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Tech resolutions for 2017

01 February 2017

There’s nothing like going overseas, to a country with less than stellar tech infrastructure to realise how lucky we are to have what we have in New Zealand. On one hand, it also makes you realise with a small sense of horror of how technologically complicated ones life has become.

Because if you’re too busy taking photos of a gorgeous beach instead of swimming in it, then something is amiss.

So when I came back (and promptly signed myself back into my over-connected world with a sigh of relief!) I thought that what a better way to start 2017 than to have some New Year resolutions orientated towards simplifying your tech life.

Here are five: 

1. Clean up your passwords
It can be tricky using the same password for everything (okay, I actually do that too), because who after all, could generate and memorise unique passwords for everything? But the reality is that security breaches are happening more and more often. Last year for example, Yahoo revealed that 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised in a hack; and if you happen to use the same Yahoo password for other accounts, they would be vulnerable too.

    High-tech: The NY Times recommends using password-managing apps that lets you use one master password to unlock all your other passwords. I love apps, but I’m skeptical of this. 

    Old-School: Personally, I would set-aside an hour or two to sit down, make a list of all my accounts (at least the important ones) with their corresponding passwords and formulate new and stronger passwords- and to put the list on an app based note, or even printing it out and putting it in a secured cabinet or storage (just don’t forget where you’re stored the list!)

2 Maintain your devices

If you’re religious about making sure your vehicles/motorhomes are in tip-top shape, apply the same habits to your devices. Some of the issues associated with phone or app performance have to do with ensuring your devices’ operating system is up-to-date. Purge/delete apps you don’t use (same rule as with clothes- if you haven’t worn them for 6 months, then you probably won’t wear them ever again) and make use of Cloud storage by moving such files as photos to them and deleting them off your phone. 

3. Mind the back-end.

If you still have the router your broadband provider, it’s time you moved on to a new one. If it’s more than 3 years old, chances are you’re already behind today’s faster, smarter wireless systems. So don’t blame your ISP for a sluggish connection because it can be your router!

4. Live a little

This means breaking out from the strictures of data-pinching necessary in the days when you were using your paltry phone-data for your Internet needs. NZMCA Data which originally started with two data plans (40GB and 130GB) now offers a third option and the grand-daddy of them at all at 220GB. If you’re going to ask as to what you’re going to do with all that data, then clearly, you have some catching up to do! 

5. Be smarter with your tech spending

Two Christmases ago, there was a flood of members who bought the then new Windows 10 devices using the Windows browser Edge. Fresh out of the developers, the browser caused heaps of problems for users, least of them being the (then new as well) NZMCA website not displaying properly. Lesson is, don’t be swayed by marketing and retailer sweet-talk. Do your research before buying; Noel Leeming’s  Tech Solutions Learning has been specially helpful in familiarising members with various devices before and after purchase. If you want free advice, 

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