing video games, or even just plain boredom. For many of us, social media is the number 1 thing that takes up most of our device screen time. As a start, using social networks on your browser can help lessen social media usage overall. Another option would be to adjust your screen time on your smartphone so it will time out after a set number of hours. If you’re not sure, here’s how to do it on your iOS or Android device:
How to limit screen time on iOS:
- Go to settings > Screen Time
- App Limits > Add Limit
- On the next menu, you can select to limit apps by their categories like Social Networking or Entertainment.
- After selecting which category to limit, you can then set the number of hours per day you can have with that selected category. You can even set on which day, or days, the limit is imposed.
- You can even place limits on a per-app basis. You can do this by tapping the hour breakdown on the Screen Time section. Then scroll down to the bottom and select the app you wish to add a limit on.
How to limit screen time on Android:
- Go to settings > Digital Wellbeing
- Then just scroll down the list and tap which app you want to add a limit to by tapping the App Timer. You can set the timer for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or have a custom timer.
4. Turn Off Notifications
Nearly every single app you have on your smartphone sends out notifications. It can be for important things you need, like a message or an email, but it can also be for things you don’t really need like an app telling you that you haven’t opened it in a while or Amazon telling you of an upcoming sale. Turning off notifications can stop you from checking your phone every minute. Try to check which alerts from both apps and websites you can turn off.
5. Delete Unnecessary Apps
Delete apps you haven’t touched in months, as well as apps that might be harmful to your security. Doing this will be a great way to not only save space, but it may also help reduce your screen time as well. For Apple users out there, iOS actually has an automated feature that helps to free up space on your device by offloading unused apps. When an app is offloaded, it still appears on your home screen but is greyed out. Once you click the app, only then will it redownload the app.
6. Forget Your Payment Information
Nothing is more dangerous to your wallet than having your payment details saved for your favorite online stores. Deleting your payment information from your browsers or apps might help prevent you from spending on something you don’t really need. Instead of having that easy checkout process, you have to re-enter your information and this is enough for some to rethink their purchase! One of our more creative New Year’s resolutions, reducing unnecessary expenses is always a good thing.
7. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
This is probably the techiest resolution for the new year on this list. Using a VPN can help shelter your information from your Internet provider, especially when connecting to an open Wi-Fi connection at public places. Not only is it a great way to mask your information, but it can also mask where you are. A VPN can offer anonymity online and some providers even encrypt all your data while surfing just for that extra level of privacy and security.
8. Use Airplane Mode
This feature is something that probably all your devices have. That little airplane icon is not just something you use only when you are on the plane — it’s got many other uses while you’re on dry land! Enabling the airplane mode not only saves battery when in a pinch, but it can even let your devices charge faster! Try it next time you need to charge your devices and notice how much faster it charges. Another great use for it is when you’re trying to focus — turn airplane mode on so that you won’t be distracted by notifications and interruptions.
9. Read Privacy Policies
10. Prioritize Your Security
Check your app settings to see how they are tracking you and how much personal information these apps are getting. Turn off anything suspicious, such as apps that track your location when it doesn’t really need to. Does anyone remember #deletefacebook? We need to make sure we understand the specific types of personal information each app is getting from us. Some apps also usually ask permission to use various things on your smartphone like the microphone, camera or even your contact list. Be sure to check which apps ask for which specific thing, you don’t need your random apps to have access to your microphone!
11. Protect Your Gadgets
Having a good case can be worth its weight in gold. Invest in good phone cases and screen protectors to keep your hardware protected. There are many brands to choose from for your smartphone like Spigen, Otterbox, and Urban Armor just to name a few. You can even get cases and screen protectors for your laptop! Our gadgets are some of the most expensive things we use on a daily basis, so protecting them is always a good idea.
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This short list of tech resolutions for the new year is a great way to kickstart your 2019. We hope it will help you improve not just your privacy or peace of mind, but also even help you sleep better at night! Implementing these may take a while to get used to but forming these great tech habits can go a long way.
Which resolution do you think is the most important? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.