It’s a new year, and a lot of us are focusing on our goals and making resolutions.
One of the great things to do at the beginning of a new year is to clean up your inbox. Clear out old emails and start fresh in 2023.
Another great thing to do is to clean out your phone. Delete blurry pictures, screenshots, and duplicates. It’s time-consuming, but worth it.
Below are a few ways to boost your security, increase your productivity, and tidy up your life online.
1. Inventory Your Valuables
Having a home inventory list is a great time saver in the case of a disaster or break-in.
Back in the day you had to walk around the house with a notebook to catalogue of your possessions. Now, the right app can make the job so much easier.
Be sure to catalog your electronics, furniture, jewelry, appliances, family heirlooms, clothing, decor, luggage, tools, instructions, art, and any important items.
2. Refresh Your Home Network
When was the last time you checked your home network?
First, check your password. You should always be changing your username and password. Even if you changed yours months ago, it might be time for an update to something more secure.
A digital password manager is the safest route, but password journals can get the job done. Just keep yours somewhere safe where no one can access.
Next, ensure your router’s firmware is up to date.
● Head to your router admin page: You’ll need your router’s IP address as well as your admin password.
● In the admin page, find a section called Advanced or Management. This is where you’ll find firmware updates. Download any available updates. Now your system is up to date.
If there’s an option in your router settings that enables automatic updates, turn it on. Also, make sure wireless encryption is running at the standard for WPA2 or WPA3.
While you’re at it, make sure your firewall is really working.
3. Clear Out Your Inbox
A new year means it is time to clean up your inbox.
Search filters allow you to find emails by category, content, size of attached files and more. Log into your email from your web browser and navigate to the search bar.
Let’s say you have a ton of emails from a company you no longer want to hear from. Search for the email address in the search bar. Now you can easily bulk delete all those messages.
In Gmail, hit the Select all conversations option at the top of the page. It’s a little box that generates a checkmark once you hit it. Then hit the Trash icon to wipe them all away. Tap or click here to get the job done in Yahoo Mail and Microsoft Outlook.
Click here to check out our blog on how to manage your email overload.
4. Give Your Browser a Fresh Start
Our browser is where we spend most of our time online. Give yours a thorough cleanup by clearing the cache. Note: This will remove your logins, so you will have to sign back into the websites.
To clear your cache in Chrome, click the three-dot menu. Hover over More Tools, then select Clear Browsing Data. A new page will open. Select a timeframe, from one hour to all time. Select Clear data to complete the process.
If you use Firefox, click the three-line menu in the top right corner, then click on History. Select Clear Recent History and choose your timeframe. Hit OK to complete.
For Microsoft Edge, select the three-dot menu in the upper top right corner, then choose Settings > Privacy, search and services. Under Clear browsing data, click Choose what to clear. Select a timeframe and click Clear now.
In Safari, open a browser window, then click Safari in the top toolbar. Choose Clear History, select a timeframe, then click Clear History to finish the job.
5. Wipe Down Your Devices
Your devices are magnets for dust, dirt, oil, and all kinds of germs. Here’s my guide for cleaning your screens, keyboard, mouse, and printer the right way. All it takes is a little know-how, the right tools, and a bit of time.
Cotton swabs can leave fuzz and lint, and metal knives and safety pins leave scratches. Stay away from toothpicks, too, since they can snap off. Use plastic cleaners, like foam or dental floss.
You can also purchase a kit on Amazon that has everything you need to clean just about any electronics. Tap or click for an option under $10.
PS: Don’t forget to clean your earbuds. They get especially dirty, and you need to be careful how you clean around the speakers. Tap or click for the right way to clean up your AirPods, Galaxy Buds or other wireless earbuds.
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